Fill Of The Week #13

It’s time for fill of the week. Here’s lucky number 13:

This fill was inspired by the drum fill intro to “You Could Be Mine” by Guns n’ Roses. The fills use the same first 6 notes, but the GnR fill is over 2 bars, I had to cram mine into 1 bar. I also threw in a little 16th note triplet twist on beat 4 so I could get more notes in.

Learn The Fill

The first step in learning this fill is to be comfortable moving from 16th notes to 16th note triplets. If you haven’t already mastered this, I suggest just playing the rhythm of the fill on the snare drum and counting along. Use a metronome set to count 8th notes.

Be sure to count out loud!

If you are having trouble moving smoothly from the 16th notes to the 16th note triplets, try this exercise:

Listen to the 8th note Tom pattern.

In this exercise the Right hand moves between the floor tom and the high tom on beats 1,2 & 3, then when you move to the 16th note triplets the left hand has to play the high tom on the “&” of 4 to keep the tom pattern going. Listen to the eighth note Tom Tom pattern, can you make it sound even?

Once you can play the basic rhythm on the snare drum, then it is just a matter of moving it around the kit. Here’s the full fill:

Keep counting & work with a metronome.

The speed you can play this fill at will be determined either by your bass drum or the 16th note triplets. Start at 60bpm and aim for 120bpm. You may be able to get it up to 140 – 150bpm with practice.

Take It Further

To take this further, practice changing the last beat. Try these examples:

Simple 16th note ending
16th note ending with flams.
Alternative 16th note triplet ending
32nd note ending

Practicing in this manner helps to increase your fill vocabulary and will allow you to adapt the fill to the musical situation you are in. Do you want more energy? Go for the 32nd notes. Want to keep it nice and smooth? Simple 16th notes are the answer. Want to put an exclamation point on the end of a phrase, go for the flams.

You can also change the melody of the first 3 beats by keeping the hand/foot pattern the same but changing the combination of snare and toms. Here’s two examples.

Melody variation 1
Melodic variation 2

You’ll notice that I like to echo what happens in the middle of the fill, between beat 2 and the “&” of 3, in the 16th note triplets at the end. This helps to to reinforce the melody of the fill further and sounds quite musical.

I hope you enjoy this fill. For a free trial drum lesson in Singapore, send us a message via the contact us page.