Achieving Limb Independence While Playing - Advanced Drum Lesson

Paradiddle reloaded

Playing the drums is a truly special experience that brings a sense of joy and fulfillment. The unique ability to use both hands and feet independently opens up a world of possibilities. From the very beginning, my first drum teacher imparted invaluable advice that has stayed with me throughout my musical journey. Their words were simple yet profound: "Focus on synchronizing the elements that should sound together, and then tackle the individual beats one at a time." This guidance has been instrumental in unraveling complex rhythms and honing my drumming skills.

In the world of drumming, each musical style has its own way of establishing tempo. Jazz, for example, relies on higher-pitched sounds, often produced by cymbals or the snare drum, to set the rhythm. In contrast, genres like rock or metal utilize deeper, lower-pitched sounds, punctuating the return to the beat with a powerful bass drum hit.

Once you have mastered foundational rudiments with your hands, such as the paradiddle, it becomes worthwhile to explore their integration with your feet. An interesting exercise involves substituting the right-hand hits with your right foot. This means that the beats typically played by your right hand are now produced by your right foot on the bass drum. This approach frees up your right hand, giving you the opportunity to experiment with incorporating triplets on the hi-hat or ride cymbal. For those seeking an even greater challenge, you can expand your repertoire by introducing accented triplets, switching hands, or involving both hands and feet in accordance with the paradiddle pattern.

Paradiddle with bass drum and triplets


A common pitfall that many drummers encounter is neglecting the importance of counting while playing. Yet, the ability to actively keep track of the beats (1, 2, 3, 4) while executing a given rhythm is a fundamental skill that should not be underestimated. Although it may be initially challenging, mastering this skill yields profound benefits. It not only enhances your overall musicianship but also facilitates effective communication with your bandmates. When everyone in the band counts along, musical conversations become more fluid, productive, and enriching, surpassing the limitations of vocal cues to indicate specific moments within a song.

Playing and counting

Quick quizz: Why is it important to be able to count and play at the same time?
Effective communication with your bandmates

🎉 Congratulations on finishing the begginer course! 🥳

Now keep practicing and never stop drumming!