Fill Of The Week #15

It’s Fill Of The Week Time, let’s check out fill of the week #15:

What? No Tom-Toms? No-Flams? No Crashes? Just Bass, Snare and Hi-Hats? Is this really fill of the week? Yes, it is. Fill of the week #15 is what is known as a Groove Fill. Just a simple variation on the groove that doesn’t interrupt the flow of time. This is one of my favorites.

Learn The Fill

The main feature of this fill is the bass drum on the 16th notes. As long as you can play alternating 16th notes between your right hand and right foot, you should be able to play this fill. If you can’t do that, then this first exercise is for you:

alternating hi-hat & bass
Alternating Hi-Hat / Bass 16th Notes

Play this exercise very slowly – 40bpm – and just focus on alternating your right hand and your right foot very smoothly. Once that is happening, we can start to learn the fill.

Here’s the first 6 notes of the fill:

First 6 notes
Count as you play!

The next 6 six notes of the fill are just a repeat of the first 6 notes. They start on the next available 16th note which is the “& of 2”

first 12 notes
Keep counting

Now we’re just left with beat 4 to fill in. For this fill I opted for two eighth notes to finish off beat four. A snare on 4 and a bass on the & of 4. I like this ending as the snare drum ends the fun of the fill in an authoritative manner and the bass drum on the & of 4 indicates it’s time to get back to work. Here’s the full fill.

the whole fill

Take It Further

There are 2 simple ways to change this fill up. The first is to simply move your right hand away from the hi-hat. Try it on the floor tom, for example:

adding the floor tom
Tom Tom Time!

The other simple way to change this fill is to play around with beat 4. I like to keep a snare drum on beat 4, as it fits with the rest of the fill, but what happens after than is up to you. Here’s a few examples:

alternate endings
Change it up!

The first variation is just a flam; simple, but powerful. A great way to put an exclamation point in a song and move onto a completely different section of the song.

The second variation has that flam, but connects back into the groove a little smoother thanks to the bass and 2 snare drums. It keeps the theme of the fill going by using just the bass and snare.

The third variation is just a standard 16th note fill played around the toms. This is just to add a little tom colour to the fill, but it still keeps that snare on beat 4.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #15. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.