The pataflafla is the last pattern from the flam family of drum rudiments that we have here for you. Played at faster tempos, the pataflafla sounds pretty much like a Brazilian samba pattern. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the pataflafla and how to use within a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that the pataflafla combines a 16th note single stroke roll, with flams on the quarter notes and on the “ahs”. This is the “modern” version of the pataflafla – the one you’ll be learning how to play and apply to the drum set in this free drum lesson. The traditional pataflafla is played as 16th notes as well. It starts on the “e” of count 1 and ends on count 2. It has two single strokes (pata) followed by two flams (flafla).

Knowing how to play the single stroke roll and hand-to-hand flams will make your life way easier when learning how to play the pataflafla. The pataflafla does not alternate within itself, so make sure you learn how to play the pataflafla leading with both hands.

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 is a basic two-handed 16th note hi-hat drum beat, where the pataflafla is scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Start practicing this exercise by playing hand-to-hand pataflaflas on the hi-hat. When this feels comfortable to you, move the flams on counts 2 and 4 to the snare. Once you’ve got it down, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3.

Exercise #2 is a 16th note drum beat with a very strong samba feel. This arises from combining the pataflafla with a samba-based bass drum pattern. This drum beat is very similar to the previous one. The biggest differences can be found on the flams played on the “ah” of counts 1 and 3 – they’re performed on the snare drum instead of on the hi-hat – and on the extra bass drum strokes on the “ah” of counts 2 and 4.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. This exercise is based on patterns used on the drum set for playing a Brazilian style of samba known as batucada, or samba de carnaval (carnival samba). The batucada is mostly played on the drum set as 16th note accent patterns. The accents are usually moved around the toms while the other strokes are kept on the snare drum.

Drum set batucada patterns are derived from carnival samba patterns played on instruments like the caixa (snare drum) and surdo drums (very similar to tom-toms). Snare drum patterns for drum set batucada are based on caixa patterns. Tom-tom patterns are based on surdo patterns.

The pataflafla is an awesome drum rudiment to recreate the type of feel heard on the batucada. The main difference here is that the pataflafla uses flams instead of accents. Once you’ve mastered this drum fill, try moving the flams around the drums to get new batucada-based drum fills. Leading this drum fill with your right hand will make it easier for you to play the floor tom.

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill. Leading this pattern with the right hand makes it easier to move around the drums. After moving to the floor tom, you’ll hit a new drum on the “ah” of each count. Since you’re going from the right side of the kit (floor tom) to the center of the kit (hi-tom) it will come in handy to move to a new drum with the left hand. This way, you’ll avoid unnecessary crossovers that may actually hinder your performance.

Once you’re done with this free drum lesson and would like to keep learning new pataflafla-based patterns, check the free drum lesson “Pataflafla Applied.” If you’d like to learn a new drum rudiment instead, check the free drum lesson on the drag ruff.