Single Drag Tap - Drum Rudiment

The single 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 single 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.

You can think of the single drag tap as the drag family equivalent of the inverted flam tap. Much like the inverted flam tap, the single drag tap is based on an offset double stroke roll that starts on the "and" of each count and where the second stroke is dragged. Learn how to play the drag ruff and the double stroke roll before going through this free drum lesson.

Single Drag Tap

Working on drum rudiments requires a lot of dedication and patience, that is, if you want to play them at a high level of control and quality. Working hard and playing accurately will hail great results sooner than later. Practicing with a metronome while keeping track of your progress is a great way of keeping you motivated and focused.

Once you're able to play the single drag tap with quality and control on a single surface, you can move on to the following section and have some fun with a couple of drum beats and drum fills that incorporate the single drag tap.

Exercise #1 is an 8th note drum beat. The single drag tap is played on the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3, and between the bow of the ride cymbal, the snare drum and the hi-hat on counts 2 and 4. Lead this drum beat with your stronger hand. Doing so is better for playing the grace notes on the bow of the ride cymbal since you'll avoid crossing your arms.

Single Drag Tap #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note drum beat. This exercise's rhythmic pattern is the same as the one from exercise #1. The main differences between both can be found on counts 2 - where the grace notes are moved to the snare drum - and count 4 - where the hi-hat stroke is displaced to the floor tom. This is another great example of how a different stroke orchestration can bring new life to patterns you've already mastered.

Single Drag Tap #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. The drags are played on the snare drum while the taps are moved between the hi-tom and the floor tom. This pattern ends with a three-note 16th note single stroke roll played on the snare drum, the hi- and mid-tom. This drum fill is easier to perform if led with the stronger hand.

Single Drag Tap #3

Exercise #4 is an 8th note drum fill. The drags are kept on the snare drum here. The taps are played as unison strokes between the bass drum and the open hi-hat on the "and" of counts 1 and 3, and between the bass drum and the bow of the ride cymbal on the "and" of counts 2 and 4. Make sure you close the hi-hat on counts 2 and 4.

Single Drag Tap #4

That's it for this free drum lesson on the single drag tap. If you want to keep learning more about drag based drum rudiments, take a look at the double drag tap next.