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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Drum Fill Of The Week #79

It’s time for some fast tom fun.

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This week’s drum fill can be considered a back beat fill. That is, it keeps the snare drum on beats 2 & 4 happening during the drum fill. This is a very musical way of playing drum fills and is especially appropriate for dance music where you need to keep the back beat constant to keep people dancing.

Learn The Fill

This drum fill is very simple rhythmically speaking. It’s just all the 16th notes played with single stroke roll sticking. Here’s the drum fill:

drum fill of the week
Hit those back beats

This is one my “go to” drum fills when I need to keep the back beat going. It’s fairly easy to execute quickly and it sounds good. Notice how the left hand plays the first tom on the “e” of 2 and the “a” of 3 to facilitate the right hand getting between tom 2 the snare drum easily.

When working on your own back beat fills this is something to bear in mind – how easily can you access the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. You may need to use sticking patterns or add in some bass drum to make it possible.

I played the drum fill in the video at 140bpm; you may want to start slower and then bring it up to speed.

Take It Further

Here’s 3 more drum fills that keep the snare drum happening on beats 2 & 4.

optional back beat fills
A further 3 fills

The first drum fill adds a bit of rhythmic variation to our fills by missing out the occasional 16th note.

The second drum fill adds even more space with the use of eighth notes.

The final drum fill uses paradiddles to create the fill – except on beat 4. Now create some fills of your own!

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #79. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #79

Seven is the magic number.

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This week’s groove is built on a similar idea to groove of the week #77. Groove #77 was based on a repeating 5 note pattern played between the bass drum and hi-hat. Groove #79 is based on a 7 note pattern played between bass drum and hi-hat. Let’s check it out.

Get The Groove

The place to start is with the 7 note pattern we’re playing throughout this groove.

7 16th note pattern
Seven notes of groove

Play this pattern repeatedly beween your hi-hat and bass drum to get used to how it feels.

Next we’re going to apply that to a 2 bar pattern. We’re going to apply the 7 note grouping over 16th notes. There are 32 16th notes in 2 bars, the 7 note grouping can be repeated 4 times with 4 16th notes left over. We’ll just play the first 4 notes of the 7 note pattern at the end of the groove.

Repeating 7s across two bars
(16×2)/7 = I hate math

Take note of where each 7 note group starts within the two bar pattern. I also pay particular attention to where the 2 consectutive notes on the hi-hat occur – focusing on where they happen can help you to check that you’re playing the groove correctl. You are counting right?

The final step is to add in the backbeat snare on beats 2 and 4 of each bar.

The full groove
Cool sounding groove

Take It Further

You can shorten the 2 bar pattern above to just a 1 bar groove and you’ll get a funky groove. You can also change the last 4 notes of the 2 bar pattern to give a different ending. You could also add in some open hi-hats to the groove. Then, you could also come up with you’re own 7 note pattern and apply that as a 2 bar groove.

But… to bamboozle your listeners and bandmates further, you could play the whole seven bar pattern that these seven 16th notes create. This is a good way to work on your focus and independence. Here’s the full 7 bar pattern. The first two bars will look familiar.

7 bar pattern
7 bars of fun.

To make this more musical, add a 1 bar drum fill on the end to create an 8 bar pattern and then throw it into your next drum break / drum solo.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #79. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Drum Fill Of The Week #78

It’s 2021! Happy New Year! Here’s a fill featuring 21 notes. Enjoy!

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This week’s drum fill crams 21 notes into a bar of 4/4 by using 16th note and 8th note triplets. For more fun with 16th note triplets check out drum fill of the week #68.

Learn The Fill

Let’s check out the basic pattern for this week’s fill.

Keeping it basic

For this week’s drum fill we are playing a 6 note grouping – R-L-R-L-R-K – 3 times in a row. We are playing it over the 16th note triplet subdivision so there are no funny timing issues or polyrhythmic elements – each group starts on the beat.

For beat 4, we’re playing 8th note triplets to give a dramatic ending to a busy fill. Timing might be an issue for some here. Make sure those last 3 notes are evenly spaced. If you’re having trouble counting it as written above. You can try counting just the 8th note triplets and feeling the 16th notes inbetween – this might help get the last 3 notes more even.

Alternative counting

Once you have the timing sorted out, all that remains is the orchestration. Here’s the orchestration I used:

Move it

My right hand plays the snare, tom 2 and floor tom, my left hand plays the hi-hat and tom 1. Focus on playing the 16th note triplet group slowly and smoothly before speeding it up. Be sure to count!

Taking It Further

As always, when I spend time learning a drum fill, I always like to take the basic idea of the drum fill and find as many ways as I can to orchestrate it around the kit. Here’s 3 more ways to play this drum fill. See if you can find some of your own.

Change it up

The first variation is very similar to the original. I’ve just substituted Tom 1 for Tom 2. This makes the drum fill work for 2 tom tom drum kits.

The second variation leaves the hi-hat and focuses on moving around the toms.

