Flams


 

Flams '09 (2009) was the flams warmup of the 2009 NC State Drumline. It covers flam accents, flam-taps, and (for the snares) inverted flam taps. There are some flam drags at the end too, so good luck with those. I think this is a good piece for a university drumline, since the upper battery works on the main flam demands that a college line should expect to encounter, while the bass line gets a bit more work on doublestrokes. The snares are required to play inverted flam taps, while the quads work on the upstroke motion in the context of the skank/mute patterns that are often encountered in street beats and stadium grooves.

If I were to use this piece today, I would change the first two bars to be double-stops in the snare and quad parts, since that forces performers to work on the quadruple-stroke that shows up in the written flam pattern.

 

Kicked in the Grace (2007) is a four-measure flam étude that employs a myriad of grace-note contexts: flam-accents, flam-taps, swiss triplets, inverted flam-taps, etc. The scope is broadened by adding drags to produce different variations.

In a line setting, the variations can be chained together as appropriate. Additionally, the snare and quad parts, by ending on an eighth note upbeat, allow "off the left" variations to be seamlessly added to the sequence.

 

Blat (2010) combines triplestrokes with hugadigs (one-handed breakdown of a flam-tap) and flam rudiments. The more thinly-written middle part centres around what's called the "Cary lick" in the quad line, with a flam accent breakdown in the snare line.

The way the heights are notated, there is a slight difference between the threes of the triplestroke bars, and those of the flam-tap bars, though not every instructor/line makes such a distinction. I think of triplestrokes as being allowed a bit more freedom to rebound, while hugadigs are controlled a bit more to achieve a lower height on the third note (the grace note of the flam-tap).