This week’s drum fill has a bit of an accent. Check it out!
This week’s drum fill takes a 16th note accent pattern and orchestrates it around the kit. The challenge here is to keep the snare drum notes nice and soft and to bring out the melody of the toms with the accents.
Learn The Fill
The place to start is with the accent pattern being used. Here it is just played on the snare drum:
Practice playing this just on the snare drum first and make sure you can articulate all the accents cleanly and that you have only two sound levels going on; one loud accented sound level and one soft sound level. You don’t want anything in between. Really try to make a big difference between the accented and non accented notes.
The next step is just to orchestrate the accent pattern around the toms to create the drum fill. Here’s my orchestration:
The challenge with this drum fill now is to keep the snare drum soft when moving to and from the accented tom toms. If you get it right the tom tom melody will be easily heard above the buzzing snares. If you get it wrong, the snare will drown out the tom toms. Practice it slowly and carefully at first paying full attention to your sound levels.
Take It Further
Once you have learnt an accent pattern, you want to make it a regular part of your vocabulary. To do that, I suggest coming up with as many orchestrations as you can for the pattern. Here’s 3 more ways of orchestrating this pattern.
The first variation has us play the first half of the fill on the snare only & the second half incorporates the toms as before. This creates a kind of call and response between the snare and the toms.
The second variation sees us keep the left hand on the snare until the very end while the right hand accents wander down the tom toms.
The final variation sees all the accents from the first 3 beats played on a crash cymbal together with the bass drum while the final four notes are accented on the snare. This is an aggressive sounding drum fill and works best with two or more crash cymbals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #80. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.