So what’s on my mind? A few weeks ago I put on Twitter that I wish I could play Flam Taps a lot faster. This is very true, so with the use of various teaching ideas I have built up over the years, I knuckled down and got to work. From that single tweet admitting my weaknesses, I had an interesting reply from a follower offering me an exercise that he’d got from his teacher.
During the following few weeks since receiving the tweet I did practice a lot with the Flam Taps, but what was really on my mind, was the gig in Canada with Paul Pigat and Pete Turland. The gig involved six shows, each lasting for three hours. It was certainly a challenge, being that the band has never really played together.
We arrived in Edmonton, Canada a week before the shows were due to start, so I had plenty of time to catch up with friends and relax. This was a much needed break, my teaching and gigging schedule had been full on back in the UK. It didn’t take long before Monday the 5th August arrived and it was time for our first show. The day started with a brief trip to the airport to pick up Paul, who was flying from Vancouver via New York after an appointment with Fred Gretsch. Paul Pigat has been endorsed by Gretsch for the last few years and has a very busy schedule playing with Cousin Harley. Paul has also played with the likes of Albert Lee and Brian Setzer. He is also classed as one of the best rockabilly guitarists around today. To say, that I was honored he could do these shows is an understatement, so I was totally excited for playing. As I have mentioned before, Pete Turland is classed as the best stand up bass player in North America, and that’s from Bass Player Magazine, not me!
Having mentioned that I was in a world-class band on Twitter, I received another tweet saying- @Glennydrums you’d be pronominal if you could play those flam taps. I also received- @Glennydrums I think if you spent more time at the snare and less time on twitter you’d be world class!
Whether I consider myself to be world-class is another matter, but I certainly believe that you are only as good as the people you play with. Playing Flam Taps will certainly help your drumming, but having to play genres such as slow blues, blues shuffles, train beats and western swing grooves couldn’t be further away from the Flam Tap. Don’t get me wrong, playing and practicing your rudiments is a must. You may not play them as they have been written, but if you do work on them, they will show up in your playing without you even realising. So, having practiced my Flam Taps, did it help with this gig? I’m not sure, but what I do know for one week I held my own when playing with world-class musicians.
Being told that I should practice my rudiments is good advice and I take that on board, but don’t get stuck in a world, where you think it’s the only thing you should be practicing. Groove, feel and create the unique brand that is YOU is also very important. Be different and be the best you can. I wish you all the luck in the world, but expect it to be a bumpier ride than you make it sound on Twitter.
Thank you for reading.
If you are not a drummer and are wondering what a Flam Tap is, please check out the video below.