Fill Of The Week #32

It’s time to ring the bell on this week’s fill. Ding Ding Ding, Let’s Go!

I thought it would be fun to try and incorporate the bell of the ride cymbal into a fill and, using a RRL sticking, this is what I arrived at.

Learn The Fill

Let’s look at the sticking pattern for this fill first:

basic sticking pattern
Right Right Left, Repeat…

We’re using a 3 note grouping – Right Right Left – played over 16th notes to create this fill. Play this sticking pattern and count 16th notes out loud as you do – use a metronome to keep your time secure. Be comfortable doing this before moving on.

The next step is to get familar with the Right hand part. We’re going to move it to the Ride cymbal where it will play the first note of our 3 note grouping on the body of the cymbal and the second note on the bell of the Ride cymbal. The final Right hand of the fill will be played on the snare drum to complete the fill. Let’s try that.

Hitting the ride
Ring that bell!

Work on getting a consistent sound from the ride cymbal bell, try to hit it in exactly the same spot each time. Note that I am using the tip of the stick to play the body of the Ride cymbal but the shoulder of the stick to play the bell. This gives you a bigger sound from the cymbal, it’s great for when you really want it to cut through.

Our next step is to add in the bass drum. I hit the bass drum together with the Right hand at the start of each RRL group. Let’s give that a bash.

Adding the bass drum
Drop the bass

The final step is to move the left hand around the kit – we’ll also move the final right hand as well. I opted to go Snare, Tom 1, Floor Tom, Snare, Tom 1 with the Left hand and then Floor Tom with the final Right hand. Here’s the full fill:

The full fill
Get that left hand moving!

Take It Further

Let’s change this fill up by altering the bass drum and the ride cymbal parts. We’ll keep the left hand the same, but, if you want to move it around and hit different drums, please go ahead.

Our first two variations move the bass drum around. First, we’ll put the bass drum together with the second Right in our RRL sticking. Then we’ll put it together with both of the Rights to create a heavier sounding fill.

changing the bass drum.
Change up the bass

Our next 3 variations change the Ride pattern from “Body – Bell” to “Bell – Body.” So we’ll be hitting the bell of the Ride cymbal first this time as we work through the 3 different bass drum combinations.

fills featuring ride bell first
First to ring the bell wins

While you are getting used to the “Bell – Body” ride cymbal pattern with the different bass drum patterns, you may want to play the left hand on just the snare – like we did when learning the original fill.

Which combination of Ride cymbal and Bass drum pattern sounds best to you? You’ll probably find you have a favourite. Don’t forget to experiment with moving the left hand around the drums differently too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #32. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.