Fill Of The Week #18

You might need a doctor after fill of the week #18. This drum fill is going to herta a lot!

Fill of the week #18 uses a rudiment known as the Herta which we met back in fill of the week #11. In fill of the week #11 we were using the herta in 16th & 8th note triplet form; in this fill we’re using it in 32nd & 16th note form. If you’ve already studied fill of the week #11 then this fill shouldn’t “herta” so bad! If you’re not sure what a herta is, then maybe go study fill of the week #11 first.

Learn The Fill

The first step in learning this fill is to be comfortable with the 16th note sticking pattern that we’ll be using. This will be RRL repeated 5 times with an extra R on the end. Here it is:

Basic 16th note hand pattern
The basic hand pattern

Make sure you can play and count this basic pattern before moving on. Start at 50 – 60bpm and count out loud while you’re doing it.

Our next step is to form the Hertas by putting a Left handed 32nd note between the double Rights. Don’t alter your counting, just feel the 32nd note slipping in between the 2 right hands. Count out loud and work slowly.

adding the hertas
Add in those 32nd notes, keep counting.

Working slowly with a metronome at around 40bpm will help you to get comfortable with this rhythm. Use a metronome that can play the 16th note subdivisions for you and count out loud with it.

The final step in this fill is to orchestrate it around the kit. I chose to split the first 4 hertas between the high tom and snare drum and the last one between the mid tom and the floor tom. I finish the fill on the Right hand and therefore crash with my Left on beat one. You can try changing that last Right to a Left and then crash with your right if your more comfortable that way. However it’s good to be comfortable crashing with either hand. Here’s the full fill:

the full fill.
Hertas so good, ooh baby…

Taking It Further

This fill is already amazingly awesome, but we can tweak it a little. Here’s some simple re-orchestrations.

4 herta fill variations
You make it herta so good

The first two orchestrations are just moving the hands around. The last two introduce the bass drum into the fun. The third variation is similar to a drum fill John Bonham played on the Led Zeppelin Song “Stairway to heaven” – you can hear it around the 6:20 mark in that song.

I hope that fill of the week #18 didn’t herta too much & that you learnt something from it! If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.