Fill Of The Week #48

This week’s fill is a bit ruff. Check it out!

This week we’re taking a fairly simple 8th note fill and spicing it up with open 4 stroke ruffs and going over the bar line. Let’s get to it!

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic 8th note fill that we’re going to augment to create this fill. The basic 8th note fill is just a simple group of three 8th notes repeated 3 times. It would look like this:

The Basic Fill

You can play this fill anyway you like: RLRLR, RLLRLL, LRRLRR etc…

All we’re going to do is to make the first two 8th notes part of an open 4 stroke ruff. A ruff is one of the rudiments you should know; a ruff is a short single stroke roll. A 4 stroke ruff consists of 4 single strokes (RLRL or LRLR), the first 3 of which are classically considered as grace notes and are written as such:

Closed 4-Stroke Ruff

This is considered as a closed 4-stroke ruff, the first 3 notes don’t actually have any time value (they don’t land on a specific beat & can’t be counted) and are just played quickly before the main note.

The other version of this is the open 4 stroke ruff where the first 3 notes do have a time value (you can count them). The first 3 notes are normally considered as 16th note triplets in this version:

Open 4-Stroke Ruff

We’re going to use this later version in our fill. Here’s our fill with the 4 stroke ruffs added in:

The Full Fill

I accent all notes from our original 8th note fill & the snare drum notes are now played as rim shots to help them pop more. Take this fill slowly, work with an 8th note metronome and count!

Taking It Further

Whenever you have a fill based on 3 note groupings, you have 2 more permutations of that fill you can play. Here’s the other two permutations on this fill:

Permutate & Conquer

The first variation has the 4 stroke ruff in the middle of the 3 note grouping.

The second variation has the 4 stroke ruff at the end of the 3 note grouping. Note that for the last group I opted to keep the bass drum on the & of 1 as with the other fills. You could replace the bass drum with another snare rim shot if you find it easier. You could also leave out the final four stroke ruff and just play the tom tom on beat 1.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #48. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.