I don’t normally post exercises (that’s what the video lessons are for), but this one is really good.

The “criss-cross paradiddles” exercise is built around playing the single paradiddle pattern with both your hands AND your feet.  Like this…

R/K – L/H – R/K – R/K – L/H – R/K – L/H – L/H      (pattern A)

The “R” stands for right hand, and the “L” for left hand (both on snare).  The kick and hihat foot are represented with “K” and “H.”  So, “R/K” means right hand with kick, and so forth.  The above pattern is the main deal, so spend some time practicing that.

Next, try this…

L/K – R/H – L/K – L/K – R/H – L/K – R/H – R/H      (pattern B)

In this instance, the feet have remained in the same pattern as the first example, but the hands have inverted themselves, so the right hand now locks up with the hihat foot, and left hand with kick.  Now your limbs are “criss-crossing” your body as they pair off.

In the final pattern, the hands are the same as the very first pattern, with the feet inverting…

R/H – L/K – R/H – R/H – L/K – R/H – L/K – L/K      (pattern C)

This pattern, like the one directly above it, has the limbs crossing each other and lining up in an inverse relationship of hands and feet.

Practice each of these three lines to get comfortable with them, but the real exercise is when you flow from one to the next consecutively.  Do each one two times, in this order: A > B > A > C… repeat.  The transitions will pose the most difficulty.  The flow from A to B means that your feet will remain constant but the hands will invert, then revert back as you return to A.  Going from A to C means the hands will stay constant but the feet will invert.

The goal of the exercise is limb independence.  It won’t produce specific independence like the Ted Reed stuff, but it will accomplish a ton of the compartmentalizing that your brain needs to do in order to gain independence.

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