Fill Of The Week #45

Groove of the week #45 was in 7/8. Here’s a fill in 7/8 to go with it.

We’re back using our old friend the 5-note grouping for this fill. We’ve used 5-note groupings several times; the last time was Fill Of The Week #33 where we used it in 8th note triplet form. This time we’re going across 16th notes with it. Let’s check it out.

Learn The Fill

We’re playing in the 7/8 time signature for this fill, that means we’ve got seven 8th notes in a bar or fourteen 16th notes. If we divide fourteen by 5 then we get 2 complete groups of 5 with 4 16th notes left over. By making the bass drum the last note of our 5 note group though, we can play 3 complete groups of 5 because the last bass drum note will land on beat 1 of the next bar. Here’s the basic pattern for this fill:

Basic pattern
The Basic Pattern

So our basic pattern is R L R L Kick and because we’re playing in 7/8 we’re counting it 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & Sev &. Practice playing this pattern smoothly at slow tempos first.

Our next step is to orchestrate this pattern around the kit. I opted to progressively move the pattern around the kit. I play the first group of 5 between Hi-hat and Snare, the next group between Snare and the First Tom, and the final group between the First Tom and the Floor Tom. Here’s what that looks like:

The full fill
The Full Fill

When you play it with a 7/8 groove and put the bass drum (with or without a crash) on beat 1 of the next bar then it’ll sound you are playing 3 groups of 5.

Taking It Further

Having spent the time to get comfortable playing this five note pattern over 16th notes, you should spend some time orchestrating it around the kit yourself. Here’s some other orchestrations for you:

Orchestration variation
Change it up

All three of these variations use the same 5 note pattern – R L R L Kick. Try creating some of your own. Creating new fills from the same basic pattern is a great way to expand your fill vocabulary. Create as many as you can.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Fill Of The Week #45. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #44

It’s fill of the week time! Let’s get tripletted!

This week’s fill has an eighth note triplet base, but we’re sneaking some sixteenth notes in to make it sound awesome. We last played a fill like this way back on fill of the week #11. You might want to check that one out after this one. Let’s learn the fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic 8th note triplet sticking pattern we’ll be using for this fill.

The basic 8th note triplet pattern
The Basic 8ths

That sticking pattern looks pretty random. Play it and count out loud. Get used to which hand falls on which beat.

Now if we add in the 16th note triplets, the hand pattern will become alternating single strokes. However, we’ll keep the counting the same, you’ll need to feel the additional notes between the eighth note triplets.

Adding the 16ths
Adding the 16ths

Play the new pattern slowly at first and count out loud. Use a metronome at 60-80bpm.

The next step is to add in the bass drum on all 4 beats. The bass drum helps to add more weight to the fill and grounds it – keeping the pulse of the groove strong.

Add  the bass drum
Bring In The Bass

The final step is to orchestrate the fill around the kit. You can obviously create your own orchestration – and you should – here’s the one I used:

The full fill
The Full Fill

Taking It Further

Adding 16th notes into your triplet fills creates awesome sounding fills. Here’s some more patterns for you to orchestrate around the kit.

Rhythmic Variations
Change It Up!

Practice these slowly at first and count out loud. Be careful with the 3rd variation; the first 16th note occurs between the “Let” of 1 and beat 2. This can feel strange the first time you play it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #44. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #43

Here’s drum fill of the week #43:

This week’s drum fill is a 16th note accent pattern. Accent patterns always sound musical and there are many ways you can move them around the kit to create something new. We last messed around with accents on Fill Of The Week #10; you might want to check that one out if you enjoy this fill.

Learn The Fill

The place to start with this fill is with the accent pattern we’re applying to the 16th notes to create this fill. Here’s the pattern:

Basic Accent Pattern
The Basic Pattern

Play this pattern slowly at first and get it flowing. Don’t rush it, make sure to play all the 16th notes with even spacing. Often, when students first start playing accent patterns, they alter the spacing between the notes because of the different stick heights needed to play the accented and unaccented notes.

