The Drums – Advanced Paradiddles

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 24,731
    Expert drummer Wes Crawford breaks down the advanced paradiddle on the drum set.

    Wes Crawford

    Wes began his professional music career after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology at Virginia Tech. Soon thereafter, he began performing drumset with the extraordinary Jazz/R&B singer Jane L. Powell, a musical association that lasted eleven years and continues as a managerial relationship. The group toured throughout North America and the Caribbean performing at festivals, universities, resorts, nightclubs, and cruise ships. They opened for such acts as Ray Charles, Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Lou Rawls, The Crusaders, Joan Jett, Ernie Watts, and Paula Poundstone, and occasionally performed alongside artists such as Tony Bennett, O.C. Smith, and Dorothy Moore. The 1,300 colleges and universities comprising the National Association for Campus Activities voted the group Entertainer of the Year in 1990, their highest honor, and Jazz Artist of the Year for 1990-1992. During these years of touring, Wes also recorded two albums with Ms. Powell as well as for several outside artists. Wes also conducted electronic percussion seminars at VA Tech and at the Virginia Governor’s School for the Gifted. In 1992, Wes settled with his family in the Washington, DC area as an independent artist on drumset and percussion where he currently performs and records with acts such as Shahin & Sepehr (Higher Octave/Narada world music recording artists), Cocktail Nuts (aka “C-NUTS”- Jazz versions of rock classics, on Wildchild/Mapleshade Records), mrudangam virtuoso Umayalpuram K. Shivaraman (including a clinic at PASIC 2000 and a featured performance at Baltimore Drum Day 2000), Squeeze Bayou (1998 winners of the “Best Non-Louisiana-Based Cajun Band Recording” awarded by the Cajun French Music Association), and Night Life (high-energy show band). Wes has also regularly performed and/or recorded with Aisha Kahlil (of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Eva Cassidy, Catalyst Events’ “Beatswork!,” Zydeco Crayz, Mary Ann Borelli, “Oh Susannah!”, Sugar Jones, and Armadillo recording artist Daryl Davis. His other noteworthy performances and recordings include those with the David Bach Consort (2nd place winner in the 1998 BET unsigned band video contest), Hennesy Jazz Search regional winner Jerry Gordon, and performances with Milestone recording artist Ron Holloway. Wes considers education to be an important link to the future of the percussive arts and teaches drumset privately and at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. He also performs in public school assemblies with Mosaic, which provided the musical instruction and curriculum for the 2000 Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute. Wes serves as the Director of the annual Drumset And Percussion Camp of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute and as Vice-President of the MD/DE chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. In 2000, Wes started, a site to feature his interactive educational media such as his popular “Drumset Play-Along DVD.” His latest “A Rhythmic Murder Mystery” interactive DVD features a solo electronic drumset concert, which he also performs live. Wes holds Associate Artist relationships with Maryland Drum Company and with Trueline Drumsticks, and he occasionally works as Music Consultant for the not-for-profit Sustainable Environments for Health + Shelter.

    Wes Crawford: Hi! I am Wes Crawford, and now we are going to expand upon our Paradiddle concepts a little bit.

    Remember, we have four paradiddles. We have the single paradiddle which gives para diddle, para diddleWe have the double paradiddle which would be para para diddle, para para diddle.



    The triple paradiddle, para para para diddle, para para para diddle and the paradiddle diddle is, para diddle diddle, para diddle diddle. We did two of each.

    Paras are opposite hands hitting, diddles are the same hand, hitting twice.

    Lets try to put our feet together, hitting together like thisAt the beginning of each paradiddle, just always start feeling the four limbs playing together when we do paradiddles. So, well hit the limbs together, the four limbs together on the very first stroke of each paradiddle.

    So, we are goingpara diddle para diddle para diddle para diddleWell hit these four limbs and add the feet in that is to the very first stroke.

    para diddle para diddleAnd I want to emphasize that these should be practiced on the snare drum as well to sound as even as possible, you dont want one hand sounding louder than the other or any accents right now. It sound like thisNow, lets try the double paradiddle, and again I am going to do my hand on two different sounds so you can hear them better, and we will just play the feet together on the first stroke of the double paradiddles.

    Well now try the para-paraparadiddle, which is the triple paradiddle.

    Notice with each of these paradiddle types each time the feet hit its with an opposite hand, the first time with the right, the next paradiddle type starts with the left, so the feet will be hitting with that.

    So, youll have to get used to changing which hand is hitting with the feet.

    With the paradiddle diddle it keeps coming back to the same hand as youll notice.

    And again, the value in practicing something like this is that you will be able to use these paradiddles more freely and fills in your own beats.