One of the top of the 40 essential rudiments is the flam stroke. This is definitely one of the top 5 rudiments every drummer should learn and master. The flam stroke is a very effective way to create a full sound out of a hit. This article will teach you how to play the flam, how to use the flam around the kit, and how to develop your flam stroke effectively. You can use this rudiment all over the kit, using it in beats, fills, and solos. Also, by adding the flam stroke into other rudiments, you create different variations that can be utilized in all sorts of styles of music.
The Flam stroke consists of 2 hits. These 2 hits are played very closely together to create a single full sound. The best way to develop this is to start each stick at different heights. You want to be able to play this rudiment leading with both hands, meaning you can play it left and right handed. So make sure you practice this both ways. Let’s start with our right hand. Start with your right hand higher than your left. Place your left stick around 2-4 inches above the drum. Your right hand should be well above this. Then, you simply drop both hands at the same speed. Your left hand will hit first with a quiter sound, followed closely by your right hand. Your right hand should be louder than your left. This sound should be one, not 2 separate hits. If this is happening, raise your left hand, or lower your left. Practice this both ways!
So now that you know how to play this, let us see how it looks on paper. If you are into reading sheet music, then you have probably seen these before. What it looks like is a smaller note with a slash through it. These flam strokes are usually before the note. This means you play a flam stroke before the note. If you do not know how to read and understand sheet music, click on this helpfull article. Here is an example of what a flam stroke looks like on sheet music.
The reason why this rudiment is so important to learn, is it teaches your stick control and independence. This rudiment is played in all styles of music and is very effective for adding accents and hits. No matter what style you play, you should learn this rudiment. When you are done mastering the flam stroke, try playing it with the paradiddle, double stroke roll, or single stroke roll.