Play all the accented notes from a high stick height and all the unaccented notes from a low stick height. Really listen to what your doing and try to keep to just 2 sound and height levels and space all notes evenly.

Once you have the pattern in your hands, then it’s time to orchestrate it around the kit. For this pattern I moved the single accents around the kit. These accents happened to fall on beat 1, the “&” of two and beat 4. These are very common places for accents in rock music. For the accents that fall on the snare drum, I use rim shots to make them stand out even more. Here’s the full fill:

The full fill.
The Full Fill

Take It Further

Try re-orchestrating this drum fill around the kit. One accent pattern can give you many different drum fills and is an easy way to expand your fill vocabulary.

Another good practice is to play the accent pattern with the sticking reversed. Here’s the same accent pattern with the sticking reversed:

Leading With The Left HAnd
Leading With The Left

That sounds like a completely different fill to our original fill, but it is exactly the same accent pattern. Experiment with some ideas of your own – Fill of the week #10 might give you some further ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #43. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #42

Hat, Click, Kick, Repeat – Fill Of The Week #42:

This week’s drum fill takes a common three note pattern – Right, Left, Kick – orchestrates it around the kit and adds some 32nd notes to spice it up. Let’s check it out.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the 16th note pattern that’s at the heart of this fill.

The basic pattern
Going Basic

We’re playing Right-Left-Kick four times over 16th notes and then we have 2 8th note right hands to finish off the fill.

Right-Left-Kick is a very common element in linear grooves and fills. Make sure you can execute the pattern above smoothly with a metronome before attempting to orchestrate it around the kit.

Our next step is to orchestrate the pattern around the kit. The right hand will play the hi-hat and the left hand will play the rim click. On beat 4 we’ll add an open hi-hat and then we’ll close it on the “&” of 4 when we hit the bass drum and floor tom together.

Orchestrate the fill
Orchestrate The Fill

Beginner students might want to stop here, that’s already a great sounding fill. However, if you want to play the full fill, then you need to play double strokes with the right hand on the first 4 hi-hats notes.

The full fill
The Full Fill

Take It Further

Right, Left, Kick is one of the most common 3 note linear patterns, let’s look at two of the others using the same orchestration – we’ll also keep the 32nd notes on the Right Hand, but you can play these fills without them also,

Switch It Around

Our first variation uses Kick, Right, Left as the basis for the fill. You may want to play the pattern just between the snare and bass drum at first before you try orchestrating it.

The second variation uses Left, Right, Kick as the basis for the fill. There are other variations you can try:

  • Right, Kick, Left
  • Kick, Left, Right
  • Left, Kick, Right

Note that I always stop the 3 note pattern on beat 4 and then play the floor tom and bass drum together on the “&” of 4.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #42. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message via the Contact Us Page.

Fill Of The Week #41

Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Diddle. That’s the key to this week’s fill. Check it out:

Fill Of The Week #41 uses the Double Paradiddle and the Paradiddle to create an awesome sounding fill. If you like this fill, we did something similar on Fill Of The Week #27 with the Paradiddle-Diddle. You might want to check that out too.

Learn The Fill

The key to this fill is the sticking pattern. Let’s take a look at it.

ParaparadiddleParaparadiddleParadiddle.
The Basic Pattern

We’re using two double paradiddles and a paradiddle to create this 16th note fill. I like to think of it as Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Diddle. We’re starting with the right hand so the sticking is:

R L R L R R L R L R L L R L R R

Try saying Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Para-Diddle-Para-Diddle to yourself as you play it. Most of the rudiments are named so that you can say them while you play them. You might find it helps to get the pattern into your head and your hands.

Our next step is to add in the accents. All of the single stroke Right hands are accents (any “Pa” or “Ra” on the Right) and the only accent on the left is at the start of the Left double paradiddle on the “&” of 2. Here it is accented:

Adding Accents To The Pattern
Adding The Accents

You may want to think of this as:

PAra-PAra-diddle-PARA-paRA-diddle-PAra-diddle

Try saying this to yourself slowly, accent the syllables in bold upper case and say the other syllables quietly. As always, practice playing it slowly with a metronome.

