Double Drag Tap - Drum Rudiment

The double drag tap was one of the patterns chosen to take part in the 26 American Drum Rudiments by members of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (N.A.R.D.) in 1936. The double drag tap was also featured in the 13 Essential Drum Rudiments. This was a subgroup of the 26 drum rudiments that encompassed the essential drum rudiments any drummer should know how to play. In 1984, the 26 drum rudiments were joined by 14 other drum rudiments, giving birth to the 40 International Drum Rudiments.

The word "double" in this case, means that there are two sets of drag ruffs before the tap stroke. If you remove the grace notes from the sheet music below, you'll be able to see that the double drag tap is basically an offset triple stroke roll played as 8th note triplets. The triple stroke roll is offset by two triplets – it starts on the "let" of count 1. Therefore, learning how to play the drag ruff and the triple stroke roll will help you master the double drag tap a lot quicker. Studying the basic strokes that take part in the structure of any of the drum rudiments will make it a lot easier for you to master them.

Double Drag Tap

Practice with a metronome. When you feel you're able to play the double drag tap with consistency and control, start practicing the drum beats and drum fills notated below.

Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. The double drag tap is actually offset by one 8th note triplet – it starts on the "trip" of count 1. The tap from the double drag tap on count 4 is actually played on count 1 on the following measure. Offsetting double drag taps by one 8th note triplet is a great way for having the taps on counts 2 and 4 played as snare shots.

Double Drag Tap #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note drum beat. This pattern has two double drag taps that are played as 8th notes instead of 8th note triplets. The first one starts on count 1 and ends on count 2. The second one starts on the "and" of count 2 and ends on the "and" of count 3. The grace notes on the drag ruffs are played on the bow of the ride cymbal while the primary strokes are moved to the hi-hat. The first tap is played on the snare drum. The second one is performed on the open hi-hat instead.

Double Drag Tap #2

Exercise #3 is a drum fill played in 12/8 time signature. This pattern features a double drag tap per count. You'll just need to master the first two counts to master this entire drum fill. This is so because the stroke orchestration for those two double drag taps repeats for the remaining counts. The taps on the "let" of counts 2 and 4 are played between the hi-tom and the floor tom as unison strokes.

Double Drag Tap #3

Exercise #4 is a 12/8 drum fill. The double drag taps are offset by one 8th note triplet – they start on the "trip" of each count. This exercise features two main challenges. The first one is playing the unison figures between the snare drum and the open hi-hat. The second one is closing the hi-hat at the exact same time as the primary strokes on the "let" of counts 2 and 4.

Double Drag Tap #4

Once you're able to play the double drag tap and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the 40 drum rudiments. We encourage you to learn how to play the lesson 25 next.