I'm an amateur drummer but slightly less amateur with other instruments like guitar, piano and clarinet.

What's the difference between a grace note and flam?

As far as I can tell they're very similar, so is it just these terms are applied to different disciplines?


I think a flam is what you play, and a grace note is how it’s written in notation. Or, as I read on a drumming web page, the first, quieter part of a flam can be called ”grace note”.


What a grace note means, depends on the instrument and culture. For drums a note preceded by a grace note means flam. On other instruments it might mean a weaker extra ornament note preceding the main note, which may sound like a tiny slur.


It's basically the same idea. A flam is two notes: a grace note followed by a normal stroke. So only that first little note of semi-indeterminate duration is the grace note, not the whole two-note phrase.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.