This week’s drum fill starts with 2 groups of 5 notes but the question is, how will you finish the fill? Let’s check it out.
Where To Start?
Here’s the first 10 notes of the drum fill:
We’re playing a group of five 16th notes, twice. Our five sixteenth note group is played: Snare, Tom 1, Tom 3, Tom 3, Kick. Repeat the five note pattern to get a total of ten notes that cover 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e. We’re playing in 4/4 so that leaves us one and a half beats left to fill starting from the & of 3.
If you’re not yet comfortable with 5 note groupings then play the five note pattern slowly and smoothly over and over again until it feels easy. Also check out some of my Drum Fill Of The Week posts that deal with 5 note groupings such as Drum Fill Of The Week #84.
Finish The Fill
We have one and a half beats to play with at the end of this drum fill. That gives us three 8th notes or six 16th notes or nine 16th note triplets or twelve 32nd notes or combinations of various subdivisions.
My first variation keeps things simple by sticking to the 16th note subdivision and playing around the toms.
This tom tom pattern gives the fill a melodic ending and avoiding the snare drum means it sounds less aggressive than some of the other options.
My second variation introduces 8th note triplets on beat 4 to give the drum fill a dramatic almost slowing down feeling.
The idea was to play the 5 note pattern for a third time. You could play the original 5 note pattern verbatim, I felt changing the bass drum to a floor tom sounded better.
My 3rd variation adds a little bit of 16th note triplet spice into the mix, this time we do repeat the original 5 note pattern, we just changed the subdivision for part of it. There was still half a beat remaining so I played two 16ths on the floor tom to finish the fill.
My final ending is a little bit of a cheat. I like five note patterns because if you play them as 16th notes and repeat them 4 times, your next note will be on beat 2 of the next bar. If you have a bass drum as the last note of your 5 note pattern then it makes it easy to hit a snare + crash on beat 2 of the next bar; this creates an awesome over the bar line fill.
You might get away with this fill once in a song, probably on the last chorus of a more hi-energy song. Get the band to accent beat 2 with you.
What’s Your Ending?
There are still lots of other ways to finish the last one and a half beats of this drum fill. Play around with it, create your own endings. By doing this, you’ll find you get more comfortable with 5 note patterns and you’ll expand your drum fill vocabulary exponentially.
I hope you’ve enjoyed finishing this drum fill. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.