Hitting the snare with both hands problem

brianbags

Member
I'm pretty sure there's a term for it but I can't remember it right now... anyways, probably about 90 percent of the time I hit my snare with both hands it makes a weird sound and it feels like I'm not getting all of it...like it kind of bounces one of the hands away. I don't really know how do describe it further than that.

Is there any way to fix this? I've tried retuning it but I didn't go to far because I love the sound my snare makes (with one hand)

I'm using moongels by the way.
 

The Bassist

Senior Member
It's called a flam, and what you're saying is normal. Unless you hit the snare with both hands at EXACTLY the same time, you'll get this. If you do manage to get them both precise, you'll notice a quite different sound and feel... dunno how I'd describe that. There's no real fix I can think of; most drummers out there (if not all) won't be able to hit both hands at the exact same time every time.
 

unfunkyfooted

Silver Member
a flam is not hit at exactly the same time or it will produce the exact effect you are describing. they should be hit slightly off of simultaneous, but close enough to sound like a two handed hit.

some snare heads WILL allow a simultaneous hit, depending upon tuning, but it is not the norm to strike the head at exactly the same time with both hands at the same time as it produces a sound that is similar to striking the head too hard (thus achieving a deader flatter sound which is the opposite of what was desired...more power volume and sustain).

just continue to work around in that area from time to time....you will find out what works for you and in which circumstances it works for you, and what doesn't.
 

brianbags

Member
It's called a flam, and what you're saying is normal. Unless you hit the snare with both hands at EXACTLY the same time, you'll get this. If you do manage to get them both precise, you'll notice a quite different sound and feel... dunno how I'd describe that. There's no real fix I can think of; most drummers out there (if not all) won't be able to hit both hands at the exact same time every time.
But listen to a song like Know Your Enemy... if it happens to everyone why do his flams sound perfect?
 

brianbags

Member
I think you should get familiar with rudiments......

http://http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments.php

here's the flam, click on the video portion to see the techniques...
http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments/20flam.php
don't really get how that helps me with this problem, but I watched the video. He's not doing it like Tre's doing it here, and I've always done it this way too...I just don't get the right sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2FIn11x4J0
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
......probably about 90 percent of the time I hit my snare with both hands it makes a weird sound and it feels like I'm not getting all of it......

....I'm using moongels by the way.
First of all, Moongels keep you from "getting all of it".

Secondly, what sound are you looking for? Tre's exact sound? Well, what kind of snare does he use? What kind of heads? What kind of tuning? What kind of microphone on the snare? What kind of EQing/effects are being used on the soundboard you're hearing his snare through?

...compare that to what YOU are using currently, and figure out what factors are different/lacking. There's your answer for why your flams don't sound like his (assuming that you use his exact technique).
 

brianbags

Member
First of all, Moongels keep you from "getting all of it".

Secondly, what sound are you looking for? Tre's exact sound? Well, what kind of snare does he use? What kind of heads? What kind of tuning? What kind of microphone on the snare? What kind of EQing/effects are being used on the soundboard you're hearing his snare through?

...compare that to what YOU are using currently, and figure out what factors are different/lacking. There's your answer for why your flams don't sound like his (assuming that you use his exact technique).
I want any kind of sound that is the same every hit. I don't wanna hope I get the right sound each time. My snare sounds perfect with one hand, but not when Im doing flams.

I'm using a Remo Emperor X (his) and it's tight, as is his I'm pretty sure.

But again, I'm not really looking for his exact sound.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I'm gonna say it man.....practice your flams. I've never found flamming to change the fundamental tone of the drum in any way. Are you flamming in the same spot as you hit with a single stroke, or are you flamming the edges of the snare? This will likely change the tone of the drum.
 

brianbags

Member
I'm gonna say it man.....practice your flams. I've never found flamming to change the fundamental tone of the drum in any way. Are you flamming in the same spot as you hit with a single stroke, or are you flamming the edges of the snare? This will likely change the tone of the drum.
No.. in the middle.

You're saying you've never found it to change the tone and others say it's unavoidable...

And how do you practice flams? All it is is hitting the drum with both hands at the same time, right?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
No.. in the middle.

You're saying you've never found it to change the tone and others say it's unavoidable...

And how do you practice flams? All it is is hitting the drum with both hands at the same time, right?
No....a flam is lR, rL. Not hit at the same time. The first stroke is ghosted followed by a full stroke with the second.

