For this week’s Finish The Fill we’re using a common 16th note pattern between bass and snare to set up the final two beats of the drum fill where you decide what happens. Let’s check it out!
Begin The Fill
Here’s the 16th note idea that we’ll use as this week’s jumping off point.
This is a very common pattern. It’s common because it sounds great. If you haven’t already added it to your arsenal of drum fills, you should. If you can’t already play this, play it really slowly at first (40 – 50bpm), get comfortable with the bass and snare pattern and then add in the hi-hat one note at a time. Counting 16th notes while you play this will help.
Finish The Fill
The first ending I chose for this fill was just straight 16th notes on the snare:
The 16th notes on the snare drum provide a nice contrast to the earlier bass and snare pattern and sound more aggressive and direct. I would use this to indicate that the song is about to get more intense.
The second ending I chose is also just 16th notes but this time played between the bass and snare with a hint of hi-hat.
The open hi-hat note on beat 4 could be replaced with a flam on the snare, or with a crash to bring more attention to beat 4. This ending feels like a natural continuation of the fill as it keeps all the same voices happening.
The third ending is basically a repeat of the first two beats.
The difference between the first two beats and the last two beats is the dynamic levels. The last two beats restate the intial pattern but with the volume/intensity turned up. I used a flam on the snare, then a flat flam between snare and floor tom, and finally a snare / crash combination to turn the volume up. You could chose just one of those options and apply it to all 3 snare notes to make it sound more uniform.
Similar to the first ending, I would use this version when I want to turn up the intensity and bring more energy to the song.
The final ending I went with is more of a show-off ending; Using a very common 16th note triplet pattern (RLK) to bring some pizzaz to the fill.
I would probably use this fill if I was being given space within the song to show off a little.
What’s Your Ending?
I’ve shown you four of the many ways that I have finished this drum fill. Feel free to use them as inspiration when you create your own endings. How are you going to Finish The Fill?
Practice this at a range of tempi and, once you have some ideas, I would also suggest trying it in various musical contexts with drumless tracks from YouTube.
There are many options I haven’t used here: 8th notes, 8th note triplets, 32nd notes, rests, combinations of different subdivisions etc… Good Luck!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this fill. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.