20 Apr, 2016

Flam Paradiddle Workout

Technique

Here’s a great workout for your hands based around the Flam Paradiddle. In these exercises we are moving both the flams and accents through a grid system to create 16 variations of the initial rudiment. It was first shown to me by the great jazz drummer Joshua Morrison (Stacey Kent, Round Trip). We were talking about the 4 different types of strokes (full stroke, down stroke, tap and up stroke) and he showed me this as a great tool for demonstrating how they are used.

GETTING GRIDDY WITH IT
I’ve been a little naughty here by giving you this as the first example of a grid exercise because this is actually a double grid. By moving both the flams and accents through the grid system we end up with 16 variations of the Flam Paradiddle. In rows #1, #2, #3 and #4 the flam is delayed by a 16 note each time. In columns #A, #B, #C and #D the accent is delayed by a 16th note each time. All the while the paradiddle sticking (RLRR LRLL) remains the same.

THE 4 TYPES OF STROKES
I’ll give a more in depth lesson on the four types of stroke in another post, but for now here’s a quick review:

  • Full Stroke
    Used for accented strokes, the stick begins high and rebounds to the same height as it began. (Ready to play another full stroke or a down stroke).
     
  • Down Stroke
    Used for accented strokes, the stick begins high and stays down. (Ready to play a tap or an up stroke)
     
  • Tap
    Used for non-accented strokes, the stick begins low and stays low after the stroke. (Ready to play another tap or an up stroke)
     
  • Up Stroke
    Used for non-accented strokes the stick begins low and rebounds high. (Ready for either a full stroke or a down stroke)
     

HOW THEY USED IN THESE EXERCISES?
Every time either the flam or accent is moved it changes how we have to prepare for the next stroke. For example, the first right hand stroke in #1A is played as a down stroke. But in #1B this becomes a tap, and in #1C it’s an up stroke.

CAN YOU WORK OUT WHICH STROKES YOU NEED WHERE?
You’ll notice some of the exercises are a lot harder than others. If you find any particularly difficult make a note of them and add them to your daily practice until they are smooth and effortless. This will really help improve your ability to prepare for different types of strokes! (Note: the only stroke NOT used in these exercises is the full stroke)

CONTACT
Let me know how you get on with this by leaving a comment below! Better still, make a practice video and upload it to the Drumadiddle Facebook page. Remember to tag your videos #WarmUpWednesday!