This idea comes from checking out Steve Gadd on “Samba Song,” from Chick Corea’s “Friends” album. It’s a fantastic example of how you can take patterns you already know and manipulate them to create great sounding drum grooves or licks.
First off, what do we mean by a “reverse” paradiddle? I think of a reverse or backwards paradiddle as the pattern that results from starting in the middle of the paradiddle pattern. Starting with the single paradiddle sticking: RLRR LRLL, we reverse it by playing it as the following: RRLR LLRL. You can also start the “backwards” or “reverse” pattern with your left hand, like this: LLRL RRLR.
To apply this idea to a samba, simply play the reverse paradiddle with your right hand on the hi hat and left hand on the snare, and play the samba bass drum pattern with your bass drum foot beneath it. When playing with my right hand on the hi hat, I choose to omit the left foot part of the standard samba feet pattern (the “ands” when thinking in sixteenth notes, or “two” and “four” when thinking in eighth notes). No left foot necessary. I just like the way it sounds better this way.
If you move your right hand to the ride cymbal, you might consider adding the left foot back into the mix.
Check out the PDF, which lays out a bunch of exercises for you to try.
Here’s the PDF: 10 Exercises To Develop The Reverse Paradiddle Samba
The key to making this sound really cool is to move the accents around with your left hand on the snare. Make sure that the unaccented notes are played very quietly and you’ll have a smoking samba that sounds much harder to play than it is….
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