Finish The Fill #14 has us diving into 32nd notes. This week’s drum fill starts with a flurry of 32nd notes on beat 1 and then again on the “e” of 2. What happens after the first two beats is up to you.
Where To Start?
Here’s our first two beats for this week’s drum fills:
When playing 32nd notes, I prefer to just count 16th notes and then feel the 32nd notes between the 16th notes. In this case we have a 32nd note squeezed beat 1 and the “e” of 1 and another 32nd note squeezed between the “e” of 2 and the “&” of two. In my head it sounds like da-la-da da da da da-la-da da. I find internalizing the rhythm as a sound like this helps me to reproduce it consistently.
I play these first two beats with alternating single strokes, RLR L R L RLR L. There are other ways, but I find this the easiest.
What Happens Next?
What happens next is always up to you, but here’s 5 suggestions for you to try. My first ending picks up the energy from the first two beats and amplifies it by going all in on the 32nd notes. Here I’m playing a common 6-6-4 pattern around the kit, but as 32nd notes over the last two beats.
If you set your metronome to count 16th notes at around 50-60bpm, have your right hand play three 16th notes on the snare, three on the first tom and two on floor tom. Once you can do that, follow your right hand around the kit with the left hand and have it play a note inbetween each time. Then you’ll end up with the ending of this fill. Start slow, it might take a while.
My second ending uses a hybrid rudiment known as the herta, two of them in fact, on beat 3 and the “a” of 3. The hertas are broken up between the hi-hat, the snare and a tom tom to add a different sound to the fill. If you’re not sure what a Herta is, just type “Herta drum fill” in to YouTube and you’ll find lots of answers and applications.
Our third ending uses mostly 16th notes and a very common sticking pattern to create a melody around the toms; there is a little 32nd note flurry on the “&” of 4 to keep things interesting.
The ending is played R L L R L L RLR. The left hand plays all the snare drum notes while the right hand handles the tom toms.
Ending number 4 has brings the bass drum in to shake things up a little and add another sound. I play the ending R K R K L RLR L. We have another Herta on the “e” of 4. It’s a very useful rudiment to know.
Our final ending sees us using little flurries of 32nd notes to create more energy in the fill.
My sticking for this ending is RLR RLR RLR L R. The right hand does most of the work so it can move around the toms. You could opt for a LLR LLR LLR L R endings, but my doubles aren’t as loud as my singles and I wanted more power for the snare.
How Will You Finish The Fill?
You’ve seen our five endings, now how will you finish the fill? All of our endings ended up with a few 32nd notes sprinkled in, you don’t have to stick with 32nd notes though, there are a lot more subdivisions to explore. Try and find at least 5 endings of your own.