Drum rudiments are the foundation of drumming; plain, simple. Not only do they allow us different combinations of strokes so that we can add texture to our piece, but some of them are dynamic enough to stand alone.
The basic flam tap drum rudiment is one of those rudiments.
The flam tap is an alternating diddle with a flam smack dab on the top. This means that in order to learn the flam tap, you first need to learn the diddle.
But before we even get to the diddle, you should learn a basic drum roll and a double stroke. These techniques will both allow you to approach the flam tap with confidence, as they all work together to create the essential form of the flam tap.
First off is the drum roll. The drum roll is simply an alternating pattern of single strokes rolling on drums. Take a metronome, and learn your drum rolls. Make sure that each and every note is even, and that you stay within your time signature no matter what.
If you find yourself having difficulty with the drum roll, you may want to slow down and start off with the basic single stroke.
The double stroke is a rudiment in which one hand performs two consecutive strokes. This is down by performing a single stroke and redirecting the stick back towards the pad as it rebounds.
Use a metronome and practice your double stroke. Your stick should come no more than three to four inches from your pad when performing the double stroke. All of your note values should be even. This means that if you perform an eighth note double stroke, both of your strokes need to be eighth notes.
Now for the diddle; the diddle is simply a double stroke played at the current tempo of the piece. This means that within a song using sixteenth notes, the diddle would be a sixteenth note double stroke. Fairly simply, but it can be tricky. Don’t force yourself to go too fast too early one. Start of playing your diddles at lower tempos to get the feel of performing a double stroke open roll that is even in value to the rest of the notes surrounding it.
Finally, we can get to the basic flam tap drum rudiment. Using all of the technique we learned, the flam tap should be easy.
The flam tap is a diddle followed up by a flam (alternating single stroke). This simply means that if you are playing a sixteenth note section of music, you will play an eighth note single stroke, a diddle with your opposite hand, and then single stroke with the same hand.
In basic terms, you will be playing a flam around a diddle.
If you start off with your right hand, your flam tap pattern should look like this:
Right Left Left Left Left Right Right Right
The small text refers to the diddle, which would be sixteenth notes, and the large text the flams, which would be eighth notes. Notice that the patterns are nearly identical. You alternate each hand when playing the flam tap, and the hand performing the diddle performs three notes.
The most important thing to do is practice. The flam tap is a bit difficult, and it will take some time to master. If you are willing to put in that time, you should have no trouble. Good luck!
Drum Rudiment System gives you all the tools and tips you’ll ever need to improvise fills and rudiments for any given occasion. On top of that, you will also have great fun playing along to new beats and broadening your drumming “vocabulary”.