This week’s drums fills all start with the classic dotted 8th note pattern played around the kit while the bass drum plays a supporting role on the beat. This pattern is often heard in power ballads such as “Alone” by Heart. The question remains though… how are you going to finish the fill? Here’s some ideas I came up with:
Where To Start?
We’re starting this week’s finish the fill with a flam. Always a good way to start a drum fill, it gives an immediate impact to the fill. Our hands our playing a very common dotted eighth note pattern, so we’re playing flams on beat 1, the “ah” of 1 and the “&” of 2. The bass drum just plays on beats one and two to help keep time. You can experiment by leaving out the bass drum to create a more spacious fill.
What Happens Next?
My first ending for this fill is just a simple 16th note ending that I’ve probably used a million times. It sounds great and it works in lots of situations. I keep the bass drum happening on the beat and I play beat 3 on the first Tom, the “e & ah” on the snare along with beat 4, and then finish the drum fill with the floor tom on the “& ah” of beat 4. Very simple, but it works.
Ending #2 makes things more dramatic by playing down the toms using eighth note triplets for the last two beats – 3 puh let 4 puh let. Eighth note triplets always sound dramatic when contrasted with regular 8th notes or 16th notes. Again I keep the bass drum happening on the beat.
Ending#3 is a more aggressive ending with flams on the toms interspersed with the bass drum at the 16th note rate. To make this one more aggressive I would split the flams between the snare and toms – left hand on the snare and right hand on the toms.
Ending #4 uses the Right-Left-Kick pattern to create a busy 16th note ending between the snare, toms and kick drum.
Ending #5 continues with the dotted 8th note rhythm started with the first 3 notes. It adds flams on the “e” of 3 and beat 4 and is finished with 2 floor tom 16ths on the “& ah” of 4. The bass drum once again keeps time by playing on all 4 beats.
This is another rhythm you want to be very familiar with as it occurs in a lot of songs. Again you can experiment by leaving out the bass drum to create a more spacious fill.
How Will You Finish The Fill?
That’s my 5 endings to this drum fill, how many can you create? Come up with as many as you can.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Finish The Fill #9. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.