Basic Paradiddle Groove In 5/4

Translating the level 2 basic paradiddle groove to the time signature of 5/4 using a common time feel.

In this lesson you will be taking the Basic Paradiddle Groove learned back in level 2, switching the time signature to 5/4 the placing snares in a common time feel. This groove will be a two bar pattern and it can be quite tricky. The part will be built of 16th notes and when a paradiddle is played in this way it will take up 2 beats worth of space. However, the time signature of 5/4 contains 5 beats in a bar meaning the paradiddle phrasing won't end in line with the end of the bar. The result of this is that the second occurance of the paradiddle is spread over the bar, meaning bar 2 starts half way through a paradiddle giving it the reverse sticking of bar 1. That also means the snares in bar will be played on the opposite hand to bar 1. This makes for some interesting options in groove construction.

Through this page I will help you build up to a basic version of this groove and then I will show some simple variations to it. You can find links to previous lessons on this topic at the bottom of the page, I advise looking through some of these to get a basic understanding of the ideas presented.


The Cymbals

If you remember back to the first 4/4 version of this groove, the cymbal part is just the right hand on the ride and the left on the hi hat. Let's start by learning just this part to give you a feel of the way the paradiddle fits within 5/4. The cymbal part looks like this:

The hands for this groove idea

I have included phrase markings over the top to indicate where each occurance of the paradiddle falls. This isn't an indication of how accents will fall in the full groove, it is purely to help you understand what is happening. Spend some time playing this part slowly with a metronome to get a feel for the timing, try accent beat 1 of each bar also.


Adding Snares

In the straight 4/4 version of this part the snares fell on beats 2 and 4 and were always played with a left hand. In this version the snares still going to land on beats 2 and 4 but in bar one these will be played with the left hand and in bar two the right. Like this:

Adding snares to the groove

In the sticking below the part I have highlighed the hands that are playing the snare. Play this a long with a metronome starting very slow, focusing on the timing then speed up the part when you are comfortable with it. Aim for a tempo of at least 100bpm but the higher the better. Remember, when working on tempo you need to make sure your strokes remain accurate, if things start getting sloppy slow the click back down.


Adding Kicks

Next up you'll be adding in bass drums. These will be restricted to crotchets and quavers for now but semi quavers are obviously also an option. A few examples of this are given in below, getting gradually more difficult as you move on. Take your time with each part and make sure your timing is accurate before progressing to the next pattern. Use the given parts as a starting point to create your own kick patterns under the hands.

Example 1

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove

Example 2

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove

Example 3

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove

Example 4

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove

Example 5

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove

Simple Variations

I'll now show you two simple variations that can easily be applied to the above patterns with minimal effort. These are both concepts that have been applied to both the 4/4 and 3/4 versions so hopefully you will find them quite straight forward. I haven't included the obvious variation of shifting the hands to a different set of cymbals or replacing the snares with toms but do experiment with those ideas as many more groove patterns can be created that way.

First of all, rather than playing cymbals you could use toms. To do this move the right hand from the ride to the floor tom and the left from the hi hat to the high tom. Obviously other toms could be used but that is my prefered way of doing it. In this case the hands would now look like this:

Orchestrating the groove on the toms

This perhaps looks far more complicated than it is, remember to follow the same pattern as when you were using cymbals and you should be fine. Below I've given a couple of examples of the part with bass drums applied.

Example 1

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove using toms

Example 2

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove using toms

Example 3

A 5/4 common time paradiddle groove using toms

The last variation can get incredibly complicated so I will just give a brief explanation as there will be a separate lesson on this. Using Decorative Toms, as in the lesson on the 4/4 version of the idea linked at the bottom of the page, will create some really complex and very cool sounding parts. This will just involve moving a hand from the cymbals to a tom at set points in the bar but the movements are very demanding on co ordination and independance. Have a look at the lesson I've linked to and try creating some 5/4 grooves that have this idea applied.


TASKS

  1. Using the Two Minute Rule, learn the grooves given above to a tempo of around 120bpm.
  2. Create further variations on each pattern either by varying the kick part or the hand placement and orchestration.
  3. Experiment with creating short phrases where this idea is used as a groove, fill or both.
  4. Add a left foot count. This will make some of the hi hats open and will add to the complexity of the parts.