Finish The Fill 16

This week’s finish the fill sees us starting our drum fill with a pattern you might often find at the end of the bar rather than the start.

Finish The Fill #16

Where To Start?

Here’s our first 5 notes for this week’s fill:

We’re starting with a simple RLRLK pattern played as 16th notes – 1 e & a 2. You may be very familiar with at least the first 4 notes of this pattern, as they commonly feature as a drum fill starting on beat 4, but what happens when you start a fill with them?

What Happens Next?

Our first ending for this drum fill employs a very common rhythm. We’re just going to repeat the first five notes starting on the & of two, and then again on beat 4 (The fifth note of our group gets omitted). The reason this phrasing is so common is because it sounds great and works in many musical situations.

Our next ending for this drum fill just repeats the 5 notes but without any additional space. As it’s 5 notes, we can play it 3 times in a bar of 16th notes and then you can add an extra note on the end to make a full bar of 16ths. I opted to add a right handed floor tom on the last note and then I crash with my left on beat 1.

For our third ending the bass drum gets a busier role as we have more interplay between the hands and the feet. The final 2 beats of the bar use another very common pattern that sounds great in most musical situations.

The fourth ending sees us employing 16th note triplets to give a little bit of a wow factor to the fill. Our old friend, the bucket of fish lick, appears on the “&” of 2 and again on beat 4.

Our fifth and final version of this fill goes back to basics and just ends on 8th notes. This may not be as exciting for the drummer to play, but fills like this can sound big and powerful and often say more in musical situations than fast 32nd note fills. Listen to a great drummer such as Jeff Pocaro playing pop music and you’ll hear a lot of 8th note fills.

How Will You Finish The Fill?

Take these drum fills to your drum kit and then come up with your own version of them. Experiment with different subdivisions so you can create drum fills for different musical situations.