How to Play the Single Drag Tap

drag tap techniqueIf you have mastered all of the basic drum rudiments, it is only natural that you would be hungry for more techniques to further expand your playing.

The single drag tap is just the place to start, too.

A drag note, if you didn’t already know, is a double stroked note that is played twice as fast as other notes within the same time signature.

For example; if you are playing a string of sixteenth notes, your drag would consist of two thirty-second notes. Unlike an ordinary drag though, a single drag tap utilizes both hands.

The single drag tap is played with two notes. These notes alternate, the first proceeded by a graced drag note, and the second being an accented note.

Differences Between A Regular Note, A Grace Note, And An Accented Note

Before you learn the how to play the technique, you may want to learn the differences between a regular note, a grace note, and an accented note.

Grace Note And Regular Note

A grace note is when you strike a note but the note is barely audible, your stick only gracing the instrument. Now that you understand this, you should know that you will have to play a graced drag note. This may take some practice, and like all efficient practices, this one should take place on a pad.

Start off slowly, merely tapping the double stroke, following it up with a regular, fully struck note brought down from mid chest level by your main hand. The regular note should be fully audible, but not struck with excessive force. Once you are comfortable with the graced drag note, you are already more than half way to being able to play a single drag tap.

Accented Note

An accented note is a note which is brought to attention by being struck with more force than a regular note. The last step to being able to play a single drag tap is being able to follow up a regular note with an accented note without the two being close enough in volume to mesh together.

Using your pad, practice a single stroke with your main hand, followed up by a louder, more powerful single stroke by your off hand. Once you get the hang of accenting your note so that it literally screams for attention, you are ready to piece together the techniques.

Putting Three Techniques Together

The most difficult part of stringing the three techniques together is the way that the power between each technique must escalate considerably, without being over emphasized in the wrong areas.

If you follow up our double stroke with a very have single stroke, your drag note will be overpowering the accent note. Likewise, if you make all of your strikes too soft, your accent note will be over emphasized and unseemly.

The single drag tap relies heavily upon your ability to control the power with which you strike. As each portion of this rudiment escalates in volume, stay aware of how much force you are putting behind each stroke.

Knowing how to play this rudiment is only the beginning; it will take hours of repetition to properly learn. When practicing the single drag tap, keep yourself level headed, and if you make mistakes, be sure to correct them. Mistakes learned while practicing, if not corrected, will become habits. Practice hard now so you can have fun later!

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