In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the flamacue, a pattern from the flam family of drum rudiments. He shows you how to play and practice the flamacue, and how to use it within drum beats and drum fills for coming up with unique and creative patterns.
The underlying rhythm of the flamacue is a five-note single stroke roll. You can see that on the sheet music below by dropping the grace notes from the flams, and the accent on the “e” of counts 1 and 3. Thus, it’s imperative you take the time to learn how to play the flam and the single stroke roll before you start tackling the flamacue.
There’s a lot of stuff going on with the flamacue. Taking a step-by-step approach will guaranty its accurate development over time. Start by practicing the alternating five-note single stroke roll at a lower volume. Focus on playing consistent sounding strokes with no flams or accents. You can do so by keeping the stick heights approximately at the same height. Count out loud as you do so. Once you have that down, add the flams in.
Before you add the accent in, practice transitioning between the first flam and the accent with both hands leading. Add the accents to the “e” of counts 1 and 3, when you can play that transition smoothly and consistently.
Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat where the flamacue is broken up between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Start by learning the hand pattern. The 16th notes of the flamacue are played on the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3. Play the unaccented 16th notes on the bow of the closed hi-hat to produce quieter notes. Strike the edge of the closed hi-hat to get a louder note when you go to play the accent. Count 2 features a flammed snare shot, which is part of the first flamacue, while count 4 has a flam tap scattered between the snare drum and the floor tom. Once you’re able to play the hand pattern, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.
Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat that incorporates a syncopated flamacue. The flamacue starts on the “and” of count 1 and ends on the “and” of count 2, and is scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. The bass drum is played on counts 1, 3 and 4, and on the “and” of count 1. Keep in mind that the bass drum stroke on the “and” of count 1 should line up perfectly with the primary stroke of the flam and not with the grace note. In addition to the flamacue, there are flams on the “and” of counts 3 and 4 as well.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill that incorporates a flamacue. The 16th notes are played between the hi-tom and the snare drum on count 1, and the last flam is played on the floor tom on count 2. Master this section first before moving on. Then, add the bass drum on the “and” of count 2 and on count 3. Lastly, play the short broken 16th note single stroke roll of count 4.
Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. This drum fill features a right hand flamacue and a very cool pattern that has a left hand flamacue morphing into a single stroke roll. This pattern starts on count 3 of the drum fill, with a left hand flamacue played between the snare drum and the hi-tom. Instead of having a flam on count 4 as expected, Lionel plays a 16th note single stroke roll between the mid-tom and the floor tom, morphing a flamacue into a single stroke roll.