Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Articulation Control with Paradiddles

At the moment I have a couple of students working on Wilcoxon’s “Paradiddle Johnnie” from “Modern Rudimental Swing Solos”.  Both of them are playing really well, but are finding it difficult to control their stick heights/volume so that there is only two distinct levels of sound - accent and unaccented.

In passages such as this one, in “Paradiddle Johnnie”…

…the students are unintentionally producing a third sound by giving additional weight, or emphasis to unaccented notes that fall on a downbeat.  What comes out is a sound that is softer than an accent, but louder that a tap stroke.

So, to help remedy this, I whipped up a simple paradiddle exercise that isolates those phrases, and other ones similar to it.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! Do you think the downbeat accents start naturally at the beginning of the learning process? I’ve used the accents as a tool to help students ‘keep up’ with where they are in the music. Full disclosure: I still have to keep myself in check to make sure I’m not doing it too.
    Thanks for the great teaching tool! I’m stealin’ it!