Single Drag Tap

Learn How To Play The Single Drag Tap Drum Rudiment!

In this next free drum lesson, Lionel Duperron teaches you how to play the single drag tap, one of the patterns from the drag family of drum rudiments. He also teaches how to apply the single drag tap to the drum set, through a couple of drum beats and drum fills.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that although the single drag tap has a similar name to the flam tap, it’s actually the drag family version of the inverted flam tap. So, much like the inverted flam tap, the single drag tap is based on an offset double stroke roll that starts on the “and” of each count.

Knowing how to play the drag ruff and the double stroke roll will make wonders for your single drag tap. Work on those two drum rudiments before going on with this free drum lesson. The single drag tap naturally alternates within itself. Work on the exercise below to get your single drag tap chops up to par, it’s a great exercise.

Single Drag Tap

Working on any of the 40 drum rudiments requires dedication and patience to get them to a high degree of control. Work hard and correctly, and you’ll have big results sooner than later. Work with a metronome as you practice the exercise above.

Keep track of your progress so that you can see how much you have developed over the weeks and months. This is a great way of keeping you motivated and focused. Speed comes with control, so work on control and speed will come with time. Once you feel you have the single drag tap happening on a drum pad or snare drum, take the drum beats and drum fills below and have some fun with them.

Drum beat #1 is based around an 8th note rock drum beat. Counts 1 and 3 have the single drag tap played in its entirety on the hi-hat. On counts 2 and 4 things get a little more interesting and broken up. There’s a left hand drag played between the bow of the ride cymbal and the snare drum, and a tap stroke on the hi-hat.

Single Drag Tap

For this pattern to work you’ll have to play it leading with the right hand. This is so, because by leading with the left hand you’d be caught in a very awkward position to play the grace notes on the bow of the ride cymbal on count 2. Add the bass drum on counts 1 and 3 and you’re set.

The second drum beat on this free drum lesson is a variation on the previous one. Counts 1 and 3 are exactly the same; the main changes were done on counts 2 and 4 – grace notes played on the snare drum instead of on the ride. The last modification came on the “and” of count 4 where the hi-hat tap was displaced to the floor tom.

Single Drag Tap #2

Displacing strokes to different instruments on your drum set is a great way of coming up with fresh patterns based around ones you’ve already mastered. Don’t forget to play this exact exercise with the grace notes buzzed as well.

The next exercise has the single drag tap played on a drum fill. The drags are kept on the snare throughout the whole fill, while the taps are played on the hi-tom and floor tom. The drum fill ends with a three-note 16th note single stroke roll going from the snare drum to the hi-tom and to the floor tom. For you to be able to play this pattern comfortably you’ll have to play it leading with the right hand.

Single Drag Tap #3

This next exercise is a very cool one because of the way the taps are orchestrated. The drags are kept on the snare drum while the left hand taps are played on the open hi-hat and the right hand taps on the bow of the ride cymbal.

Single Drag Tap #4

The bass drum is played in unison with all the taps. After hitting the open hi-hat don’t forget to close it on counts 2 and 4. To be able to execute this pattern as written, you’ll have to start playing it with the right hand leading. After you’ve mastered this single drag tap drum fill, move the taps to other voices on the drum set, like cowbells or other cymbals.

That’s it for this free drum lesson on the single drag tap. If you want to keep learning more about drag based drum rudiments, take a look at the double drag tap.