The Power of the Paradiddle

By Jason Jackowich

I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was in grade school and thought I was a pretty hot drummer. I could play along to many songs and even put my own little spin on them. I could do many beats, and it seemed that I could eat any “chop” that came my way. The time quickly came, however, to do more. What was I going to do? I had some books and many songs I could take on, but I was hitting a wall. My hands could not re-produce what I was hearing. “What is it that guy is doing”, I would ask myself. VERY frustrating. I was going to have to swallow my young pride and seek out some drum lessons. It took a little arm twisting, but I was able to get my dad to agree to a package and we were on our way. We picked the very first drum store we could find that offered lessons and signed up. 

My first lesson was life changing. It was because in that first lesson I was taught one thing: the single paradiddle. It seems like the easiest thing in the world. Right Left Right Right, Left Right Left Left. Easy right? You can say it to yourself and easily have it in no time. Play it with your hands, a little more challenging. Upon learning it a whole new world was opened to me. As I came to find out, paradiddles are the entire backbone of all drumming. They allow you to do things that sometimes seem unimaginable. I came to learn many more paradiddles and apply them to my drumming. Paradiddles are everything. There are many of them and countless variations that allow a drummer to find their creativity and express themselves in so many ways. They are the rules from which we become who we are as percussionists. 

I owe everything to my drumming instructor for opening the world of paradiddles to me. I work very hard to get my students to the point that we can open this sacred box of knowledge. It makes me smile every single time I can get a student to that point because I know they are about to embark on a journey that will open the student up to endless possibilities.

Whether you are brand new to drumming or hitting a wall similar to my experience, mastering paradiddles can help you become the drummer you strive to be. Sign up for lessons today to learn the power of the paradiddle.