In this lesson you will be taking the Basic Paradiddle Groove learned back in level 2 and switching the time signature to 6/8. This groove will be a two bar pattern and it can be very difficult to get the hand of. 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 6/8 contains 6 quaver beats in a bar grouped as dotted crotchets so the paradiddle both won't entirely fill a bar and won't tie in with the natural grouping of notes for this time signature. The result of this is that the each occurance of the paradiddle will start in an odd place in relation to the bar line and beams.
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. Working on our Basic Paradiddle Groove As A 3/4 Waltz may help with the content on this page as the groupings are quite similar.
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 6/8. The cymbal part looks like this:
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 accenting beat 1 of each bar also. Note that the second bar is the exact reverse in sticking of the first bar.
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. This time you are going to place them in the natural common time 6/8 placement, which is on the fourth quaver count. That looks like this:
In the sticking below the part I have highlighed the hands that are playing the snare. In the first bar the snare is played with the right and the second the left. The most difficult part of this is getting the double strokes in as you will be playing a snare then immediately jumping back to a cymbal with the same hand. This movement may take a lot of work but will be worth as the grooves sound pretty cool.
Play this a long with a metronome starting very slow, spend some time getting comfortable with the timing and speeding the pattern up. 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.
Next up you'll be adding in bass drums. These will be restricted to crotchets and quavers for now but semi quavers are also an option. A few examples of this are given 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.
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 version and the 3/4 waltz version so hopefully you will find them relatively 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:
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.
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 linked lesson on the 4/4 version of the idea, 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 6/8 grooves that have this idea applied.
- Using the Two Minute Rule, learn the grooves given above to a tempo of around 120bpm.
- Create further variations on each pattern either by varying the kick part or the hand placement and orchestration.
- Experiment with creating short phrases where this idea is used as a groove, fill or both.
- Add a left foot count. This will make some of the hi hats open and will add to the complexity of the parts.