Fill Of The Week #57

Don’t blink, you’ll miss this week’s drum fill!

This week’s drum fill is a fast one. It’s at 90bpm, which isn’t the fastest tempo, but it’s using 32nd notes. We’re using flurries of 3 notes to create this fast and furious drum fill. We’ve done similar 32nd note drum fills before, check out fill of the week #18 for further ideas.

Learn The Fill

When I’m learning a 32nd note drum fill, I find it easier to rewrite it and double all the note values and the length of the drum fill. The reason for this is that it’s easier to count 16th notes than it is to count 32nd notes.

Once I can understand the pattern and get my hands to play it easily, then I can halve the note values again and play it as originally intended. Let’s start by playing the basic rhythm of this drum fill as 16th notes.

The basic rhythm - as 16ths and 8ths
Stretch it out.

This fill doesn’t seem so intimidating when written as 16th notes. Set your metronome to 80bpm and count out loud as you play the rhythm. Pay attention to the sticking pattern; your hands should be alternating.

Once you’re finding that easy, you can look to orchestrate the drum fill around the kit.

The basic rhythm orchestrated.
Orchestrate it.

The first four groups of three notes alternate between being played on the toms and on the snare. The LRL groups are played on the high tom and floor tom; the RLR groups are played on the snare drum. You might want to practice moving between those two groups. The final group of RLR is split between snare, high-tom and floor tom.

Now that you can play the fill and orchestrate it, it’s time to play it at full speed.

the full fill
One bar of fury.

When playing this drum fill, I count the 16th notes as notated and just trust my hands to play the 32nd notes in between. Start practicing with your metronome at 40 bpm and ideally counting 16th notes. Pay attention to which hand falls on which 16th note. Once you are playing it accurately, then speed it up slowly until you can’t go any faster!

Taking It Further

You’ve just spend time getting comfortable moving quickly been two groups of 32nd notes – one group on the toms and one group on the snare. Let’s create another drum fill using those two groups.

32nds on the one
Spot The Difference?

This time our groups of 3 are starting on beat 1 and we’re playing 5 of them before we hit the ending. If you need to, go ahead and rewrite the drum fill as a two bar pattern using 16ths, 8ths and quarters. The 32nd notes change to 16ths, the 16ths change to 8ths and the 8ths become quarters.

We can easily create another two fills by starting the 32nd notes on the “&” of one or the “ah” of one. Try these two:

32nds on the and
Starting on the “&”
32nds on the ah
Say “AH”

Try all four variations of this drum fill and find which one suits you best. For more 32nd note fun try fill of the week #21.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #57, If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.