In the Shed: Paradiddle Raking/String-Crossing Exercise

Sometimes it’s helpful to look beyond our instrument for inspiration and/or practice ideas and I recently started trying to incorporate some basic drum rudiments into my practice routine. Mainly, I’ve been using the paradiddle sticking pattern (i.e. L-R-L-L, R-L-R-R). Instead of dealing with alternating hands or fingers, the pattern can be used as a way of alternating between two adjacent strings, while proceeding through the various rhythmic subdivisions. This originally started as a simple raking exercise for one of my students but has developed a little further and I shared a sample of this exercise recently on Instagram.

Paradiddle Exercise

Download the exercise: Paraddidle Exercise.pdf

Start slowly and work through increasing subdivisions (although the quintuplets here can be treated as optional). Once you get to 32nd notes, start working backwards (eventually ending back at the eighth notes). I arbitrarily picked G as the key here but work on it in many positions on each set of two strings (E-A, A-D, D-G). Happy practicing!