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The Last Paradiddle? The Drumming Venture a Year In.

Posted by fiddlepogo on Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Okay, it's been just a little more than a year since I got the used cheapie drumset.  It's set up in the living room with muting pads on the head, and plastic bags in the toms, and plastic bags in a pillowcase in the bass drum...  and a bandanna over the ride cymbal, and Moongels on the hi-hat.  No crash cymbal, they're too... CRASHY!

The "found percussion" addiction continues.  If it's made of wood, aluminum, or stainless steel, I'll tap on it, and if it sounds good tapped with a fingernail, and is at a thrift shop for low price or on the free table, it just may go home with me!

I play the drum set almost every day, sometimes several times a day, partly as exercise.   It also seems to act as a kind of therapy for my lifelong clumsiness- getting all the extremities working together on a project seems to help!  Actually I don't think it's making me that much LESS clumsy.... but I think it's helping me maintain my coordination as I get older, which is important, I think.

About a month ago I finally broke down and bought a REAL drum pad, and keep it by the computer for short impromptu practice sessions.

I'm still using the "traditional grip".

Also about a month ago, I played my first freebie gig with the drumset.  It didn't go as good as I'd hoped, but not as bad as I'd feared, so I'd say it was a good first gig!

I like Vic Firth sticks best- I started with Steve Gadds and Dave Weckls, also using Dave Weckl Evolutions some.  To my surprise, I've started using some standard Vic Firth 7A sticks, and am liking them... they are my current default choice. I also have a pair of George Kollians.   I buy close out models or factory seconds whenever possible.  The factory seconds often got too much paint on them at the factory, so I use baking soda on damp paper towel as a rubbing compound to thin the finish and tweak the balance if it's off. The first quality sticks are more likely to just get polished with a coffee filter to make them a tad lighter if they are too heavy. Pogo's GOT to tweak his sticks, whether bow sticks or drum sticks!  Like with my bows, while I have my favorites, switching around seems to keep me adaptable and sometimes inspires different grooves.

I had started with the standard paradiddle (RLRRLRLL) that's the rhythmic equivalent of the Jingle Bells Shuffle, but the popularity equivalent of Nashville Shuffle among drummers.... to the point where drummers can get dissed if they use it too much!

Then I learned the Reverse Paradiddle, which IS the rhythmic equivalent of the Nashville Shuffle (RRLRLLRL)

Then the Inverse Paradiddle, which is the equivalent of Offset Nashville. (RLLRLRRL)

About that time I learned the Broken Paradiddle, which is the equivalent of Syncoshuffle (RLLRLLRL)

Then I learned the similar RRLRRLRL, for which I've never learned a similar bowing pattern. (2-1-2-1-1-1) Maybe I oughta give it a try!

Both those patterns have the 3's into 4/4 Hemiola thing I like so much, and extended them both into 16 beat patterns, which are very close in flavor to a Double Shuffle on the fiddle:


Recently I learned the Outside Inverse Paradiddle, which is RLRLLRLR.

When you play an extended series of them, the last R and the first R go together as a pair, the equivalent of slurring over the 4 and 5 and 8 and 1 notes.  So the 8 is kind of a lead-in for the 1.  I like it, because it sounds really bluesy.  I tried the bowing equivalent on June Apple, and can get it to KIND OF work, but it's not smoothed out enough to know if it will be really useful for anything.

That's the last obvious standard length paradiddle.   I am now trying to play them all in a series where I do four of each, then switch to another one without skipping a beat if possible.  The goal is to get the switching to happen without a hitch and without thinking about them at all.  Like with bowing, in a real life playing situation, analysis is TOO SLOW, you have to just INTUIT what to do, and you can only do that with stuff stored in your subconscious.

The biggest challenge has been MY TWO LEFT FEET.   I''ve been doing good to keep a steady Right/Left, Right/Left going on the bass and hi hat.  Recently though I've been practicing dropping out both bass and high hat, or dropping out just the high hat.  And I'm starting to do paradiddles between the bass drum and a tom to get the bass drum foot more coordinated, and capable of something besides boom-boom-boom-boom!!!-+

I've managed to hold the line on buying any new drum shells.  Well, I DID buy a darbuka (Turkish hand drum).  I did get close to buying a small snare, then a timbale.  I thought I would really be wanting more expensive cymbals, but my Sabian B8s are doing fine.... they are rock cymbals, but I don't hit them like a rocker.... I use a light touch.  I find them crisper than the expensive cymbals, and because I use a light touch, they aren't as harsh as they would be if hit them hard.

But I have bought a spare used hi-hat stand, a spare used snare stand, and a spare used cymbal stand.  The idea is to keep them folded up in a old laundry hamper ready to go for a gig... I don't want to have to totally tear apart my drum set at home, and it saves time... folding up the stands is the most clumsy, time consuming part of transporting the drums for me.  I've considered getting another 20 inch bass drum for the same reason... leaving that and the stands in place at home would mean all I had to do was snag the snares, toms, and cymbals... and the pedal to put on the cart.  The efficiency is important.... without a PA, I can load my instruments or unload them in 1 trip to the car.  With drums, it's 2 trips MINIMUM!  So whatever I can have ready to go out the door would really help.

3 comments on “The Last Paradiddle? The Drumming Venture a Year In.”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Sunday, September 28, 2014 @7:38:50 PM ya play any modal drum lics?

fiddlepogo Says:
Monday, September 29, 2014 @10:37:47 AM


fiddlepogo Says:
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 @11:08:29 PM

Actually though, now that I think about it, it's POSSIBLE-
I have enough "found percussion" items to be able to arrange them in SCALES. Most likely is that the scales are pentatonic, but I haven't really analyzed them. If I were to analyze them, who knows, maybe there's a Dorian or Mixolydian mode in there.

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