Drumming rudiments are important for many reasons, the main one being that they not only help you perform better, but they cover all of the basic variations of striking patterns as well. Today we will be discussing the inverted flam tap. Before I can teach you how to play an inverted flam tap though, you first have to learn what a diddle is.
A diddle is a double stroke which is played at the exact note value of the surrounding notes within a piece. Check out this lesson on single paradiddle drums roll for more details.
If you are playing a 140bmp piece consisting of quarter notes, then your flam would simply be a double stroke that consisted of two quarter notes. If you already know your basic drum rudiments then you can move on. However, if you don’t, I suggest you break out the pad and practice a double stroke, as this technique is very awkward at first even if you can already play a flam.
Now that you know what a diddle is, you need to understand what a flam is. A flam is a stroke that is alternated between your main hand and off hand. Your main hand is to strike a grace note, which will then be followed by a regular, more prominent strike by your off hand. As with diddles, if you cannot yet perform them consistently then I suggest you practice on your pad before attempting an inverted flam tap.
An inverted flam tap is basically alternating diddles which are offset by a single note of a higher value. For instance, if you were playing a consistent eighth note diddle, in between each double stroke you would strike a sixteenth note single stroke.
The inverted flam tap is, in my honest opinion, the most difficult to learn of all the drum rudiments as the flam in between each double stroke is very awkward to perform. With this rudiment, it is essential that you start off slow, as starting off too fast will make a jumble of all of your strikes and not only confuse you, but earn you sloppy habits as well.
When you strike, lift your forearm only slightly; you don’t want your arms to be too far from your pad as this will disrupt your technique. Pay attention to the quality and consistency of your flams. There should be a steady pulsing feel.
Your flams should stay flams; if you are striking both offset notes with the same force, you are not performing a flam, only two single strokes.
There are no special tricks to performing an inverted flam tap. The only way to achieve perfection with this difficult rudimentary drumming technique is to practice and observe. If you notice you are striking with too much power, slow down. The same rule for all other rudimentary techniques applies to this one; use a metronome.
The metronome will help you maintain a steady speed. You may think you are playing steadily, but by default our minds metronome or our makeshift foot tapping metronome will slow down or speed up as we do. This will cause you to develop an inconsistent quality with your drumming.
Once you have mastered the inverted flam tap you can implement this impressive rudimentary sticking technique into your daily playing. Remember; start slow and work your way up and you will achieve your goals.
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