Flam Accent - Drum Rudiment

The flam accent 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 flam accent 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.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the flam accent is an 8th note triplet single stroke roll where the first stroke is flammed. Learning how to play the single stroke roll and the flam will do wonders for your ability to play this pattern from the flam family of drum rudiments.
Once you feel confident with the flam accent, you can move on to learn how to apply the flam accent to drum beats and drum fills.

Flam Accent

Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. This pattern features four flam accents, one for each count. The transitions between the hi-hat strokes on the "let" of counts 1 and 3, and the flammed snare shots on counts 2 and 4 can bring about some issues. If you take a closer look at the sheet music below you'll able to see why. The "let" on count 1 and the grace note on count 2 are played with the same hand but on a different surface – a double stroke broken between two surfaces. Practice this drum beat slowly at first and make sure you don't play a flat flam on counts 2 and 4. It's very important you practice at a slower tempo since it's what will have you playing flammed snare shots with quality at higher speeds.

Flam Accent #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. This pattern shares the same underlying rhythmic pattern as the previous exercise, as well as the challenging transitions between the hi-hat and the snare drum on counts 2 and 4. The only difference between the two exercises is the cymbal pattern, which is spread between the hi-hat and the ride cymbal.

Flam Accent #2

Exercise #3 is a 12/8 time signature drum fill. Start by removing the grace notes from the four flam accents featured in this exercise. By doing so, you'll be left with an 8th note triplet single stroke roll. Playing it like so will get you used to alternating the leading hand for every count. To get used to this you have to start practicing this drum fill at a slower tempo. Once you feel comfortable, add the flams where notated.

Flam Accent #3

Exercise #4 is a 12/8 time signature drum fill. The flam accents are scattered between the floor tom and the snare drum. Going from the last hi-hat stroke on the stock 12/8 drum beat, to the grace note on the floor tom can be challenging due to the physical distance between the instruments. Practice this beat-fill combination at a slow tempo. Make sure the flams are played accurately.

Flam Accent #4

Once you're able to play the flam accent 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 Swiss army triplet and the flamacue next.