I have recently gotten into rudiments in order to gain better grip control. My practice pad works great for this and I can sit and watch tv or listen to music while going over the 40.

This has me wondering though, once my hands are used to these patterns, how do I apply them across the kit? I'll say off the bat I'm not the most creative drummer so banging across back and forth doesn't really come naturally to me :)

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    I'll just drop by and say that I've never heard of a drum-and-cymbal paradiddle. (I suspect all paradiddles are on one drum only, most likely a snare drum. ...But I guess toms are also a possibility?)
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 3:03
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    Paradiddles can run across anything, they're not limited to one surface. I haven't a clue how to teach anyone to do this, but I found a YouTube tut - youtube.com/watch?v=hHk7oChT4Ik Somewhere on there is one of the all-time greats doing this as a masterclass… but I can't remember who it is, so my google-fu failed :\
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 6:34
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    @Tetsujin - there's a great paradiddle lesson on youtube, Drumeo, given by Dorothea Taylor.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 7:02
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    @Dekkadeci Actually the snare and cymbal or snare and hi hat are the basis of a lot of Dave Garibaldi’s grooves in Tower of Power. It’s also referred to as the King Kong beat. He credits Zigaboo, the drummer from The Meters and Pete DePoe from Redbone for the concept. Here’s a great video where he breaks it down: youtu.be/JIemsK_0lXc Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 7:09
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    1. I wouldn't do this while watching TV because you're going to benefit more by listening carefully to what you're doing. 2. I don't think that applying rudiments on the drum set is the best way of extending your creativity on the drum set. Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 1:17

3 Answers 3


There are many ways to do it. It depends on many factors, like:

  • your actual skill level (confine yourself to what you mastered by today)
  • genre
  • kind of rhythmic feel to convey etc.

Let's assume you practiced a paradiddle like RLRL LRLR. What can you do with it? (This holds for any other drum pattern besides paradiddles, too)

  1. The obvious choice: all on-snare.

  2. Variation on-snare: change accents, e.g. Rlrl lRlr.

  3. Assign each hand to one drum/cymbal:

  • R = Tom, L = Snare
  • or L = Cymbal, R = Snare
  1. You may also want to have a look at linear drumming, where you only hit one drum/cymbal at a time, e.g. split for L and R:
  • R: HT - LT - | - CY - CR

  • L: - SN - SN | SN - HT -

  1. You may want to decide wrt. HiHat and BassDrum to
  • include them in these distribution schemes
  • separate them, i.e. let them run in their steady pattern

And many more: just "walk around" the drumset.



The 40 standard drum rudiments (as listed by the Percussive Arts Society) make more sense in the context of "rudimental drumming"- think concert snare drum, drumlines (both corps-style and HBCU). They weren't compiled for the drumset. That isn't to say that you shouldn't learn them (they are great for developing coordination), or that can't use them, but applying all the rudiments to the drumset is probably not the best way to expand your drumming. (I don't know what kind of music you're trying to play here).

Rudiments like the ratamacue, flam drag, triple stroke roll- I would only use that if I were trying to imitate the style of a rudimental drummer on the snare, or perhaps just trying to play something fast and weird for a drum solo. It's totally not idiomatic for the music I play. I believe that for drumset, by far the most useful rudiments are the single stroke roll, paradiddle (and all its variants), and flam (+ flam tap, flam accent).

Here's a few ways drummers commonly incorporate these rudiments-

Diddle rudiments effectively let you switch hands during a continuous string of notes. For example, if you wanted to play RlrlRlrlRlrlRlrlr, but you also wanted the third accent to be on the left hand (maybe to hit an extra tom off to your left)- You can incorporate paradiddles (RlrlRlrrLrllRlrl). They also let you conserve energy in fast continuous 16th note rhythms with accents (RlrlRlrlrlRlrlrl vs RlrlRlrrllRlrrll or RlrrLrllrrLrllrr).

Flams let you add a note on another piece of your set without breaking up the main rhythm. For example, if you were playing a "march" style rhythm on the snare, and you wanted a crash cymbal on the downbeat, but didn't want to interrupt the march to hit the crash, I could play the crash as a "flam" with the grace note still on the snare. Note that flams in a rudimental setting are normally played with the grace note slightly before the beat, and often with a grace note quieter than a typical tap. When used on a drumset like I described, the grace note should fall exactly on the beat and be the same dynamic level as the other taps.

The multiple bounce roll does get used on the drumset, but typically only on the snare. Same with the double stroke roll, although this one translates to cymbals well too.

The n-stroke rolls are just extensions of the double stroke roll in my mind. Play the roll on a snare and the accented note on any other piece of the kick (probably a crash cymbal+kick).


When I took drum lessons as a kid one teacher used a book called "Traveling Around the Drums Rudimentally". As I recall it had fills an solos written out using most of the rudiments... although there were only 26 rudiments at that time!

It's long out of print, but maybe you can find a copy. It does have an Amazon page: Traveling Around the Drums Rudimentally

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