Flam Speed

iontheable

Senior Member
Okay..so I feel a bit moronic devoting an entire thread to this..but here it goes:

Lately I've been practicing my flams, more specifically flam-tap's within a groove..and I am wondering if I were to play:

rL L r l r - with the flam being at the beginning, from any BPM say 70 bpm eights to 120 eights..is the flam always to be played at the same speed?

Or when I play this same beat at a lower BPM, such as 70, would the flam be spaced out more?

I am leaning to the flam being an "equal" value no matter the speed of the piece..but I just wanted to be sure..

Thank You
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
as the strokes speed up the flam should just fit accordingly

you would not separate the flam at slow speeds because it would just be come 2 single strokes and if you speed it up it will become double stops

in my opinion a flam is a flam

they can flex a bit....but not all that much without no longer being a flam
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
In strict rudimental terms, the spacing between the grace note and accent should remain about the same at all tempos.

One thing that's almost inevitable at fast tempos is the dynamic difference between the grace note and accent will get smaller. In other words, the accents won't be as loud and the grace notes won't be as soft.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
This is a bit of a tangent but I've been wondering recently if there's such a thing as a 'rock flam', since in a lot of rock and metal music you encounter flams where both notes are accented and it's the first one that starts on the beat, unlike a rudimental flam with a grace note anticipating a note on the beat. I certainly find myself doing this instinctively.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
There are different ways to play flams, from pretty open to really tight. But its not AT ALL dependent on tempo. Its dependent on the feel and the tone you want to get. If you are playing a deep gooshy snare on a ballad then you'll probably want to play pretty open flams so 1) you can hear both notes over the sustain of the drum and 2) because its a mellower way to play a flam and will fit the mood of the music.

Conversely, if you were practice marching snare drum technique, you'd probably want really tight flams. Marching snare are extremely articulate, and marching snare music, in general, is very technical and fast. A tight flam will provide the ornament you need without muddying up everything else you are playing.

To my knowledge there is no such thing as a "rock flam". Flams are a form of ornamentation, and all ornamentation precedes the primary note. Thats the way they should be felt

However, there is a very scarcely used ornament called a reverse flam or an inverted flam. This is when the grace note is deliberately notated after the primary. I've only seen it in one technical/obscure snare piece I learned in school. I don't like them because they feel kinda strange especially in the context of a technical snare solo. I personally don't think rock drummers have thought that much about flams, so most play them, or intend to play them, in the traditional way.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
This is a bit of a tangent but I've been wondering recently if there's such a thing as a 'rock flam', since in a lot of rock and metal music you encounter flams where both notes are accented and it's the first one that starts on the beat, unlike a rudimental flam with a grace note anticipating a note on the beat. I certainly find myself doing this instinctively.
Yeah, on drum set, there aren't any rules. I especially like to play really open flams between tom and snare, with the tom note preceding the snare note, almost half-way between a triplet and a rudimental flam. It just sounds good. Tony Williams' famed "blushda" incorporates a really open flam between tom and snare where both notes are accents and it sounds great.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
This is a bit of a tangent but I've been wondering recently if there's such a thing as a 'rock flam', since in a lot of rock and metal music you encounter flams where both notes are accented and it's the first one that starts on the beat, unlike a rudimental flam with a grace note anticipating a note on the beat. I certainly find myself doing this instinctively.
I think I've seen that called a "french flam" somewhere before... The timing part, not the accent part anyway.

edit: nevermind, I can find nothing on the entire internet to back-up that statement :|
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Flams can naturally become tighter in terms of spacing as things get faster. There is just less time for more space to exist between the grace and primary note. They have to stay distinguishable though, a looser head will require more space between them since the head needs to "reset" (like a trampoline) between the notes.

When playing slowly flams can be nice & fat (artistic decision here), but ultimate they'll end up being played as close as possible to the primary note without flattening.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think your mileage may vary when concerning the spacing of the grace note to the primary stroke. Obviously, two wide and it's no longer a flam, but there are times when a tight flam sounds better than a phat flam, and vice versa. At that point I think you should just use your ears and go with what you like. Trust me, in a band situation, no one will notice and all the audience will hear is drums ;)

Actually, if you want to really get your hands used to different spacings, try playing inverted flam taps instead. Then you're forced to slow down a bit because your hands are doing something physically wonky. I do an exercise where I'll play a measure of flam taps in time, and then alternate with a measure of inverted flam taps. Try it, and you'll see where your flams will sound different.
 
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