Flams / Accent-tap

discuss snare drumming technique

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ja.swenberg Offline
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Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:49 pm



In several licks I've tried to play, there will be quick switches between hands while playing flams, or just fast alternating flams. I've had trouble keeping the grace note low when playing these passages, even after lots of work on my accent-taps.

For example:
lR lR lR rL rL rL lR lR lR rL rL rL
lR lR rL rL lR lR rL rL lR rL lR rL

(From Bluecoats 2014 Drum feature)

Does anyone have any tips / exercises for improving the quality of the flams in this context?
Thanks
Jacob Swenberg

2013 Winter - Marimba
2013 Fall - 1st Bass
2014 Winter - Snare
2014 Fall - Snare
2015 Winter - Snare
2015 Fall - Snare


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:00 am



This is just straight up strength and height control.

Isolate the two hands:

RRRrrrRRRrrr
lllLLLlllLLL

and

RRrrRRrrRrRr
llLLllLLlLlL

Try them with double stops too, and take it slow.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


ja.swenberg Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:41 pm



Thanks. Would me posting a video allow you to give more advice?
Jacob Swenberg

2013 Winter - Marimba
2013 Fall - 1st Bass
2014 Winter - Snare
2014 Fall - Snare
2015 Winter - Snare
2015 Fall - Snare


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 7:11 am



Wow... I guess you know me pretty well. Please do... if there is a technique issue then a video is the best way to get good feedback.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


joe356 Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:59 pm



The stuff you're talking about is a finesse game. Its about learning how to control the natural rebound of the stick, without stopping its motion. If, at any point, the stick stops moving you're pretty much sunk. That's not to say we don't want to change the height, but you can't stop and lift again between notes the way you might with a slower accent tap. The accent needs to rebound to the next height, and then continue playing in a legato fashion at the lower height.


ja.swenberg Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:22 am



Here are the flams from the above pattern, squeezed out far below the actual tempo:



And here are just some exercises to give you an idea of the quality of my technique in general. Please excuse the sloppiness, it was the best I could do.



Yeah ... say what you have to say — and please don't go easy, I have my first audition next week. Thanks.
Jacob Swenberg

2013 Winter - Marimba
2013 Fall - 1st Bass
2014 Winter - Snare
2014 Fall - Snare
2015 Winter - Snare
2015 Fall - Snare


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:01 pm



Thanks for posting the video! I like your basics a lot, so you have much to be proud of. My comments are general, and they are based on comparing the two videos.

The first thing I noticed in "Flams 1" was how you changed body position based on your playing height. Like your shoulders shifted based on which hand had the lead. What is actually happening is that you are giving yourself some mechanical advantage to compensate for insufficient strength. Do you do that little switchero during alternating flams? No... you cannot move your body fast enough... hence the bad transition into the alternating flams.

Grace note height can be improved... you may have noticed your grace notes coming up higher as the tempo increased. Why? Because as higher tempos it becomes more difficult to get the distinct two-height transition, so as you continue to jack the tempo you will eventually get to a point where you are just playing double stops (provided that you can play legatos that fast).

Anyway, how to fix all this? Well take a look at your second video. Its clear to me looking at these two videos that you are a player that has emphasized speed over control. What did you play the double triple at? 160 bpm? Its not unusual. If you were a golfer, you would be the guy who goes to the driving range and spends $10 on a bucket of balls and does nothing but try to nail the "250 YD" marker. The problem is that being an effective drummer is not only about speed. In fact, having good control improves your ability to play fast. Maybe you should run that exercise again concentrating on achieving consistency over different heights. Try to get good quality at pp and ff at the same tempo. Try inserting accents on both the double and the triple so you can get a good feel for playing both "up" and "down" strokes. Get into some flam accent grids... you will discover quickly how little you understand height control. From there, you can start building yourself back up to play the alternating flams. Use "add-a-flam" type exercises to check yourself.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


VoteLobster Offline
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Re: Flams / Accent-tap

Posted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:41 am



ja.swenberg wrote: Yeah ... say what you have to say — and please don't go easy, I have my first audition next week. Thanks.
On triplet diddle make sure you're not adding any extraneous accents. Unless written otherwise, you should hear a balanced triplet check behind everything. Especially when you've got the diddle on the second partial, I'm hearing R ll R L rr L.
Alex Douglass
MCDC 16, 17 PR 18
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