Single Drag Tap
The single drag tap is the drag family equivalent of an inverted flam tap. This free drum lesson is all about teaching you how to play the single drag tap accurately, whether you’re playing it on a snare drum, a practice pad, or a drum set. In the video, Lionel Duperron shows you exactly how to practice the single drag tap, and how to use it within drum beats and drum fills.
Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that 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. Therefore, make sure you learn how to play the drag ruff and the double stroke roll before taking on this free drum lesson.
The 40 drum rudiments require a lot of dedication and patience – that is, if you plan on playing 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. Think of this as a game. Once you can play a drum rudiment accurately at a given tempo, increase the speed on your metronome and mark down your progress. This will let you see how much you’ve developed over time.
Exercise #1 is based on the basic 8th note rock drum beat. The single drag tap is played on the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3, and is scattered between the bow of the ride cymbal, the snare drum, and the hi-hat on counts 2 and 4. Lead this drum beat with the right hand if you plan on playing it like Lionel does in the video. Play the bass drum on counts 1 and 3 once the hands are happening.
Exercise #2 is exercise #1 with the strokes orchestrated differently. As you can see on the sheet music below, counts 1 and 3 are exactly the same on both exercises. The main changes are felt on counts 2 and 4. The grace notes are moved to the snare drum and the hi-hat tap on count 4 is displaced to the floor tom. Don’t forget to play this exact exercise with buzzed grace notes as well.
Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. The drags are kept on the snare and the taps are played on the hi-tom and floor tom. This pattern ends with a three-note 16th note single stroke roll that goes around the drums. You’ll have to lead this drum fill with the right hand if you plan on performing it comfortably.
Exercise #4 is an 8th note drum fill. The taps from the single drag tap are played on the cymbals. The drags are kept on the snare drum once again. The left hand taps are moved to the open hi-hat on the “and” of counts 1 and 3. The right hand taps are performed on the bow of the ride cymbal, on the “and” of counts 2 and 4. As soon as you get the hands happening, start closing the hi-hat on counts 2 and 4. Finally, play the bass drum in unison with every note you play on the hi-hat and on the bow of the ride cymbal.
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 free drum lesson on the double drag tap next.