I call this fill “How to lose a band in 24 notes or less.” This is a fun fill to play but certainly isn’t applicable to every musical situation – use with extreme caution.
We’ve done a few fills featuring 5 note groups before, the most recent one being fill of the week #26. Those previous fills have played the 5 note grouping over 16th notes; this week’s fill plays the 5 note grouping over 16th note triplets (sextuplets).
Learn The Fill
The first step in learning this fill is to be comfortable with the 5 note grouping that we are playing.
Our grouping this time around is Left-Right-Left-Right-Kick. Get comfortable playing this grouping repeatedly in a smooth manner. Keep all the notes nice and evenly spaced. Don’t worry about playing it over a subdivision, just count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.
Once you can play the group smoothly, then we can put it over our desired subdivision – 16th note triplets.
Play this against a metronome. Go very slowly (30 – 40 bpm) and count the 16th note triplets out loud. Use a metronome that can count 16th note triplets clearly – I recommend “Tempoperfect” from NCH software. Make note of where each group of 5 starts in the bar, this will help you to check in with the metronome while playing the fill. You’ll know that your left hand should be hitting the snare on beat 1, the “ta” of the “&” of 1, the “ti” of the “&” of 2, the “&” of 3 and the “ta” of 4.
Once you can play the 5 note group over 16th note triplets, then you can look at orchestrating it around the kit. I decided to orchestrate it in two ways; first, between the snare, toms and bass drum and then between the snare, hi-hat, stack and bass drum. I alternate between these two orchestrations to create the fill. If you don’t have a stack cymbal you can use any effects cymbal or the bell of the ride cymbal. Here’s the full fill:
Take It Further
The easiest way to take this further is to take what we already have and reuse it. The first variation just uses the snare, tom, kick orchestration from our original fill.
The second variation uses the snare, hi-hat, stack, kick orchestration from the the original fill.
Our third variation just alternates the our two orchestrations in a different manner to the first.
I’ll leave you to come up with new orchestrations of the 5 note groupings. I would also to encourage to explore the Right-Left-Right-Left-Kick grouping. Follow the same steps – learn to play it smoothly, then play it over the subdivision, finally, orchestrate it around the kit.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this fill of the week. It’s not a fill that is applicable to all musical situations and should be used carefully. However, working through fills such as this will help improve your timing and rhythmic ability.
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