Right, Left, Left, Repeat.
This week’s fill is a based on a three sixteenth note sticking – Right Left Left. Some of the most famous and popular fills are based on groups of the three sixteenth notes. Check out fill of the week #42 for another fill based on a group of three 16th notes.
Learn The Fill
The place to start with this fill is to be comfortable playing the 3 note sticking pattern over the sixteenth note subdivision. Let’s start by playing the RLL pattern on the snare drum. Count out loud as you do it.
Take note of where each group of 3 starts – Beat 1, the “ah” of 1, the “&” of 2, the “e” of 3, beat 4 and finally the “ah” of 4. This will help you with your accuracy because as you’re counting out loud you’ll be aware that you should be playing a Right on those beats.
Now let’s move the right hand around a little. For this week’s fill we’re just going to move it between the snare drum and the floor tom. Keep counting as you try this:
So, now we have the floor tom on the “ah” of 1, the “e” of 3 and the “ah” of 4. I encourage you to try moving the right hand around on to other surfaces just to get more comfortable with the pattern.
Our final step is to move the left hand around. For this fill the left hand is just going to move between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Again, go slow and keep counting.
Now try playing a groove and then play this fill; when you return to the groove after this fill you should hit a crash on beat 1 with your Left hand because the fill finishes on the Right.
Take It Further
The first step in taking this further is just to re-orchestrate the fill around the kit and create some of your own fills using this sticking pattern.
The next step is to create fills of different length using the RLL sticking. Let’s create fills that start on beat 2, beat 3 and the “&” of 3. When learning these fills, count out loud and take note of which beat the first note of each group (The Right) falls on. This will help with your timing and accuracy.
For all 3 variations on our fill we’re using the same orchestration as the original full length fill, we’re just starting it in a different place.
The first fill starts on beat 2 and allows to play the RLL group four times.
The second fill starts on beat 3 and we only get two full groups of RLL and then a RL.
The final fill starts on the “&” of 3 and allows two full groups of RLL.
Try these fills out with your own variations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #56. Check out fill of the week #32 to see another 3 note group deployed.
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