Flam Tap - Drum Rudiment

The flam 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 flam 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.

If we remove the grace notes from the sheet music below, we're left with an 8th note double stroke roll. Therefore, you can think of the flam tap as an 8th note double stroke roll where the first note is flammed. Make sure you learn how to play the flam and the double stroke roll before going any further with this lesson. Doing so will guaranty you learn how to play the flam tap faster, and most important of all, with quality.

Flam Tap

Practice the flam tap on a single surface. While doing so, don't lose track of the most important aspects of any flam based drum rudiment - flam quality and consistency. Once you feel confident with the flam tap, you can move on to learn how to apply the flam tap to drum beats and drum fills.

Exercise #1 is an 8th note half-time drum beat. You can start by practicing hand-to-hand flam taps on the hi-hat for counts 1 and 2. This is the most important aspect of this drum beat - getting the flam tap to sound and feel good. Once that's done, add a flam on count 3 and hit the open hi-hat on the "and" of count 4. For every drum beat and drum fill in this site, learn the hand pattern first. You should only add the feet in when you can play the hands accurately.

Flam Tap #1

Exercise #2 is another 8th note half-time drum beat. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that this drum beat is pretty similar to the previous one. The flam taps are still played on the first two counts but are broken up between the hi-hat and the bow of the ride cymbal instead. This is the most challenging bit of this exercise. Once you can play it accurately, you'll have no problems in playing the remaining parts of this drum beat.

Flam Tap #2

Exercise #3 is an 8th note drum fill. This pattern incorporates flams and flam taps. The flams are featured on count 1 and on the "and" of count 2 while the flam taps are played on counts 3 and 4. Add the bass drum on all quarter notes once the hands are mastered.

Flam Tap #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This pattern features two flam taps, a single stroke roll, and a flam. Playing the single stroke roll with your weaker hand leading is a great idea. It will enable you to get to the floor tom in time to play the "ah" of count 3 a lot easier. Transitioning between counts 3 and 4 can be a bit tricky. Practice this drum fill slowly at first just to make sure you're able to play the flam on count 4 with quality.

Flam Tap #4

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