Fill Of The Week #19

Here’s fill of the week #19, be warned we’re going where no fill has gone before… over TWO bar lines!

Fill of the week #19 is a 7-note grouping played over 16th notes. This is a good way to get used to playing 7-note groupings before you try applying them to 16th note triplet or 32nd note fills.

I’d often hear drummers talk about 7-note groupings but when I tried to apply them to a one bar 16th note fill they often didn’t sound right. You can only get 2 and a bit 7-note groups in a bar. I discovered that if I played the group 3 times though it sounded quite nice.

A 7-note grouping played 3 times though gives us 21 notes, which is 5 too many for a bar of 16th notes. If I started the fill on beat 1 and went over the bar line, the fill would finish on beat 2 and that just sounded strange and made it hard to get back into the groove. Therefore, I shifted everything back 2 16th notes so it starts on the “&” of 4 and finishes on the “&” of 1. This allows us to put a crash on beat 2 with the snare drum and get back into our groove easily.

If you’ve never ventured over the bar line before, you might want to check out Fill Of The Week #14 which goes over only 1 bar line with 5-note groups.

Learn The Fill

First of all, we want to get comfortable playing the 7-note grouping. Here it is written out in 7/16 time. You can count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Sev while playing it.

basic 7 note pattern.
The Basic Pattern – Get It Down!

Try to repeat it without any gaps between the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next. You want to be able to move smoothly from 1 cycle to the next.

Once you can play it 3 times in a row smoothly, then we can put it into 4/4 time. Here is the full fill with the counting and the 7 note grouping clearly marked:

the full fill
Go slow & count

Work with a metronome on this. Don’t bother playing a beat to start with, just focus on starting the fill on the “&” of 4 of one bar and finishing it on the “&” of 1 two bars later – playing smooth 16th notes all the way. Start at 40-60bpm.

I find that taking note of where each group of 7 starts, helps me to check I’m doing it correctly. I should be hitting the High Tom on the “&” of 4 of the first bar and on the “e” of 2 and beat 4 of the 2nd bar.

If this is your first time playing groups of 7 or going over the bar line with a fill, then take your time & go slow and count. ‘

If you want a shorter version of this fill, then truncate the last 3 notes so it becomes a 7,7,4 fill and ends nicely at the end of the bar – like this:

I’m afraid we’re going to have to amputate your last 3 notes

Take It Further

The simplest way to take this further is to just move around the hands around the kit in a different manner. Try these variations:

simple variations on the drum fill
RLRLRLK repeat

All of the above variations use the same sticking pattern as the original grouping. Try creating some of your own.

If you are comfortable with 6 note patterns such as the paradiddle-diddle (RLRRLL), double paradiddle (RLRLRR/LRLRLL) or 6 stroke roll (RLLRRL) then try adding a bass drum to the start or the end to create a 7 note pattern. Try these:

7 note grouping using paradiddle-diddles, double paradiddles and 6 stroke rolls
Double para-roll-a-ma-diddle what?

The first of the 3 variations above uses the Paradiddle-diddle, the second variation is a cool sound hi-hat/snare/bass fill using the double paradiddle and the final one uses the 6 stroke roll.

While playing with the 6 stroke roll version I also came across RLLRRKK. That’s also a great sounding pattern worth exploring.

I hope you have fun exploring 7-note groupings with fill of the week #19. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.