taradiddle - another etymological challenge?

James E. Clapp jeclapp at WANS.NET
Mon Aug 30 17:27:37 UTC 1999

Swain, Bill wrote:
> Ask any percussionist and they'll tell you it's a type of drumming pattern
> used on a snare drum...

As already noted, that's a paradiddle.  The strokes are LRLL RLRR LRLL RLRR,
etc.--but evenly spaced.  For mnemonic purposes you can think of each stroke
corresponding to one syllable of the name.

The double paradiddle has two extra strokes:  LRLRLL RLRLRR LRLRLL, etc.  As
you play it you can hear in your mind "paraparadiddle paraparadiddle ..."

Then there's the flam paradiddle, a.k.a. the flamadiddle--a paradiddle in
which the first stroke of each set of four is a flam (which is two actually
two strokes very close together, with accent on the second stroke). Of
course, as you practice it you hear in your mind "flamadiddle flamadiddle

These basic drumming patterns are called the rudiments.  There are
twenty-six.  The easier and more basic are "the first thirteen"; the more
difficult and advanced are "the second thirteen."

For our next lesson:  the triple ratamacue.  (Which I may be misspelling.
It's been a while since I was in the high school band.)

James E. Clapp

More information about the Ads-l mailing list