Flam Drag - Drum Rudiment

The flam drag is one of the 40 International Drum Rudiments since 1984. The Percussive Arts Society (P.A.S.) was responsible for its inclusion, after settling on the expansion of the 26 American drum rudiments with orchestral, drum corps, European, and contemporary drum rudiments.

You can think of the flam drag as a flam accent where the single stroke on the "trip" of each count is doubled or dragged. The double stroke is represented with a diagonal line on the note stem on the sheet music below. You can actually perform a flam drag from a flam accent. To do so you just have to double the single stroke on the "trip" of a flam accent. Therefore, here the grace notes have rhythmic value. Learn how to play and control the drag ruff and the flam accent accurately before taking on this free drum lesson. This will get you mastering the flam drag faster and with greater quality.

Flam Drag

Once you can play the flam drag with confidence, you can start working on the following drum beats and drum fills.

Like we discussed beforehand, any drum rudiment can be played with different note values. The flam drag is no exception to that. For the following drum beats and drum fills, the flam drag is played as a combination of 8th notes and 16th notes instead of as 8th note triplets and 16th note triplets. The primary stroke for each flam is played as an 8th note. As for the drags, the primary stroke is accompanied by a double stroke grace note that's performed as either a grace note (exercise #1) or as 16th notes (exercises #2, #3, and #4).

Exercise #1 is an 8th note drum beat. The flam drags are scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. You can start by practicing flam drags on the hi-hat. Once you have the right feel for them, move the flams to the snare drum on counts 2 and 4. The bass drum is fairly simple here. When you're able to play the hand pattern accurately while performing the bass drum strokes on counts 1 and 3, mess around with different bass drum patterns. This is a great idea to work on independence and new drum beats.

Flam Drag #1

Exercise #2 is a 3/4 time signature drum beat. Here you'll find two flam drags. The first one starts on count 1 and ends with a snare shot on count 2. The second one starts on the "and" of count 2 and ends with a snare shot on the "and" of count 3. It's tough to get the hi-hat triple stroke on count 3 to have all the strokes evenly spaced as the speed at what you play this drum beat increases. Knowing how to play the triple stroke roll will greatly help you with this exercise.

Flam Drag #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. This pattern features two flam drags. The first one is played between count 1 and count 2. The second one is played between the "and" of count 2 and the "and" of count 3. The 16th notes on counts 1 and 3 are to be played as double strokes.

Flam Drag #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This drum fill has the rhythmic pattern from the previous exercise. What's new here is the replacement of a hand stroke with a bass drum stroke. Using the feet to play strokes that would otherwise be played with the hands is a great idea for spicing up your drum fills. Take the drum fills you have at your disposal on this website and try switching some hand strokes with foot strokes.

Flam Drag #4

Once you're able to play the flam drag 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 pataflafla next.