Rock Perspectives

A Practical Application of Flams

by David Garibaldi

The exercises that follow will utilize two snare drum rudiments.
rock-perspectives-2By playing the above rudiments on two sound sources (right hand on cowbell or cymbal, left hand on snare drum) instead of one sound source (both hands on snare drum) as is traditionally done, we can achieve some interesting results. A unique approach to this is the playing of assorted rhythms using the Flam Tap or Flam Accent sticking. This works especially well when played over certain foot patterns. To simplify this we will use one rhythm pattern for both rudiments. Once we’ve established these variations, we’ll add the feet. Any variety of rhythms can be used once the sticking procedure is understood.The rhythm pattern:

Rhythm pattern with Flam Tap sticking.

Accent the flams and play the unaccented notes very softly. Once this can be done comfortably on one surface, play the right hand on either a cowbell, cymbal or bell of cymbal, and the left hand on the snare drum. The rhythm pattern with the Flam Accent sticking:

Each bar of the Flam Accent variation may be played as a separate variation.

Now add the following foot patterns:

Tempos can vary on these patterns once you’ve put them together. The patterns have a definite “samba” flavor and can be played very quickly. Paying close attention to accent shadings will really make these rhythms work. All unaccented notes are played much softer than accented notes. All accented notes are struck with equal force at whatever dynamic marking is required. As usual this just scratches the surface. Those of you with rudimental training and the ability to think things through should be able to take this much further.