The final step is to orchestrate the accents around the kit. My right hand just plays down the toms: first two hits on Tom 1, next two on Tom 2, and the final hit on the floor tom. My left hand plays it’s only accent on Tom 1. Here’s the full fill:

The Complete Drum Fill
The Full Fill

Taking It Further

I would encourage you to spend time with this fill and re-orchestrate the accents as you see fit. Here’s some other accent patterns for you to try:

Accent variations for the same pattern.
Move Those Accents

All of these variations use the same sticking pattern, we’re just moving the accents. Learn to play the patterns just on the snare drum first and then orchestrate them around the kit yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #41. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #40

It’s the first Fill Of The Week of 2020 and, coincidentally, this fill has 20 notes in it. Check it out:

This fill of the week uses 2 beats of 16th notes and then 2 beats of 16th note triplets. I’ve always liked the way moving from 16th notes to 16th note triplets sounds. It adds a lot of energy and excitement to a fill. If you like this fill, check out Fill Of The Week #13 for a similar fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start out by looking at the basic rhythm of the fill.

The basic rhythm
The Basic Rhythm

If you’re not already comfortable moving from 16th notes to 16th note triplets, then I suggest you start by counting the basic rhythm along with a metronome playing 8th notes at 40bpm. Focus on the 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &, make sure they line up with the metronome. Once you can count it, then you can attempt to play it.

Now lets orchestrate the first half of the fill. We’re just playing a tom tom on every 3rd 16th note. This is a fairly common pattern, try to accent the toms and ghost the snare a little. You want the tom toms to stand out more than the snare.

Orchestrating the 16th notes
Orchestrating The 16ths

Now we’ll orchestrate the 16th note triplets to create the full fill. We’re going to play the first 3 on the snare, the next 3 on the first tom and then the last 6 are orchestrated between the snare and all 3 toms.

Play the 16th note triplets separately at first and get used to how they move around the kit. Once you’re comfortable with that, then attempt the whole fill.

The full fill
The Full Fill

Taking it further

Whenever you have a fill which is clearly in two halves, the best way to take it further is to keep one half the same and change the other half. Here’s two examples:

2 variations on a theme
A couple of variations

The first fill keeps the 16th note part of the fill the same and then varies the 16th note triplet portion. The second fill varies the 16th note portion of the fill but keeps the 16th note triplets from original fill.

Practicing changing your fills up like this will help to expand your fill vocabulary and your flow around the kit. How many variations can you come up with?

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #40. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #39

Let’s get the paradiddle out for a spin around the kit for this week’s fill of the week!

The paradiddle is one of the most useful rudiments in the drummer’s toolbox. It can be accented and orchestrated in many ways to create musical ideas. The last time we messed with the diddle family was on fill of the week #27, check that one out for more diddle ideas. Let’s see what the diddles have for us this week.

Learn The Fill

There are many members of the paradiddle family; for this fill we’re using the basic Single Paradiddle. Here it is in all it’s glory:

The Single Paradiddle
The Single Paradiddle

Hopefully you can play the single paradiddle already; if not, get practicing! Our first step in creating this fill is to split the hands up; the left hand will go to the hi-hat, the right will stay on the snare.

Single paradiddle split between snare and hi-hat
Split up the hands

Pay attention to your note spacing when you do this, make sure all notes are evenly spaced.

The final step is to orchestrate the right hand between the tom toms and the snare. The right hand makes a journey from Floor Tom to Snare to Tom 1 and then back again from Tom 1 to Snare to Floor Tom. The right hand double stroke of the paradiddle is always played on the snare. Try to accent the Tom Tom notes and ghost the snare drum notes. Here’s the full fill.

the full fill
The fill, the whole fill, and nothing but the fill.

Taking It Further

There are countless ways to orchestrate the paradiddle around the kit, but rather than go into those, let’s take orchestration of this fill and apply it to other members of the paradiddle family: The Inverted Paradiddle and The Reverse Paradiddle.

inverted and reverse diddle variations
Invert and reverse your paradiddles here

We’re sticking with the same idea for these fills – the left hand is on the hi-hat, the right hand plays single strokes on the toms and doubles on the snare drum.

