Fill Of The Week #68

The secret code for this week is RLK… Shh… don’t tell anyone!

This week’s drum fill uses one of the most popular patterns in drumming history – Right – Left – Kick. This pattern has been around since the dawn of time and the 16th note triplet version is a rock drumming staple. Our last drum fill to use this pattern was fill of the week #60, check that one out too.

Learn The Fill

To learn this drum fill you need to be comfortable playing RLK at speed. The place to start with this drum fill is eighth note triplets. The key to this drum fill is to be able to play the RLK combination smoothly & consistently.

Triplets, eighth note triplets

Practice playing the RLK combination slowly at first. Start with a metronome at 60bpm and count out loud as you do it. Listen closely to your playing… are you getting 3 evenly spaced notes? When you are finding it easy to do at 60bpm, then increase your speed. Your aim is to get into the 160bpm – 200bpm range. Don’t rush it though, keep those triplets evenly spaced. It may take you a couple of weeks to reach 200bpm.

Once you have reached 160bpm, then we can convert them into sixteenth note triplets at 80bpm. Set your metronome to 80bpm and play your triplets like this:

Triplets, sixteenth note triplets

Because we’ve changed the subdivision, we also change the counting. You may need to slow down to 50 or 60pm to get used to how this feels against the metronome and to get used to the counting. I set my metronome to count 8th notes while practicing this and I focus on keeping my Right hand with the metronome on the 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.

Now let’s change this exercise to get the rhythm of this week’s drum fill. We’ll play 3 beats of 16th note triplets and then on beat 4 we’ll just play 8th notes with the Right hand.

The rhythm of the fill

The final step is to orchestrate the drum fill around the kit. I opted to play a simple melody with the right hand. The left hand stays on the snare drum. I lower the volume of the left hand and accent the right hand to bring out the melody I’m playing between the toms and the snare.

The full fill

Take It Further

Let’s look at some other ways we can orchestrate this pattern around the kit.

Move it around

Our first variation is similar to original fill in that we’re just moving the Right Hand around the kit and accenting it.

The second and third variations do away with the accent and move both hands around the kit.

There are many more orchestrations possible. Try to find some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #68. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.