A few players have approached me about wanting to learn Radiddlepa. Here is a first attempt at breaking it down into manageable chunks. Please know that I can’t yet play it perfectly myself, and this will be my first time teaching Radiddlepa, so take everything with a grain of salt. Let me know if there’s anything more I can do to help!
The most complicated rhythms have multiple layers of complexity. Although my own path was less orderly than this, I think it makes sense to focus on building the foundational skills as much as possible before tackling the high-level rhythms. I organize these into the following “skill hierarchy”.
- sticking (LRRL RLLR)
- special techniques
I encourage students of Radiddlepa to focus on becoming as confident as possible with the first layer before moving to the next. I’ll provide skill tests that will let you evaluate your confidence at each level. You should push yourself to be patient and creative about finding ways to solidify the current level before moving to the next.
That having been said, progress is not quite as simple as “master sticking, now master tones”. No matter how much you practice the sticking (step 1), adding the challenge of tonality (step 2) will cause you to make sticking mistakes. This is fine and good, as long as you remember the sticking is higher on the list of priorities and you take your time to get the sticking back.
Suggested order of study
- sticking basics
- tonal exploration
- dynamics (1eau accents, Eddlebayashi)
The first four steps are preparatory for learning actual Radiddlepa patterns. I’m guessing that for a moderately experienced player, practicing three times a week, these first four steps might take three months or so. They’ll provide a toe-hold in the fundamentals for when you add the complexity of the rhythms.
In the coming weeks I’ll provide detailed instructions and videos for each of these steps, along with notation for the piece itself.