How to Play a Flam Paradiddle: Step-by-Step

November 15, 2023

Mastering how to play a flam paradiddle will not just be a notch on your belt; it will sharpen your rhythms, injecting both complexity and refinement into your drumming skills.

In short, a flam paradiddle adds a flam at the very beginning of a standard paradiddle. By starting slow and being mindful of your stickings, you’ll be playing flam paradiddles with ease in no time.

Let’s delve into the mechanics of this punchy rudiment, so you can weave it seamlessly into your drum patterns!

What is a Flam Paradiddle?

A flam paradiddle is essentially a standard paradiddle prefixed by a flam, resulting in a mix of grace notes and alternating strokes that give it a unique, syncopated feel.

How to Play a Flam Paradiddle

Understanding the Flam Paradiddle

A flam paradiddle is a drumming pattern that combines the elements of a flam with a paradiddle – a foundational rudiment in percussion. This pattern adds a flam at the beginning of a standard paradiddle, bringing a nuanced layer of rhythm and complexity to the beat. Think of it as a rhythmic twist that gives your playing a distinct character and bounce.

How to play a Flam Paradiddle?

To master the flam paradiddle, the following steps should be executed with precision:

  • Lead with the Flam: Start the paradiddle with a flam. This involves striking one drumstick slightly before the other to create a grace note followed closely by a primary note, which together produce the flam.

  • Proceed with the Paradiddle: After the initial flam, perform a standard paradiddle pattern. This means you’ll play a single stroke with the hand that delivered the primary note of the flam, followed by another single stroke with the opposite hand, then a double stroke with the first hand.

Tips for Perfecting the Flam Paradiddle

  • Balance the Flam: Ensure the grace note of the flam is quiet and just precedes the louder primary note. The timing between these two notes is crucial for the distinct sound of a flam.

  • Maintain Even Paradiddle Strokes: After the flam, the subsequent strokes need to be even and controlled. Keep the volume consistent to achieve a smooth and rhythmic pattern.

  • Separate the Notes Clearly: Avoid blending the notes together. Each stroke within the paradiddle should be distinct and crisp to keep the rudiment clean and articulate.

  • Practice at a Slow Tempo: Begin slowly to ensure each part of the flam paradiddle is played correctly. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase the tempo.

  • Use a Metronome: A metronome can be a valuable tool for keeping your flam paradiddle in time, especially as you work on speeding up the rudiment.

  • Dynamic Variation: Experiment with playing the flam paradiddle at different dynamic levels. Doing so will help you adapt the rudiment to various musical contexts and enhance your expressive capabilities.

  • Incorporate into Daily Practice: Include flam paradiddles in your regular practice routines alongside other rudiments. This habit ensures that you’re developing a comprehensive drumming skill set.

Wrap Up

In wrapping up, mastering how to play a flam paradiddle is about precision, patience, and practice. By focusing on the subtle nuances of the flam and the rhythmic consistency of the paradiddle, you’ll add an impressive layer of sophistication to your drumming repertoire.

 Remember, the journey to flam paradiddle proficiency is a rewarding one that will enhance not only your technical skills but also your overall musical expression. Keep at it, and soon the flam paradiddle will become a natural and vibrant part of your percussive language.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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