There was a time when I was obsessed with a Vinnie Colaiuta solo from Zildjian Day, below. Have a look at the video and you may see why. His usual ridiculous chops dazzled me. His rhythmic mastery astounded me. Who would have thought to put the accents there?
Note the following:
- Vinnie really starts to take off at around 2:30 (this is where I became obsessed!);
- Vinnie plays some really fast triplet paradiddle and paradiddle-diddle combos (the subject of this post) at around 2:56 until around 3:00.
After slowing down this solo on my Marantz cassette deck with tone control (and I mean slowing it way down), I was able to hear that this blazingly fast section beginning at 2:56 was most definitely sixteenth note triplets, and that the phrasing was such that it had to be based on paradiddles and paradiddle-diddles.
It sounded so cool that I began to work out some combinations for myself.
It’s a powerful concept, one that is easy to confuse the listener (and your band mates) with, so please use these ideas with care.
Note that I’ve written these out as eighth note triplets, because I think it is easier to digest that way. You can pick little bits of these out as you see fit. They sound pretty cool, and you don’t have to play them at Buddy Rich tempos (like Vinnie does…I clocked that solo at around 160 bpm!!) because the phrasing is interesting enough that they sound good slower as well.
I’ve worked out some more of these besides what is presented here, but I’ll save that for “part 2.”
By the way, thanks to Todd Bishop who writes one of the very best drum blogs on the web, Cruise Ship Drummer! for posting my initial scribble from some scraps of paper that I had lying around in a folder. You can find that post here: From The Zone: Vinnie’s Paradiddle-Diddles
I’ve tried to make them look a bit nicer this time.
Here’s the PDF: Paradiddle Triplet Combinations Part 1
Nasty Lick #35 has arrived! To get us started, here is a video of me soloing, with heavy reliance on Nasty Lick #35. It’s the lick that I keep going back to again and again.
Cool! Now that we’ve seen and heard the lick, let me tell you a little about it. It was inspired by a triplet “roundhouse” pattern that I heard Buddy Rich play in the “At The Top” DVD. The pattern I’m playing is a combination of a left hand leading six stroke roll (LRRLLR) and some single strokes. The transcription of the entire solo you heard/saw above, is available for download here: PDF Transcription of Drum Solo Featuring Nasty Lick 35
Nasty Lick #35 is the lick I play at the very beginning of the solo. Initially, I play it three times (measures 1 – 3; the lick is one measure long). Then I play some jazz time and then I return to it again and play it four times (measures 12-15). Back to some more jazz time and then I play some jazz type phrases and return to the lick again, playing it four times…..(measures 26 through 29). I try to bring the solo to a climax by playing some combinations of left handed six stroke rolls mixed in with triplets played as LLR with the Rights accented (measures 33 through 39), and then, return to the lick one last time, playing it six times.
Besides wanting to show you how this lick can work in the context of a solo, part of what I want to convey here is that it is OK to repeat a phrase during a solo. If you have a great sounding phrase that works for you, feel free to repeat it. During this solo, I play Nasty Lick #35 seventeen times.
Now that you know where Nasty Lick #35 is in the first video, and you have a full transcription of the solo (with the exception of the time playing sections, which I did not feel were important to transcribe note for note), have a look at and listen to the video below, which breaks the lick down very slowly and shows you how to play it around the drums. Here it is:
OK, I think that’s all for now. Have fun with this one, and feel free to ask questions via the comments section.
This is a classic Tony Williams solo. He was just sooooooo good. This makes me want to go practice every time I hear it. In fact, if you don’t feel like practicing, the thing to do is just listen to Tony Williams, because you’ll be certain be inspired.