The final variation changes the 6 note groups further to start with the floor tom. The ending is also changed to give a slightly bigger sound.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #78. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #78

Let’s get groovin’

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This week’s groove is a 2 bar pattern which uses ghost notes to spice up the groove. Let’s get to it.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by checking out the basic 2 bar groove that we’ll augment with ghost notes.

The basic groove
Basic Funkiness

Hopefully you can already play this groove. Note the use of the rim shot on the snare drum throughout the groove. This is an aggressive sounding funk rock groove, the snare drum rim shot on the “ah” of 2 really helps to drive it forward.

Now let’s add in some ghost notes to make things funkier.

The basic groove with ghost notes added
Extra Funkiness

I’ve added ghost notes to make the groove a little busier and to provide a contrast to the loud snare drum notes. The ghost notes on the “ah” of 4 help to move the groove along. The ghost notes on the “e” and “&” of 1 on the second bar provide a bit more rhythmic interest and pair well with bass drums on beat 1 and the “ah” of 1.

Go slow with this groove and work on getting a good contrast between your loud snare drum rimshots and soft ghost notes. Get used to moving between the two dynamic levels.

Take It Further

Whenever you learn a new groove, you want to get comfortable adding drum fills to it. I always start with simple drum fills just to get used to moving in and out of the groove at different points. Here’s 3 basic fills to try with this groove.

Groove of the week + fills
Fill ’em up!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #78. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #77

Drum Fill #77: Revenge of the 5 note group… Watch at your peril!

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This week’s drum fill uses our old friend, the 5 note grouping. We’ve done several fills with this pattern already, hopefully you’re getting good at it now! The last time we tried 5 note groups was drum fill of the week #62. Check that one out too.

Learn The Fill

This drum fill is based on a 5 sixteenth note pattern, here it is:

5 Notes Of Fun

Now lets put those 5 sixteenth notes into a bar of 4/4.

123451234512345

The 5 note pattern repeats 3 times within a bar of 4/4. This leaves a 16th note spare at the end. To smooth out the transition back to the groove I added in the final 16th note. That’s what this looks like:

Adding the final note

The final step is to orchestrate the drum fill around the kit. Here’s what that looks like:

The final drum fill

As always, when working on this drum fill, go slow and make sure you keep a nice 16th note flow going throughout the drum fill. Make sure all the notes are evenly spaced. Start at 4opm and work up.

Taking It Further

When orchestrating this fill around the kit, I came up with a lot of ways to orchestrate it. Here’s three that I liked. Try these and then come up with your own.

Options are always good

The first drum fill variation has us going ‘backwards’ around the kit from floor tom to high tom.

The second drum fill keeps the right hand on the floor tom while the left hand moves around the kit.

The final fill plays a common pattern between the snare, high tom and floor tom – albeit broken up by the bass drum.

Now create some of your own.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #77. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #77

It’s time to get funky with a 5 note grouping.

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We’ve played around a lot with 5 note groupings with the drum fill of the week posts, but we’ve never applied them to a groove… until now.

Get The Groove

This idea came to me on a sleepless night at 2 in the morning a couple of weeks ago… what if I play a 5 note pattern between bass drum and hi-hat and then add the backbeat on the snare…. What would that sound like? Turns out it can sound pretty funky.

I quickly picked a 5 note pattern and then set to work try to play it in 4/4. Here’s the 5 note pattern I chose:

5 notes of groove

This a fairly straight forward pattern. As it’s 5/16 notes, we’ll be able to fit it into a bar of 4/4 three times – with one 16th note left over – like this:

16 / 5 = I HATE MATH!

Notice how the 5 note pattern starts again on the “e” of 2 and the “&” of 3. Play this pattern against a metronome to get used to how it feels. It might take a little while to sink in.

Our next step is to add the backbeat to make it sound like a regular groove.

Bring in the backbeat

The final touch I added to this groove is an open hi-hat on the “&” of 4. I made it an 8th note in length, so close the hi-hat together with the bass drum on beat 1.

The Full Groove

Taking It Further

When playing a five sixteenth note pattern in 4/4 time, it takes 5 bars before the pattern begins again. For this week’s groove I’ve just taken the first bar of a longer 5 bar pattern and made a groove from it. So here is the whole 5 bar pattern for you to work on to expand your drumming brain. This is a fairly advanced exercise. You may want to work on this a bar at a time and slowly put them together. It might take a while….

5 bars of 5 note madness

Once you have mastered this pattern, try creating your own 5 note bass drum/hi-hat pattern and then do the same with that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #77. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson. Send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #76

It’s drum fill of the week time!

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This week’s drum fill features one of my favourite set up fills and the always classy bucket of fish. Let’s get to it.

Learn The Fill

Let’s get started by looking at the first half of the drum fill. This is what I consider a set-up fill. You can vary the ending and it always sounds great.

Start it up

So we have an alternating hand/foot pattern that starts with a flam on beat 1 and then alternates the kick drum and floor tom and that takes us all the way up to the “ah” of 2. The “&” of two is emphasized by the snare joining together with the floor tom. Play this at a tempo where you can play it with even spacing between the hand and feet.

Now let’s add on the second half of the drum fill.

