The fourth in a five-part series about creating the ideal warm-up routine.
The previous three blog articles in this series got your hands moving and introduced accent patterns and wrist lifts. Now we’ll add a new rudiment: the flam.
Element #4: Flams
The flam is one of the original 13 National Association of Rudimental Drummers (N.A.R.D.) snare drum rudiments. It consists of a stroke preceded by a grace note. At this point in the warm-up routine, I like to take a step back and give my hands a chance to relax. The first version goes back to the “8 on a hand” preceded by a flam. This also introduces the down stroke on the last eighth note of each measure:
The next exercise incorporates four flam rudiments that are very common in the Charley Wilcoxin Rudimental books. It also helps you practice Flamacues beginning on the left hand — something I personally didn’t do as much as I should have as a young percussionist:
Be careful of the stickings at the end of this exercise, where a double is used to ensure that you begin on the opposite hand when you repeat the exercise.
Remember to start at a slow tempo and use a big range of motion to get your muscles loose. Use a metronome and track your progress. As before, try increasing the speed of the metronome by two beats per measure every time you repeat the exercise. (This can be done manually, or with the use of an app.)
Creating a warm-up routine is an individual process and what works for me will not necessarily work for everyone. Feel free to create your own routine! Share your results with me at email@example.com.
Check out the previous postings in our Snare Drum Warm-Up series: