Paradiddle / Hat Problem

double bass man

Junior Member
Playing the paradiddle on the snare in time on it's own--no problem. Playing the hat on beats 2 and 4 and snare in 4/4--no problem.
But trying to play the paradiddle on the snare and keep the hat playing on 2/4 the 2/4 on the hat 'is all over the place'. I can play both the hat--on 2/4---the paradiddle on the snare at a 'snails pace' but increasing the tempo the hat 2/4 has a mind of it's own.
Would the answer be: Just keep at it--increasing the tempo very slowly? Did you have this problem?
Hope my question makes sense.


Platinum Member
Slow it down until it makes sense, but not so slow that it does not. This may be more of a hearing issue than a coordination problem. You may just not hear what it should sound like.

If you start off on the R hand, your 2 and 4 will be on your L hand when you begin the L paradiddle.

Trying shifting your RH to the rim or HH and leave your LH on the snare. Hearing a backbeat may help.

You could also foot the HH on all upbeats (&) which would be on the first stroke of every double. This could help you feel the time and the subdivisions available to you.

Playing 4 on the floor or 1 and 3 with your right foot could help as well. Get that walking motion going. If all else fails, actually walk R L R L and play the paradiddle on your chest or thighs.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Would the answer be: Just keep at it--increasing the tempo very slowly?

Unless something screams out at me when I see you play, pretty much.

Coordination is not the same as doing things individually.

To tackle the coordination thing maybe add a few other things like singles, doubles, 4 on each hand etc.. Make it clean and feel good first. Also have fun with it. Move to different drums and so on..


Platinum Member
Try concentrating on the Snare/HH simultaneous hits- like sea-sawing back and fourth between hands.

Assuming eighth notes by paradiddiling hands over 'every other' quarter noting foot on HH...
rlRr lrLl
...where your foot is just playing the bolded R and L...but being very aware those notes are unison with altering hands.

Play this accented without the foot...when comfy, apply the foot as the accent. Not always so simple to mix hands and feet, but it will come!

If it's snarly, try playing all quarter notes(1 2 3 4) with the foot...trying to accent your HH foot along with the accent from your hands....eventually working to make the 1 3 foot so quiet it fades out.

After mastering you can break this unison illusion and work on reclaiming the 'independence of ignorance' by a bit of 'Harrison-esque' beat displacement...that is, move the HH foot back or forward one sixteenth note while hands are going in a paradiddle at eighth you back some of the illusion of independence that the illusion of unison took away.

It's all about how you perceive and the ability to swap out perceptions in real time.

BTW, I always try to avoid rote 2&4 HH chicking...and instead use that texture when I want it...not as a timing crutch...and yes, I have studied chapin : ) I fully accept and respect other approaches.
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Rock Salad

Junior Member
That’s what I do, is go real slow first. There’s all kinds of things that confuse me. Absolutely ”chick” on 2&4. Have fun with the weird L foot stuff that comes out too, But being able to do 2&4 is kinda crucial.


Platinum Member
What I wish I could have told my younger 'drumming' self...

...Don't learn from one perspective.

Look for the feeling of what you are learning...then search out another feel for the same pattern....never rely on muscle memory...always stay in the present aware of how you are seeing what you are playing and always develop more than one way to see it.

Flip the bar around the notes...redefine what you are playing so you hear it as 'on the beat' as well as shifted an eighth note forward as 'off the beat' (in an assumed eighth note over 4/4 paradigm)

Treat your perspective of what you are playing as another variable as valid as the striking points. Be as agile with that perspective as with your strikes.

Seems this is harder to re-learn after years of muscle memory single perspective playing than it would have been to try and keep my natural sensation of any perspective being illusory.


Senior Member
Good advice so far. Especially the suggestions to bring in the right/kick. I'm a big fan of 4 limbs in all foundation exercises.

If 4/4 on the kick is too much at first, go basic - 1/3 with the right/kick, and the 2/4 with the left/hi-hat. Just like walking! :D Playing 16th notes, the hands and feet will be playing the downbeats/accents at the same time.

Set your metronome to a manageable (for you) tempo, and play the pattern for a long stretch. If you mess up, don't sweat it. Keep going and work out the kinks. Once that tempo begins to feel comfy (could be days or weeks), bump it up 5bpm and repeat the process.


New member
I'm new to the forum. Great advice! I agree with slowing down but I'd try breaking it down to smaller parts or simpler rhythms. By smaller parts I mean try isolating the problem area: wherever you're getting tripped up, and forget about tempo and rhythm and focus on the independence aspect. Then go back and play the exercise at a slow tempo and repeat it over and over.

Are you playing the paradiddle in 8th or 16th notes? Try, as a few have suggested, playing the BD on 1 & 3, HH on 2 & 4 and play the paradiddle in quarters for a few measures at an easy tempo, 60 bpm or slower, for example. Once this is comfortable and you can play it for 4-8 measures without error increase the challenge. Keep the feet going and play the paradiddle in 8ths. When you can do this comfortably, try it at a slightly faster tempo (2-4 clicks faster on a metronome). Keep slightly increasing the tempo in this manner till you get to a tempo that is challenging. Then go back to the original tempo and play the paradiddle in 16ths. Gradually increasing the tempo again. Independence and coordination exercises are fun and challenging. There are a lot of creative exercises you can develop using the Stick Control book.


Silver Member
Once you can do the individul parts, put them together as slowly as you need to to play it right. Play it that way for a good while, like half an hour if you have the patience. Then do it again tomorrow. I swear if you do it daily it will feel fast and natural in a month. Your nervous system just has to develop itself, give it time and daily repetition.


"Uncle Larry"
If you can't sing it, you can't play it.

So simply verbalize the 2 and 4 with your voice only, while just your hands play the paradiddles, and let your HH foot stay still.

It's important that you verbalize it out loud.

Once you are confident singing it, playing it should pretty much be there.

It's 100% a mental coordination hurdle. But once you clear it, it's yours for life.

If you can already count...out loud... 1-e-and-a, 2-e-and-a, 3-e-and-a, 4-e-and-a...while you are playing are already doing it.

Just line the HH chicks up with the 2 and 4.

My guess is you can't sing it out loud yet because if you could...I don't think you would be having this trouble, as the 2 and the 4 are right there for you to hear. I may be off there.

If it's easier to play the bass drum on 1, 2, 3 and 4, start with that and try to unison the hi hat with the bass drum
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Junior Member
Maybe try playing a heel/toe with the HH foot. A rocking motion if you will. Heel down on 1, toe on 2, etc. That's the way I was taught at the start.