Inverted Flam Tap

Learn How To Play The Inverted Flam Tap Drum Rudiment!

The inverted flam tap is a great reminder of how cool drum rudiments are as a tool to put your hand technique to the test. If you don’t look at the sticking on the flam tap and on the inverted flam tap drum rudiments, but look at their rhythmic pattern only, you can see they are identical drum rudiments. However, when you add in the sticking patterns you get totally different drum rudiments. So, these two drum rudiments can have very similar names and rhythmic notation, but they are different in their sticking patterns and in the way they challenge your technique.

When compared to the inverted flam tap, the flam tap is an easier drum rudiment to master and to get up to speed. You can think of it as a double stroke roll with a flam on the first note. The sticking pattern in the inverted flam tap is an offset double stroke roll instead – the doubles start on the “and”. It’s this offset that gives it the moniker “inverted”, because the double stroke is starting on the tap instead of on the flam.

Inverted Flam Tap

Going with the same hand from a tap on the “ands” to the primary strokes of the flams is what makes the inverted flam tap one of the more challenging drum rudiments to get a lot of speed with. With the flam tap we have a lot more time to prepare the hand for playing the next primary stroke on a flam - the hand is played as the grace note on a flam and then as primary stroke on the next flam.

To better prepare you for playing the inverted flam tap, make sure you have studied the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll and the flam drum rudiments, before tackling this free drum lesson. The inverted flam tap is one of the drum rudiments that alternates within itself, as you can see from the sheet music below.

Take your time when learning how to play the inverted flam tap on a single surface. Use a metronome and really work on getting very consistent with this drum rudiment at slower speeds. Once you feel you can play this drum rudiment competently, take the next patterns to your drum set, so you can start using the inverted flam tap with drum beats and drum fills.

The first pattern in this free drum lesson incorporates the inverted flam tap on a combination between the hi-hat and the snare drum. The most challenging bit in this drum beat is playing taps on the “and” of counts 2 and 4 on the snare drum that go into a flam on the hi-hat on counts 3 and 1.

Inverted Flam Tap #1

Practice slowly at first and make sure you’re not struggling with this transition, before increasing the speed on your metronome. Strive for clean sounding strokes. Once you get the hands happening add the bass drum on all quarter notes.

Exercise #2 is an 8th note half-time drum beat based around the inverted flam tap. This exercise has a very similar challenge to the one presented on the previous drum beat - you’ll have to use the same to go from a grace note played on the snare drum to a tap stroke executed on the hi-hat.

Inverted Flam Tap #2

Being able to play a low volume tap stroke is a challenge. By travelling from one instrument to the other you add velocity to the drumstick. So, it’s only natural you end up by playing a louder stroke when you get to the hi-hat. Practicing this exercise slowly at first is the key for developing consistent sounding taps, at whatever speed you decide to play this drum beat. Once you get the hands happening add the bass drum on count 1.

The next exercises are drum fills that incorporate the inverted flam tap. On the first one the flam is played on the snare, while the taps are spread between the hi-tom and the floor tom. If you focus on learning how to play the first two counts, the remaining pattern will be easy to learn. Leading this pattern with the right hand will make it that much comfortable to execute.

Inverted Flam Tap #3

The last drum fill in this free drum lesson is a variation on the previous one. The flams that were previously played on the snare drum are now executed on the hi-tom, while the taps on the hi-tom are played on the snare. The floor tom is played on the exact places as before.

Inverted Flam Tap #4

As you keep working through these drum rudiments, you’ll find that all drum rudiments have the potential to become great sounding drum fills and drum beats. It all depends on how creative you can be with the drum rudiments. Drum rudiments are very useful for spicing up your drum solos as well. Adding the drum rudiments to your drum solos is a definitely a great idea. Once you’re done with the inverted flam tap, check out the free drum lessons on the pataflafla and the flam drag drum rudiments.