Fill Of The Week #70

12 / 8 = drum fill of the week #70!

This week’s drum fill, like groove of the week #70 is in the 12/8 time signature. You might want to check out groove of the week #70 for some further drum fill suggestions in 12/8.

Our drum fill this week features flams and bass drums and showcases the way I often combine these two elements in drum fills to create complex sounding fills.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm and hand pattern for this fill.

This drum fill is in 12/8; notice how we count it. Each eighth note gets one count and the 16th notes get counted as “and” (&). Play this slowly with a metronome at first. As not all metronomes can count 12/8, I use a metronome set to count eighth note triplets in 4/4. The fill is at 76bpm, you may want to play slower to start with. Beats 1, 4, 7 and 10 should coincide with the main 4/4 beats.

Now let’s add in the flams.


The flams simply go on beats 1, 4 and 7.

Now lets throw in the bass drum.

Give it a kick

The bass drum goes before and after every flam and between the last three 8th notes. When I’m playing a 16th note drum fill with flams, I often put a bass drum either side of the flam to keep the 16th note flow going and to give my hands time to prepare for the flam or what follows it. This is especially useful at faster tempos.

Our final step is orchestrate the hands around the kit. Note that I play flat flams on the last three beats with right hand joining in on the floor tom.

A thing of beauty

Take It Further

Anytime learn a reasonably complex drum fill like this, it’s worth spending the time to get as many drum fills as you can out of the pattern. Here’s a few more ideas using the same pattern.

A few ideas more

Our first variation just moves each block of 3 eighth notes onto a a different drum.

The second variation is a similar idea except the change the next tom is foreshadowed on the last 8th note of the previous block.

The final variation has us moving the RLR around between the snare and the toms playing a melody and the final three 8th notes are orchestrated so the right hand moves down the toms.

Now create some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #70. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.