Applying The Flam Tap To The Kit Part 2

Last month we worked the Flam Tap on one surface. This month I’ll share some of my ideas for getting creative with the Flam Tap for a practical drum set groove and fill application.

Ex. 1 uses the Flam Tap as a groove. Note that playing the hi-hat closed requires your foot to hold down the hi-hat pedal when playing the + (closed strokes) and let the pedal up when playing the o (open strokes). Ex. 2 shows the use of the Flam Tap in a fill around the drum set. Although the sticking is not shown in the written exercises, play the usual Flam Tap sticking starting with a right-handed flam (grace note is played with your left hand). Refer to last month’s lesson if you need the Flam and Tap sticking.

Video Lesson
In the video example I demonstrate how each exercise sounds slowly at first, and then played up to speed. Don’t rush things. Take it slowly. Fast and sloppy is never where it’s at. The point is to perfect each exercise at slow speed, which allows you to build them into your muscle memory. Once your body “learns” them slowly and perfectly correct, the speed will come easily!

flam tap

Practice Key
HH = Hi-Hat
STL = Small Tom Left
STR = Small Tom Right
SD = Snare Drum
FT = Floor Tom
BD = Bass Drum
+ = Closed Hi-Hat
o = Open Hi-Hat

Duplicate Me First — Then Get Creative!
After you have mastered my patterns, don’t be afraid to get creative and try some of your own. You may sound terrible at first, but that’s okay – you'll learn what not to play! Eventually, you'll come up with some patterns that sound great. Keep a notebook near you at all times so you can write down the good stuff. Every drum book I have ever written started from a notebook of ideas that I jotted down over the years.

If you have questions on this month’s lesson or would like more info on my Tension Free Drumming methods, visit me at

Until next time, have fun and stay loose!