Learn How To Play The Flam Tap Drum Rudiment!
The Flam Tap is basically a double stroke roll where the first note is flammed. Hence, you need to have a good grasp on how to play the flam and the double stroke roll before even thinking of mastering the flam tap. The name of this drum rudiment tells us exactly how it is played – a flam followed by a tap (a single stroke). The exercise below is a great way of practicing the flam tap. This is a drum rudiment which is mostly played in 8th notes. The flam tap naturally alternates within itself.
Practice it thoroughly on a single surface, and make sure that you don’t lose track of the most important things in any of the drum rudiments from the flam family – flam quality and consistency. Once you get your flam taps up to par, take the following exercises to your drum set and start applying this great rudiment to drum beats and drum fills.
The first exercise on this free drum lesson is an 8th note half-time drum beat that has you playing alternating flam taps on the hi-hat. On count 1 you play a right hand flam tap and on count 2 a left hand flam tap. On count 3 there is a right hand flam on the snare drum and on the “and” of count 4 an open hi-hat stroke. The hi-hat is closed on count 1 of the next bar. The bass drum is played on all quarter notes.
The half-time drum beat on exercise #2 has the flam tap being played between the hi-hat and the bow of the ride cymbal on the first two counts. Start by playing the grace note on the hi-hat and the primary note and tap on the ride. Then on count 2 this is reversed. The grace note is played on the bow of the ride and the primary and tap strokes on the hi-hat. Add a unison stroke between the floor tom and the snare drum on count 3, a ride stroke on the “and” of count 4, and the bass drum on all quarter notes to finalize this flam tap drum beat.
The following exercises in this free drum lesson are flam based drum fills. Much like we saw on the drum fill exercises on the flam, here, the flam tap drum fills also incorporate other drum rudiments – single stroke roll and the flam.
Exercise #3 incorporates the flam tap and the flam drum rudiments into a one bar drum fill. Begin practicing this pattern by learning the hand pattern. On count 1 and on the “and” of count 2 you have two right hand flams being played on the hi-tom and on the mid-tom respectively. On count 3 you play a right hand flam tap and on count 4 a left hand flam tap. Once you have all these components under control, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.
The next exercise incorporates the flam tap, the single stroke roll, and the flam drum rudiments into one cool sounding drum fill. The first flam tap is played on count 1. Lionel plays a right hand flam on the snare and a tap on the floor tom. On count 2 we have a left hand flam tap scattered between the snare drum (left hand flam) and the hi-tom (tap). On count 3 we have a single stroke roll played between the snare drum and the floor tom, with a right hand flam on the snare finishing things up on count 4.
In the video, Lionel plays a left hand lead single stroke roll. This makes it easier to get to the floor tom on time to play the “ah” of count 3. If you play right hand lead you may even hit yourself while crossing over to play the floor tom with the left hand. You can try playing it that way, but it is best if you play it like Lionel did in the video.
The drum fills in this free drum lesson on the flam tap are a great example of how to use various drum rudiments for coming up with very cool patterns on the drum set. Once you know how to play at least two drum rudiments, experiment mixing them into some of the drum beats and drum fills on this website.
The material on drum rudiments you have here at your disposal is very extensive, and can get even bigger if you just experiment. This has four great benefits: you’re practicing drum rudiments while developing independence and your own voice on the drum set, and hopefully, having a ton of fun. Best of all, this is all done at the same time.