The next pattern from the flam family of drum rudiments we’ll be taking a look at is the flam drag. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the flam drag accurately, and shows you how to use it to come up with unique drum beats and drum fills.
Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the flam drag incorporates 8th note triplet single strokes, and 16th note triplet double strokes on the second triplet of each count – the double strokes are represented with a diagonal line on the note stems. However, you can play the flam drag with any other note values you’d like to as well. A good example of this would be playing the 8th note triplets as 8th notes and the 16th note triplets and 16th notes.
The flam drag is very similar to the flam accent. The main difference between them is what’s played on the second triplet of each count. On the flam accent there’s a single stroke and on the flam drag a double stroke. You can go from a flam accent to a flam drag by doubling the single strokes on the second triplet of each count. Therefore, learning how to play the flam accent and the double stroke roll, before taking on this free drum lesson will do wonders for your flam drags.
The primary strokes on the flam drags are executed as 8th notes on the following drum beats. The first primary stroke of each flam drag is accompanied by a single stroke grace note (flam). The second one is accompanied by double strokes, which are performed as either grace notes (exercise #1) or as 16th notes (exercise #2). The drum fills have similar flam drags to the ones on exercise #2.
Exercise #1 is an 8th note drum beat featuring scattered flam drags between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Start by practicing the hand pattern of an 8th note rock drum beat – hi-hat on all 8th notes and snare drum on counts 2 and 4. Once you have that down, add grace notes on counts 1 and 3 on the hi-hat, and on counts 2 and 4 on the snare drum. When you’re able to play that pretty well, add drag ruffs where notated. It’s at this point that you should bring the bass drum in by playing it on counts 1 and 3. You can mess around with different bass drum patterns later on.
Exercise #2 is a 3/4 odd-time signature drum beat. The first flam drag begins with a flam on count 1 and ends with a snare shot on count 2. The second flam drag is syncopated. It starts with a flam on the “and” of count 2 and ends with a unison stroke between the snare drum and the hi-hat on the “and” of count 3. There’s a one handed triple stroke on the hi-hat on count 3. For making those strokes consistent, work on your ability to play the triple stroke roll.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. It incorporates two flam drags between count 1 and the “and” of count 3. Start by practicing the drum fill without the flams. Play the 16th notes on counts 1 and 3 as double strokes and the remaining strokes as singles. Once you have that pattern down, add the flams as notated.
Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This drum fill is the previous exercise with a different stroke orchestration. The most noteworthy orchestration can be found on the “e” of count 4, where a bass drum stroke replaces a hand stroke. This is a great idea for coming up with a whole new collection of drum fills. Take the drum fills from DrumLessons.com and switch hand strokes with the bass drum. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.
Once you’re done with the flam drag, check out the free drum lesson on the pataflafla. If you’ve checked that lesson already, move on to learn how to play the drag ruff and the single drag tap instead.