As far as I can see on your vid (I'm veiwing only though...I have no sound on this computer....I'll check it again when I get home), Tre is flamming. Check that Vic Firth vid again.

And correct, no change in TONE, provided I'm not flamming the edge of the drum.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I want any kind of sound that is the same every hit. I don't wanna hope I get the right sound each time. My snare sounds perfect with one hand, but not when Im doing flams.
Consistency takes practice. Theoretically, if you hit the same drum in the same spot in the same way every time, it should sound the same from stroke to stroke. Here's a video where Tre ISN'T hitting consistently...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CajcBHCXz4

Those bad sounding hits are called "flat flams", which is where you hit the drum at the exact same time with both hands. *shudders* Ugh! Nasty...

And how do you practice flams? All it is is hitting the drum with both hands at the same time, right?
Nope. This is the same link given before in this thread:

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments/20flam.php

Get over the "but that's not how I do it" mentality (the members here are trying to help), and watch closely what he does and how it sounds. See how one stroke is landing right before the other? Once you get that concept and how it sounds and what NOT to do (hit both sticks at the same time or have one stroke hit too much before the other...), THEN you can apply your and Tre's "technique" of both hands coming up to your head, but hitting with the same timing as the guy demonstrating flams in the video!

Also, if you do a flam in this fashion, it wouldn't hurt to also learn how to do a rimshot with the second stick that hits the drum. That will really open up the drum and make your flams sound like too much for you or your bandmates to handle!

Wear earplugs and rock on!
 

The Bassist

Senior Member
No.. in the middle.

You're saying you've never found it to change the tone and others say it's unavoidable...

And how do you practice flams? All it is is hitting the drum with both hands at the same time, right?
I think you're misunderstanding people. No one said it's unavoidable to change the tone with a flam; you're tone will change if you hit both hands EXACTLY at the same time. That will deaden the sound, feel different, and create a sort of phased sound. A flam is not hitting both hands at the same time precisely, but rather slightly offset from each other. Doing a flam won't change the tone because it's pretty much just hitting the snare twice really fast.
Also should be said that the way you flam will change the sound of the flam (not to be confused with the snare's tone). I think in that vid you linked, both hands hit from the same height. Often flams are more of a brief grace note and then a louder hit, meaning one hand taps just before the other hand hits the snare at a much higher volume. I'm sure there's plenty of YouTube videos out there explaining flams anyway, so you should check those out.
 

brianbags

Member
Ok wait, sorry, I think I am missing something. I was thinking a flam is when you hit the snare at the EXACT same time, but you guys are saying it's when you put one hand before the other as a ghost note, right?

So is Tre hitting them at the same time in this video or is he doing the ghost note thing I stated above? (flam?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2FIn11x4J0
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Ok wait, sorry, I think I am missing something. I was thinking a flam is when you hit the snare at the EXACT same time, but you guys are saying it's when you put one hand before the other as a ghost note, right?

So is Tre hitting them at the same time in this video or is he doing the ghost note thing I stated above? (flam?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2FIn11x4J0
Right, one hand slightly before the other, with the accent on the second stroke = a flam. Both hands at the same time = a FLAT flam (although I never knew that term til this thread....thanks Jeff and Caddy!!)

As I said, I can't hear it at the moment, but it looks to be a flam. If no one can answer this now, I'll look again when I get home and make a further assesment.
 
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The Bassist

Senior Member
Ok wait, sorry, I think I am missing something. I was thinking a flam is when you hit the snare at the EXACT same time, but you guys are saying it's when you put one hand before the other as a ghost note, right?

So is Tre hitting them at the same time in this video or is he doing the ghost note thing I stated above? (flam?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2FIn11x4J0
He is definitely flam-ing... they are NOT hitting at the exact same time.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
He is definitely flam-ing... they are NOT hitting at the exact same time.
Thanks mate.....I was hoping like mad i wasn't leading the OP up the garden path by sight only.

Brian bags, the best way to learn these is to start by practising with different stick heights. Keep your ghosting hand lower and your accent hand higher. Let your hands fall to the drum head, the low hand will strike first followed by the higher hand. Forget what Tre looks like (you're not Tre, what works for him may not work for you) and concentrate on duplicating the sound for the time being.
 
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