Sticking For The Standard Paradiddle In 5/8

Applying the standard rudiment sticking in an inappropriate compound time signature.

The standard paradiddle is a relatively simple rudiment that involves playing two single strokes followed by a double over various different note values and in a previous lesson you have covered this in the time signature of 4/4. In this lesson you will be switching this to 5/8. If you have covered the 4/4 version of this lesson the exercises given here will be much easier and you can find this linked at the bottom of the page. The intention of this lesson is to familiarize you with the new time signature and how this sticking moves within it.

Unlike 4/4, the time signature of 5/8 can't really be described as 'simple' as the bottom note is an '8'. That means that all notes are most commonly grouped into blocks of 3 or 6 and you get five quavers worth of note values for every bar. I have included links to more detailed lessons on this subject at the bottom of the page. A paradiddle is a two beat movement, so doesn't really fit with either the 5 note grouping of the time signature or the 6 note grouping of the compound feel. You will notice that in the notation below, the rudiment is spread over four bars rather than the usual one. This represents the minimum number of times the rudiment can be played so that it starts again on the first right hand of the rudiments sticking. Once you start playing through the exercises this will make more sense.

Listed below are two versions of the paradiddle applied to the time signature of 5/8, the first with standard sticking and the second with reverse.

Exercise 1

A Paradiddle in 5/8 with standard sticking. Notice that the sticking for the third and fourth bars is the exact reverse of the first and second.

A Paradiddle in 5/8 with standard sticking

Exercise 2

A Paradiddle in 5/8 with reverse sticking. Notice that again, the sticking for the second bar is the exact reverse of the first.

A Paradiddle in 5/8 with reverse sticking


  • Learn the patterns up to a temp of at least 130bpm.
  • Add feet to the parts.
  • Orchestrate the parts.
  • Apply the sticking to other time signatures.
  • Apply different rudiment stickings in 5/8.