Space: the final frontier and often sorely lacking in drum fills on instagram… but not this week!
This week’s drum fill is a simple one. But simple fills are often the most musical ones. Most memorable drum fills are simple. Everyone knows Jeff Pocaro’s drum fill on Africa by Toto; it’s simple and instantly recognizable. Let’s get simple this week.
Learn The Fill
Let’s start looking at the basic rhythm of the drum fill.
All we’re playing for this drum fill is five notes. Five notes spread across a whole bar. Hopefully you can play the rhythm above accurately. If not, get your metronome out, start at 80bpm and count the 8th notes out loud as you play the rhythm.
All that remains now is to orchestrate the pattern around the kit. I decided to emphasize some of the notes over the others. In particular, beat 1, the “&” of 2 and beat 4. This is a very common accent pattern found right across all different styles of music.
I emphasized beat one by making it a flam. The “&” of 2 and beat 4 are emphasized by hitting a tom and the snare together & they sound stronger than the “&” of 3 which is just a tom.
On the “&” of 1 I play the bass drum and a open hi-hat so the drum fill doesn’t sound so dry. I elected to close the open hi-hat on the “&” of 2. You can also try closing it on beat 2 or letting it ring throughout the whole drum fill.
Taking It Further
As mentioned above, accenting beat 1, the “&” of 2, and beat 4, is very common. Here’s 3 more simple drum fills that accent those beats.
The first drum fill, you’ll probably recognize, is a classic that has been in many many songs including Highway To Hell by AC/DC and You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi.
The second drum fill keeps the accents from this week’s fill, but moves the bass drum around and gets rid of the open hi-hat.
The final drum fill reinstates the open hi-hat and adds another one on beat 3.
Now create some of your own.
I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #82. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.