How To Play the Paradiddle Diddle Exercise

How To Play The Paradiddle Diddle

If there was ever a rudiment that was so versatile and so impressive sounding that you immediately looked like a pro playing it, it would be the paradiddle diddle exercise.  The paradiddle diddle, often confused with the double paradiddle is also referred to as the 6-stroke roll.  The technique is a grouping of 6 notes that flow very smoothly in a triplet feel when played at fast speeds.  It is also an excellent technique to use to execute very fast patterns on the drum set.  One trick is to be sure to accent the first note.


The paradiddle diddle is found in all great drummer’s toolkit.  You’ll find most of your favorite drummers using this lick to fly on the snare drum, making it look so easy.  For good reason the paradiddle diddle is an excellent rudiment to really learn to master. Starting out on the practice pad is a great way to really hone in on the feel of this rudiment.

To execute a paradiddle diddle follow the sticking in the image below:

 Paradiddle diddle

As with any exercise, I recommend starting out extremely slow.  The speed will certainly come with this one in time, especially since it is designed to revert back to the starting hand position as you flow with it.  Once you get comfortable playing the paradiddle diddle at a solid speed of around 60bpm, you can then start to inch up the metronome.  Work on this until your hands begin to play almost on their own.  If you remember, I mentioned the paradiddle diddle is also called the 6-stroke roll.  If you search around drum books or the internet you may find various different stickings of how to play a 6-stroke roll. 

In my opinion there is only one functional sticking to play the paradiddle diddle/6-stroke roll, and that is the one I’ve illustrated above.  Theoretically any 6-note combination could essentially be labeled the paradiddle diddle or 6-stroke roll, but only the above allows for maximum speed.

I encourage you to play around with this exercise until you really feel confident.  You’ll be surprised how good a paradiddle diddle feels to play when you’ve mastered it. 

If you're looking to take your hands to the next level, you may want to check out my 2nd book "Fast Hands". The exercises are advanced and designed to help you develop speed, stamina and coordination.  I also offer my signature Freddy Charles Practice Pad for further hand and technique development.  You may also want to check out the following article if you're just starting out playing the drums.

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