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Fievel

Diddles Explained

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Great stuff.

Glad to see he accents his diddles like I do. Old habits...

Amen, that's how I was taught as well...

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So, a double stroke roll is not a series of equal diddles but is actually supposed to be a series of "accented" drags? Just asking.

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"A diddle is two beats played on the same hand, but played in the same rhythm as the other beats." (Says Dennis) So, a double stroke roll is made up up diddles.

Dennis admits the vernacular changes over time. Drumming isn't something to be explained with words, you have to see it to get it usually. If drummers wanna call drags "diddles", I say go for it.

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..."A diddle is two beats played on the same hand, but played in the same rhythm as the other beats." (Says Dennis) So, a double stroke roll is made up up diddles...

Therein lies the conundrum: By "his" definition double-stroke 32nd note rolls such as five-stroke rolls, six-stroke rolls, seven-stroke rolls, nine-stroke rolls, ten-stroke rolls, eleven stroke rolls, and thirteen stroke rolls cannot be diddles *because* all of them have at least one note with a duration other than a 32nd.

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Therein lies the conundrum: By "his" definition double-stroke 32nd note rolls such as five-stroke rolls, six-stroke rolls, seven-stroke rolls, nine-stroke rolls, ten-stroke rolls, eleven stroke rolls, and thirteen stroke rolls cannot be diddles *because* all of them have at least one note with a duration other than a 32nd.

The entire concept of naming combinations of stickings has always seemed a little silly to me. Its very limiting. I think Stone had it figured out with his "stick control" book. All rudiments are are stickings with names attached. These days, every middle school kid is forced to learn those rudiments in a vacuum, and as a result has no idea what they actually mean, or how they relate to anything. The same thing happens with the "all district" format for scales on tonal instruments. How about we teach these kids how to play stickings and scales rather than imply that those concepts only occur in those specific ways. Instead of setting useless bench marks like the rest of the educational world which teach kids to a set of isolated criteria (like most of the rest of the educational world), lets teach them how to actually speak the language. I know I don't sight read a piece of music and think to myself, oh, its a 5 stroke roll. No, I see a slash through a note, I play a double stroke roll for the length of that note. I see a grace note and I think of a grace note. I'm not trying to figure out what flam rudiment they wrote. People don't write music that way either. I certainly don't think "oh, I'll write a flam drag followed by a paradiddle". Nope. I hear music in my head and I write it down. I sort out the stickings later if I'm not sure what I want.

Are some sticking combinations more common than others? Sure. But we've allowed ourselves to get so married to the "PAS 40" that we're stunting the growth of a lot of our young drummers. There's a reason so many high school percussion programs are completely unmusical.

**end of rant

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Interesting thread.

I think actucker comes closest to the truth about musicianship. I've been through Stone and Chapin, et al., and have found that a combination of technique and musicality works very well. I know what a drag is and how to exxecute it, but what is the most effective way to use it given the music you are playing?

Those of you who play both straight rudimental and set drumming know that you can change instantaneously between the styles based on what serves the music best. One might use an open drag or a smear where appropriate for the music, but you have to be able to play the technique before you try to execute it. Likewise you need to have an idea of what fits with the music. This, to me, is a big part of musicianship.

When you are playing a set you have a lot of options in front of you and technique comes into play as well as decision making. Should I use an open roll here, or closed?

My point is, that a diddle is a very effective technique. How it is used is the drummer's choice, but it should still be taught with an interest towards its place in musicality

Kevin Doherty (kdoh)

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The entire concept of *naming* combinations of stickings has always seemed a little silly to me. Its very limiting. I think Stone had it figured out with his "stick control" book. All rudiments are are stickings with names attached. These days, every middle school kid is forced to learn those rudiments in a vacuum, and as a result has no idea what they actually mean, or how they relate to anything. The same thing happens with the "all district" format for scales on tonal instruments. How about we teach these kids how to play stickings and scales rather than imply that those concepts only occur in those specific ways. Instead of setting useless bench marks like the rest of the educational world which teach kids to a set of isolated criteria (like most of the rest of the educational world), lets teach them how to actually speak the language. I know I don't sight read a piece of music and think to myself, oh, its a 5 stroke roll. No, I see a slash through a note, I play a double stroke roll for the length of that note. I see a grace note and I think of a grace note. I'm not trying to figure out what flam rudiment they wrote. People don't write music that way either. I certainly don't think "oh, I'll write a flam drag followed by a paradiddle". Nope. I hear music in my head and I write it down. I sort out the stickings later if I'm not sure what I want.

Are some sticking combinations more common than others? Sure. But we've allowed ourselves to get so married to the "PAS 40" that we're stunting the growth of a lot of our young drummers. There's a reason so many high school percussion programs are completely unmusical.

**end of rant

Music is a language; rhythm is part of that language; and naming rhythms within that language is certainly a logical construct. To counter here: by your reasoning, (and for you to be consistent), the concept of *naming* a combination of pitches (ie naming chords) would therefore also seem a little silly to you; the concept of naming styles (ie straight v swing) would also seem a little silly to you; etc...

Edited by Stu
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Music is a language; rhythm is part of that language; and naming rhythms within that language is certainly a logical construct. To counter here: by your reasoning, (and for you to be consistent), the concept of *naming* a combination of pitches (ie naming chords) would therefore also seem a little silly to you; the concept of naming styles (ie straight v swing) would also seem a little silly to you; etc...

I've always looked at rudiments as being the rhythmic alphabet.

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