Video: Ilan Rubin Teaches His Extended Paradiddle Warmup Routine

Ilan Rubin—the multi-instrumentalist behind The New Regime and drummer for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and Angels & Airwaves—has dropped by the Reverb studio a couple of times now to teach us a few of his favorite techniques. And just last month, he launched The Official Ilan Rubin Reverb Shop, where he's selling some of the extra drums, guitars, and other gear he's picked up over the years. Today, though, he's zeroing in on a question he's often asked about his own playing: How do you practice?

In the video above, Rubin emphasizes the importance of being able to take what you practice on the pad and transferring it meaningfully to your drum kit. A paradiddle, for instance, is a great example of something you can transfer from the pad to the kit, using more of the pieces at your disposal to make the exercise more musical.

Rubin starts by demonstrating his paradiddle warmup routine on the snare so that you can get the hang of it. If you're not sure how to play a paradiddle, check out the video for a handy graphic. Next, Rubin demonstrates how you can move the paradiddle's accented hits to various parts of the kit—like the toms and the bass drum—to make it more dynamic.

The warmup doesn't stop with single, double, or even triple paradiddles, though. Rubin next works in paradiddle-diddles, which is a standard paradiddle with another "diddle" added to the end with the opposite hand immediately after—in stick hits, that's: right, left, right, right, left left.

"Now, the great thing about paradiddles is that they force you to build up both your right and left hands because they force you to transition [between which hand leads]," Rubin explains. "... The thing I like about paradiddle-diddles is that they keep cycling, and you remain leading with the same hand that you start with."

This is really just the foundation of Rubin's practice technique, so be sure to give the full video a watch above to learn more about the intricacies of his extended warmup routine. To check out Ilan Rubin's music on Reverb LP, click any of the records above.

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