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The Flam - Drum Lessons London

Hey everyone and welcome back to another drum lesson at Hackney Wick Drum Studio.

In todays drum lesson, we're going to be taking a break from our roll based rudiments and taking a look at the Flam. This has surely got to be one of the best and most widely used rudiments in any drummers arsenal.

The thing I love about the flam is it's so versatile and can add so much colour to an otherwise weak or boring sounding drum part. We'll also be looking at the drag next time, which again comes in real handy in adding some flavour to your playing. So let's talk a bit about the Flam!

With this rudiment, there's a lot more 'mechanics' to the way you move, and the way it works. By this I mean, the way you move your hands and arms will have a big impact on the smoothness and feel of this rudiment. As I always say with anything new, start it really slow and focus particularly on your hand and arm movements. The key to a crisp sounding flam is getting this technique correct.

With this Drum lesson, and the few that will come over the next few weeks, we're going to be encountering 'grace' notes. A grace note are very light or quiet notes that are played immediately before the main note. Make sure to have the grace note as close as you can to the main note. This will give you the effect or fattening up the sound of what would usually be just a single strike on the drum.


When flamming with the right hand as your main striking note, the right hand needs to start in a much higher position in relation to the drumhead than the left hand. Remember for this, the left hand is playing the 'grace note' and therefore will start much closer to the drumhead. Check out the picture below as an example of the starting position of your sticks.

Now that you've got a good starting position, bring the drumsticks down onto the head, making sure that the right stick strikes just after the left, with a much louder note. You don't want the sticks striking the head at exactly the same time, and also not too far apart. Check out the video further down the page so you know the sound that you're aiming for.


Now let's try this rudiment the opposite way, what we'll call the left hand flam. This will potentially be a bit trickier to master, but persevere and you'll begin to reap the rewards. Essentially, it's the exact same procedure as the right hand flam, only now the right hand will play the grace note and the left hand will be the one playing the main note. Also, if you're a left handed drummer, you'll probably be most comfortable playing your flams this way.


Now that your can play the flam both ways, give this alternating version a go. All that's happening here is you're switching from right hand to left hand on each beat. The trick here is after playing beat 1, leave your right stick about an inch from the snare head and bring the left stick up ready to strike beat 2. The repeat this idea for beats 3 & 4. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of the alternating flam played slowly.

So that's it for what's been the first new blog post for a few weeks. I hope you've found it a useful one, but as always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Like I always say, if you're looking for a Drum Teacher in London or some Drum lessons in Hackney, please check out my main site where you can find out all about Free taster drum lessons, online drum lessons, as well as all my contact details and pretty much anything else you'll want to know about taking drum lessons with me. Until next time, enjoy your drumming, and I'll be back soon with another Rudiment for you!

Jack x

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