Flam Paradiddle - Drum Rudiment

The flam paradiddle 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 paradiddle 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 flam paradiddle, which is also known as flamadiddle is another pattern from the flam family of drum rudiments that combines a flam with one of the 40 drum rudiments. As you might have guessed by now that drum rudiment is the single paradiddle. It's imperative you learn how to play the flam and the single paradiddle before you start tackling the flam paradiddle. This will ensure you learn how to play the flam paradiddle accurately and a lot faster as well.

Flam Paradiddle

The exercise below is a great drill for building your rudimental chops. Start practicing it at a slow speed. Make sure the stroke sequence is played accurately. You can count it out loud as 16th notes, or like so: lR(flam or par) L(a) R(did) R(dle) rL(flam or par) R(a) L(did) L(dle). Doing things properly will help you build a solid foundation that will serve you for years to come; just be patient.
Once you feel confident with the flam paradiddle, you can move on to learn how to apply the flam paradiddle to drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. This drum beat features four flam paradiddles - one per count. Keeping each flam paradiddles consistent here is a big challenge. You have to play three consecutive strokes with the same hand – the "and" and the "ah" of a count and the grace note on the following count – and move the third stroke to a different surface. Practice this drum beat slowly at first, making sure you're able to play the flams accurately on counts 2 and 4.

Flam Paradiddle #1

Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat. This pattern features one flam paradiddle on count 1 that is scattered between the hi-hat and the hi-tom. By leading this drum beat with your stronger hand you'll find yourself in a good position to make an easier transition between the hi-hat and the hi-tom. This is one of the great advantages of playing drum rudiments that feature paradiddles - you can easily alternate between leading hands.

Flam Paradiddle #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. This drum fill is a challenging one since some of the doubles are played on the floor tom. Check the free drum lesson on the double stroke roll for some tips on how to play consistent sounding double strokes on a soggy surface like the one from the floor tom. Lead this drum fill with your stronger hand. Doing so will help you out a lot when moving between drums, since you'll avoid crossing your arms.

Flam Paradiddle #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. It's better for you to lead this pattern with your stronger hand since it will help you perform with a greater level of ease. Watch out for the doubles on the floor tom - use the tips we gave you on the previous exercise for getting them to sound even.

Flam Paradiddle #4

Once you've mastered this drum lesson, check the free drum lessons on patterns from the flam family of drum rudiments that feature paradiddles, like the flam paradiddle-diddle and the single flammed mill.