For this one we’re using a classic bucket of fish on beat 3 and beat 4 is just 8th notes on the floor tom – the first joined with the snare and the second with the bass drum.

Finish it off

If you’re not too familiar with the bucket of fish, check out drum fill of the week #17 for further examples – it’s a classic lick every drummer should know.

Take It Further

As mentioned above, the first two beats of this drum fill feature one of my favourite setup fills. Here’s 3 more examples of it in action. After playing these, create some endings of your own.

Which drum fill takes your fancy?

The first two drum fills stick to 16th notes and in keeping with the feel of the first two beats, they keep the kick drum happening in the second half of the fill.

The final drum fill brings back that 16th note triplet excitement on beat 3 and then mellows down again on beat 4.

Now create your own!

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #76. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #76

Let’s do the splits!

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This week’s groove sees us splitting sixteenth notes between the ride cymbal and the hi-hat. This gives us a unique sounding ride pattern where the ride cymbal dominates but the hi-hat pokes through on the “e” and “ah”. We’re also doing a little bit of syncopation with the snare on the “ah” of one, just to make things funky.

Get The Groove

Let’s start this week by looking at the hands. The right hand is playing the ride cymbal on all the 8th notes, except for beat 4 where it will play the snare. The left hand is playing all the “e” and “ah” on the hi-hat, except for the “ah” of 1 where it’s playing the snare.

Just the hands

Practice this slowly at first and observe where you are hitting the snare drum. Try to hit the same spot on the snare (ideally the centre) with both hands so that you get roughly the same sound from the drum.

Now lets add the bass drum.

Bass it up

The bass drum pattern is a fairly common pattern. Be sure to listen to your bass drum placement – is it really happening together with the cymbals? Be especially careful on the “e” of 4 – that’s usually where things go wrong.

Taking It Further

Let’s explore this split hands idea further with some more grooves.

Groove away

All three grooves feature the same RLRL hand pattern. The first groove is just a nice simple rock beat.

The second groove is a bit funkier with the common snare drum pattern on the “ah” of 2 and “e” of 3 and an additional snare on the “ah” of 4. Try ghosting these 3 snare drums to give an alternative feel to the groove.

The final groove is the original pattern but with a snare drum and bass drum switching positions and an additional snare on the end.

Now create some of your own split hands patterns. Try splitting the hands between floor tom and high tom instead of Ride and Hi-Hat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #76. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson. Send us a message via the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #75

It’s time for a flamtastic drum fill!

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The week’s drum fill features only two ingredients – Flams on the snare and the bass drum. Sounds simple enough, but the bass drum gets itself stuck in some tricky places. This one might cause more trouble than you’d think.

Learn The Fill

Lets start by analyzing the rhythm of this groove. If we played it all on snare drum, without any flams, this would be our rhythm:

Get The Rhythm

Play this pattern slowly with a metronome (50bpm) and count out loud. Use any sticking that you find comfortable. If your metronome can count 8th or 16th sixteenth notes, then I suggest you use one of those settings to help improve your accuracy. I like to set mine to 8th notes and then I try to get my 16th notes right in the middle of the 8th note count.

Once you can play the pattern we can substitute in the bass drum.

Add The Bass

Again, go slow and count out loud. Play all of the snare drums with just one hand for now. Play it with your metronome and record yourself. Are all your bass drum notes falling accurately?

The final step is to add in the flams. Here’s the full drum fill.

Flamtastic!

Take It Further

You hear this kind of drum fill often when everything else stops and the drummer gets the spotlight. It’s more suited to rock music and I consider it a power fill. Played at a loud volume and with intensity, it can really stand out. Here’s 3 more fills in this vein. Be sure to count!

Flammable!

Working on these fills will also hopefully improve your bass drum accuracy as well and get you used to playing it with out the hi-hat over top acting as a guide.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #75. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #75

It’s time for the snare drum to take a stand.

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This week’s groove is powerful! Featuring the snare drum pounding out quarter notes, the groove has an aggressive, energetic feel.

This kind of groove has it’s roots motown music but it has applications in the rock world. You can hear grooves with the snare drum on quarter notes in songs such as:

  • Get Ready – Tempations
  • Reach Out (I’ll be there) – Four Tops
  • Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  • All revved up with no place to go – Meatloaf
  • Easy Money – Billy Joel
  • New Sensation – Inxs

Get The Groove

Let’s take this groove one bar at a time. Here’s the first bar:

First bars first

This is a common groove and is used in many motown songs. While this groove is fairly simple, be careful not to flam the snare and bass drum on beat 1.

Here’s the second bar:

Second bars second

The second bar features a more complex bass drum pattern and some open hi-hats. Practice this slowly at first and be sure to count. You may want to omit the open hi-hats to start with – add them back in when you are confident with the bass drum pattern.

All that remains now is to put the two bars together.

1 + 2 = groove

Take it further

I enjoy creating two bar patterns where one bar is fairly simple and the second bar is a more complex version. Here’s some more versions of this same groove – we’re just varying the second bar each time. After practicing these, try to come up with some of your own.

Change it up

If you have any trouble with these, slow down, count, and simplify.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #75. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.