Most habits are bad on the drums- because the prevent being intentional about what we’re playing. We’ll discuss intentionality more soon, but for now- try this exercise to break a bad habit…
Anyway, as promised today I want to share something with you that’s a little more practical than what I’ve been sharing maybe in the past few episodes. I mean, everything is practical, but I mean more something specific to drumming versus just any other kind of principle or idea. Today, we’re going to talk about what I think is one of the biggest enemies of playing with a click for sure, even without a click it’s something that’s kind of built into a lot of us, and it kind of ruins groove when trying to make things feel good. The thing is this, it is flams.
A lot of us, myself included, grew up in band, orchestra, marching band, and whenever you play the snare drum, or other kinds of assorted drumming instruments, pretty much every time that you bring your hands down together on the drum, so visualize this with me, you have your hands out, and you’re going to bring both hands down on the drum, so both sticks down on the drum at the same time. If you’re playing a snare drum, or like I said, other kinds of upright … banging on them instruments, you’re always going to be playing when those hands come down a flam.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s where you hit a small hit … so both hands come down together, but one hand, the first hand that hits, is going to be a little bit before the hand that actually hits right on the beat. If I’m bringing down a flam on beat one, and it’s a right hand flam, my right hand is going to hit on beat one, but my left hand, my left stick, is going to hit right before beat one. It kind of goes “Brrah”, kind of a little like … they call it a flam. It’s a little sound where it’s kind of more than one hit at the same time. That’s all well and good if you’re playing snare drum in a marching band or orchestra stuff, but for me over time what happened was I played snare for a couple of years in marching band, and did a lot of orchestra stuff. What happened was I developed a habit of playing flams.