Double Drag Tap

The double drag tap is a very cool pattern from the drag family of drum rudiments. In this free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron – from the DrumLessons.com team of instructors – teaches you exactly how to play and practice the double drag tap and how to apply it to the drum set through a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

If you remove the grace notes from the sheet music below, you’ll be able to see that the main sticking pattern for the double drag tap incorporates an offset triple stroke roll played as 8th note triplets. The triple stroke roll is offset by two triplets – it starts on the “let” of count 1. Thus, learning how to play the drag ruff and the triple stroke roll will do wonders for your double drag tap. Studying drum rudiments that take part in the structure of a drum rudiment you’re learning how to play will make it a lot easier to master. Don’t forget to check the single drag tap as well, since the double drag tap is built on it.

Drum Beats

Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. The double drag tap is broken up between the snare drum and the hi-hat – the drags are kept on the hi-hat while the single strokes are played on the snare drum. The double drag taps in this drum beat are actually offset by one triplet. They are started on the second triplet of each count instead of on the quarter notes. So the single stroke on count 1 is actually from the double drag tap on count 4.

The 40 drum rudiments are taught with the note values they are notated with. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to play them solely with those note values. Think about it for a second: do you only play the single stroke roll as 16th notes? No, you don’t. With exercise #2 the double drag taps are played as 8th notes instead of as 8th note triplets, and are scattered between numerous surfaces.

The grace notes on the first double drag tap are played on the bow of the ride cymbal. The primary strokes are moved to the hi-hat and the single stroke to the snare drum. The second double drag tap starts on the “and” of count 2, and ends on the “and” of count 3 with a single stroke on the open hi-hat. The drags on this double drag tap are scattered between the hi-hat and the ride cymbal as well. Once you have the hands happening, start closing the hi-hat on count 4. Finally, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3, and on the “and” of count 4.

Drum Fills

Exercise #3 is a double drag tap-based drum fill that’s played in 12/8 time signature. The drag ruffs from counts 2 and 4 are performed on the snare drum. On counts 1 and 3 they are scattered between the hi-tom and the hi-hat. The third triplet of counts 2 and 4 are played as unison strokes between the hi-tom and the floor tom. These unison strokes are hard to perform once you start increasing the speed at what you’re practicing. Keep that in mind as you work on this double drag tap-based drum fill.

Exercise #4 is a 12/8 drum fill. The double drag taps are offset by one 8th note triplet – they start on the second triplet of each count. The drag ruffs of counts 1 and 3 are performed on the hi-tom while the drag ruffs of counts 2 and 4 are played on the snare. The single strokes are executed as unison strokes between the snare and the bass drum on counts 1 and 3, and between the open hi-hat and the snare drum on counts 2 and 4. You must close the hi-hat at the exact same time as you play the primary strokes on the third triplet of counts 2 and 4. Much like the previous drum fill, the unison strokes between the hands are hard to perform at higher tempos.

Performing drum rudiments around the drum set with a greater level of facility requires the development of a different set of mechanics from those used when playing on a practice pad or a snare drum. Practicing the drum beats and drum fills for all the 40 drum rudiments will take your rudimental skills to the next level.

There are more drag based drum rudiments for you to learn how to play. So, after you’re done with the double drag tap, be sure to check the free drum lessons on the lesson 25 and the single dragadiddle.