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.