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Lesson 27: Paradiddles on Piano – Level 1

Remember those paradiddle rhythms we tapped out on our laps? Now, it’s time to take that rhythm and put it into action on the piano. Paradiddles might sound like something just for drummers, but they’re helpful for us piano players too. We’re going to use paradiddles to help make your sense of rhythm even stronger. Unfortunately, rhythm doesn’t get as much attention as it should. Let’s change that and have some fun with paradiddles on the piano!

Understanding the Lesson Content:

  1. New Notes Introduced: Be aware that this lesson includes notes we haven’t covered yet in this absolute beginner module. However, since the focus here is on rhythm rather than sight-reading, it’s perfectly fine to rely on the video demonstration to learn the exercise. The exercise features one repeating interval in the right hand and three different intervals in the left hand.
  2. Practice at Comfortable Tempos: Start by practicing at a tempo that challenges you but is still manageable. The goal isn’t speed but precision. Once you have a rock-solid rhythm at a slower tempo, gradually increase your speed
  3. When to Move On: Aim to play the exercise at the speeds demonstrated in the video, two times in a row without any mistakes. Pay close attention to maintaining a tight and precise rhythm.

Bonus Insight: I find practicing paradiddles incredibly rewarding, not just for rhythm training but also for opening up creative possibilities. When I first started practicing them, my improvisation skills evolved in exciting new ways.

Check it out here in this YouTube Lesson.

The Importance of Rhythm for Pianists: One of the biggest challenges for many piano players is rhythm. They struggle with holding the tempo, feeling the tempo, and playing in sync with a metronome. Unfortunately, few pianists recognize this as a significant problem. When they find it difficult to play with others, they often draw the wrong conclusion, thinking, "I am not good enough to play with other people. I think I am still missing some knowledge about melody and harmony to overcome this problem." But this is a misconception. Remember, rhythm is as important as melody and harmony. Try to make rhythm your ally. Treat it with respect and attention. This paradiddle exercise on the piano is the perfect starting point for developing a strong relationship with rhythm.