Another entry in our “Rudimental Reed” series, in which we outline some methods for apply rudiments to the long exercises in Ted Reed’s Syncopation, this time using paradiddles. Here’s that well-known opening line from the first long syncopation exercise in Reed, p. 37 in the old editions, as written:
First, play the quarter notes (or the equivalent) as 16th note paradiddles. On the longer values/rests, play a paradiddle with an unaccented ending note, as on beat three of the second and last measures:
Next, apply an appropriate paradiddle-type sticking to the longer values/spaces— double paradiddles / paradiddle-diddles, or triple paradiddles / paradiddle-diddle, diddles as I’ll call them (there aren’t enough commas in rudiment names for my taste) since that rudiment doesn’t exist to my knowledge. I chose the latter rudiments:
With that last, we arrive at something pretty similar to an interpretation in Ramsay’s Alan Dawson book; the one additional step there is to play the 8th notes as two alternating 16th notes, with an accent on the first.
Another example after the break:
Here’s line five of the same study as written:
Adding paradiddles (plus soft ending note on long values):
Adding longer paradiddle rudiments:
We’ve been playing these as even 8th notes, but you can put this into a swing setting by just playing rhythms a little more legato, stretching the on-the-beat 8th notes a bit; note that it won’t fit precisely onto the rigid triplet grid which a lot of people use to make a swing feel. It will just have a little more of a lilt to it.