Learn To Play The Flamacue Drum Rudiment!

The flamacue is a five-note single stroke roll where the first and last strokes are flammed. Thus, it's imperative you take the time to learn how to play the flam and the single stroke roll drum rudiments before tackling the flamacue.

Taking a step-by-step approach while learning how to play the flamacue 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 level. Once you have that down, add the flams in. Isolate the transition between the first flam and the accent and practice that until you're able to do it effortlessly. Then, you can practice the flamacue as notated on the sheet music below.


Exercise #1 is a 16th note drum beat. The 16th notes of the flamacue are played on the hi-hat on counts 1 and 3. Count 2 features the last flam of the first flamacue being played as a snare shot. The last flam of the second flamacue is combined with an 8th note on the floor tom to yield a flam tap. After you're able to play the hand pattern, add the bass drum on all quarter notes.

Flamacue #1

Exercise #2 is another 16th note drum beat. This pattern features a very cool syncopated version of the flamacue that starts on the "and" of count 1 and ends on the "and" of count 2. Syncopating drum rudiments within drum beats is a great way of coming up with very original patterns. In addition to the flamacue, there're flams on the "and" of counts 3 and 4 as well. Keep in mind that the bass drum stroke played on the "and" of count 1 should line up perfectly with the primary stroke of the flam and not with the grace note.

Flamacue #2

Exercise #3 is a 16th note drum fill. There's a single flamacue in it that is played on the floor tom on count 2 and between the hi-tom and the snare drum on count 1. Once that's mastered, add the bass drum on the "and" of count 2 and on count 3. Lastly, add the short broken 16th note single stroke roll played on count 4. Work on this pattern before you start playing a beat-fill-beat combination.

Flamacue #3

Exercise #4 is a very cool 16th note drum fill. This exercise features a flamacue on counts 1 and 2, and an interesting pattern on counts 3 and 4 that has a flamacue morphing into a single stroke roll. This pattern starts with a 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.

Flamacue #4

Once you're able to play the flamacue and the exercises herein accurately, you can keep challenging yourself by learning how to play new drum rudiments. We encourage you to check the free drum lessons on the flam paradiddle and the single flammed mill next.