In this lesson we’ll use the single paradiddle – including various sticking variations and accent schemes – to create some funky-cool grooves. Before we get started, I highly recommend that you check out my online lessons on Single Paradiddle and Inversions and Stroke Types and Combinations. It is important that you are familiar with the various paradiddle variations, accent schemes, stroke types and stroke combinations before tackling the material in this lesson.
Here are the four single paradiddle variations from the Single Paradiddle and Inversions lesson that we’ll be using to construct our grooves. To aid in proper execution, included are the letter codes for the various stroke types from the previous lesson on Stroke Types and Combinations. The letter codes are also included in the accompanying exercise transcriptions (see the links to the pdf worksheets included throughout this lesson).
To start building our Funkadiddles, let’s change the flavor of the three paradiddle inversions by applying different accent schemes. Work on these first on your snare drum to gain control. Remember to play all accents as rim shots and all unaccented notes as ghost strokes.
BONUS MATERIAL: THE TURNAROUND
When practicing paradiddles, I like to use a ‘turnaround’ to force a change of the lead hand while playing. While the turnaround isn’t used when playing the Funkadiddle grooves, I am demonstrating it in the following videos and it’s worth checking out. When using the turnaround it’s easy to lose track of the beat of ‘1’ so be sure to count quarter notes or 16th’s.
Turnarounds with the accent on the first or third 16th of the beat are demonstrated in the Stroke Types and Combinations tutorial in the sections on the ‘Down Stroke/Up Stroke combination’ and the ‘Up Stroke/Down Stroke combination’ respectively. For the turnarounds with the accent on the second or fourth 16th of the beat, I’ll let you figure out which stroke types to use for each note! (hint: full, up and down strokes.)
ORCHESTRATING ON THE KIT
Once you’re comfortable playing all of the paradiddle variations on the snare drum, the next step is to orchestrate the single paradiddle – including the inversions and the accent variations – on the kit. Let’s start by splitting the hands – one on the snare, the other on the ride cymbal. Again, play the accented snare hits as rim shots and the unaccented snare hits as ghost strokes. On the ride cymbal, play the accented hits on the bell and the unaccented notes on the bow. (If you play the cymbal part on the hi-hat, play the accents on the edge of the hats with the shoulder of the stick and the unaccented notes on top of the hats using the tip of the stick.)
Here are video demonstrations of the three accent variations orchestrated on the ride cymbal and snare drum with the turnaround. If you don’t want to use the turnaround, just leave it out. The videos appear in the same order as presented in the pdf worksheet (see link below). Tempo is quarter note = 90:
ACCENT VARIATION 1
ACCENT VARIATION 2
ACCENT VARIATION 3
And for good measure, here are video demonstrations of the four paradiddle variations that we started with. These are also orchestrated on the ride cymbal and snare drum and include the turnaround. I’ve added these additional videos so that you can study the correct way to play the accented and unaccented notes and the Spivack hand technique which we discussed in the lesson about Stroke Types and Combinations. Again, if you don’t want to use the turnaround, just leave it out. The videos appear in the same order as presented in the pdf worksheet (see link below). Tempo is quarter note = 90:
PARADIDDLE VARIATION 1
PARADIDDLE VARIATION 2
PARADIDDLE VARIATION 3
PARADIDDLE VARIATION 4
THE FUNKADIDDLE GROOVES
The groundwork is complete…let’s get to the Funkadiddles! Following are eight grooves incorporating the different paradiddle variations from the beginning of this lesson. The videos appear in the same order as presented in the pdf worksheet (see link below). I’ve left out the letter codes for the stroke types in the accompanying exercise transcription – it’s your job to figure them out! Tempo is quarter note = 110:
(with modified samba foot ostinato)
(with modified samba foot ostinato)
Here are some ideas that I came up with using the concepts covered in this lesson…A little experimentation can produce cool results!
This ‘Tribal Groove’ idea uses the sticking from Funkadiddle #4, just voiced differently!
Funkalicious! Taking the groove construction ideas in this lesson to the next step…
Funkalicious! Drums isolated…
When practicing this material, start slow and pay special attention to the volume of your accented and unaccented notes. Once you can play the Funkadiddles as written at tempo, try experimenting with different voicings and bass drum patterns.
If you need help breaking down any of this material, I am available for in-person and online drum lessons.
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