Fill Of The Week #40

It’s the first Fill Of The Week of 2020 and, coincidentally, this fill has 20 notes in it. Check it out:

This fill of the week uses 2 beats of 16th notes and then 2 beats of 16th note triplets. I’ve always liked the way moving from 16th notes to 16th note triplets sounds. It adds a lot of energy and excitement to a fill. If you like this fill, check out Fill Of The Week #13 for a similar fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start out by looking at the basic rhythm of the fill.

The basic rhythm
The Basic Rhythm

If you’re not already comfortable moving from 16th notes to 16th note triplets, then I suggest you start by counting the basic rhythm along with a metronome playing 8th notes at 40bpm. Focus on the 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, make sure they line up with the metronome. Once you can count it, then you can attempt to play it.

Now lets orchestrate the first half of the fill. We’re just playing a tom tom on every 3rd 16th note. This is a fairly common pattern, try to accent the toms and ghost the snare a little. You want the tom toms to stand out more than the snare.

Orchestrating the 16th notes
Orchestrating The 16ths

Now we’ll orchestrate the 16th note triplets to create the full fill. We’re going to play the first 3 on the snare, the next 3 on the first tom and then the last 6 are orchestrated between the snare and all 3 toms.

Play the 16th note triplets separately at first and get used to how they move around the kit. Once you’re comfortable with that, then attempt the whole fill.

The full fill
The Full Fill

Taking it further

Whenever you have a fill which is clearly in two halves, the best way to take it further is to keep one half the same and change the other half. Here’s two examples:

2 variations on a theme
A couple of variations

The first fill keeps the 16th note part of the fill the same and then varies the 16th note triplet portion. The second fill varies the 16th note portion of the fill but keeps the 16th note triplets from original fill.

Practicing changing your fills up like this will help to expand your fill vocabulary and your flow around the kit. How many variations can you come up with?

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #40. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.