Flam Drag

Learn To Play The Flam Drag Drum Rudiment!

The flam drag was not featured on the standard 26 American drum rudiments. In 1984, the flam drag, along with other 13 drum rudiments, was added to the 26 drum rudiments by the Percussive Arts Society. This new set of drum rudiments would later be known as the 40 international drum rudiments.

The flam drag is mostly played as triplets, but can be used with any other note values you'd like as well. You can think of the flam drag as a flam accent where the single stroke on the "trip" of each count is doubled or dragged. Thus, with the flam drag the grace notes can have rhythmic value. Learn how to play and control the drag ruff and the flam accent accurately before taking on this free drum lesson. This will get you playing the flam drag and the drum beats and drum fills herein faster and with greater quality.

Flam Drag

For the following drum beats, the primary strokes on the flam drags are executed as 8th notes. The first primary stroke of each flam drag is accompanied by a single stroke grace note (flam). The second primary stroke is accompanied by a double stroke grace note, which are performed as either grace notes (exercise #1) or as 16th notes (exercise #2). As for the drum fills, they have similar flam drags to the ones on exercise #2.

Exercise #1 is an 8th note drum beat. The flam drags are scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Start by playing the flam drags on the hi-hat. When you can play the flam drags accurately, move the flams on counts 2 and 4 to the snare drum. Once you have that down, add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3. Mess around with different bass drum patterns later on.

Flam Drag #1

Exercise #2 is a 3/4 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 starts with a flam on the "and" of count 2 and ends on the "and" of count 3 with a unison stroke between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that there's a one hand triple stroke on the hi-hat on count 3. Knowing how to play the triple stroke roll accurately and with a good sound quality will get you playing this hi-hat pattern as consistent as possible.

Flam Drag #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill that features two flam drags between count 1 and the "and" of count 3. Practice this drum fill without the flams at first, and play the 16th notes on counts 1 and 3 as double strokes. Once that's mastered, add the flams where notated.

Flam Drag #3

Exercise #4 is a 16th note drum fill that features two flam drags between count 1 and the "and" of count 3. The hand stroke on the "e" of count 4 is replaced with a bass drum hit. Playing the bass drum instead of a hand stroke is a great technique for spicing up your drum fills. Take the drum fills you have at your disposal on this website and try switching some hand strokes with the bass drum. If you're not used to doing this kind of stuff, it will be a bit challenging at first. Just like with anything in drumming, the more you do it, the better you'll become at it. Keep at it and you'll eventually get it.

Flam Drag #4

Once you're able to play the flam drag and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the drum rudiments. We encourage you to check the free drum lesson on the pataflafla next.