Drum fills, and paradiddles, don’t always have to start right handed though. We can also play paradiddles starting from the left – LRLLRLRR etc. So, here’s three fills starting left handed using our paradiddle variations.

Left diddle fun
Starting with the left

The orchestration is the same, the left hand is still on the hi-hat and the right hand moves between snare & toms. Try out these variations to broaden your fill vocabulary. Remember to crash with your left hand on beat 1 after these fills.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #27. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #38

Let’s learn how to lose a band in 28 notes or less.

Fill of the week #38 uses a 7 note pattern, we’ve seen 7 note patterns in other fills; try fill of the week #35 for another example.

In this fill, the 7 note pattern is played four times over 16th note triplets, which gives us 28 notes. This creates an over the bar line fill as there are only 24 notes in a bar of 16th note triplets. Let’s check it out.

Learn The Fill

The first step is to get comfortable with the 7 note grouping. Here’s the 7 note pattern and the orchestration we’re going to use for this fill

The 7 note grouping.
7 notes of fun

Our 7 note pattern for this fill is LRLRLRK. The first right is played on the stack cymbal; if you don’t have a stack, play it on the hi-hat instead.

Your first step in learning this fill is to get comfortable playing this pattern smoothly and continuously. Don’t worry about any particular subdivision, just play it repeatedly, counting 1 2 3 4 5 6 sev 1 2 3 4 5 6 sev etc…

Once you can play the pattern smoothly, then we can look to putting it in to a time signature and a subdivision. We’ll be playing this fill in 4/4 and using 16th note triplets. There are 24 notes in a 4/4 bar of 16th note triplets, however, 7 doesn’t go into 24. We could play the 7 note group 3 times and finish within the bar, but it’s more fun to go over the bar line and finish on the & of one of the next bar. Here’s the full fill:

The full fill.
The full fill

Play this very slowly at first – I recommend 40bpm. Use a metronome that can count 16th note triplets – I prefer TempoPerfect by NCH software. Use your ears to help you check in with the metronome while playing the fill. Listen for the bass drum on beat 2, the floor tom on beat 3, the high tom on beat 4 and the snare drum on beat 1. This fill may take some time to master. Go slow and be patient.

Taking It Further

Once your are comfortable playing 7 note patterns over 16th note triplets, then try and create some of your own 7 note patterns. Here’s some suggestions:

fill variations
Change it up

Our first fill variation uses RLRLRLK as the 7 note pattern.

The second fill variation uses RLRKRLK as the 7 note pattern.

The third fill uses KLRLRLR as the 7 note pattern.

Approach all of these in the same manner as before; play the 7 note pattern repeatedly while counting “1 2 3 4 5 6 Sev” and be able to play it continuously. Then put it against a metronome playing 16th note triplets at 40 bpm.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #38. If you’re in Singapore and want a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #37

Let’s flam our way through fill of the week #37.

Fill of the week #37 features flams split across drums and some hand foot co-ordination that may be a little tricky. Let’s get learning!

Learn The Fill

Let’s start learning this fill by looking at what the hands are doing. Here’s the basic rhythm that the hands play throughout this fill:

The basic rhythm
The basic rhythm

Play this rhythm carefully with a metronome and get used to the sticking pattern.

Now lets spice it up with some flams.

the basic rhythm flammed
The basic rhythm – flammed

Again, play this rhythm carefully with a metronome.

Next, lets orchestrate the right hand around the kit. Because the flams will be split up, they can be played either as regular flams or as flat flams – where you hit both hands at the same time. Experiment with both ways and find out which sound you prefer.

The basic rhythm orchestrated
The basic flammed rhythm + toms

That fill actually sounds pretty good as it is, but let’s complete the fill with some bass drum to fill in the spaces. Play this fill slowly with a metronome and focus on getting the notes evenly spaced.

Adding in the bass drum
The full fill

Taking It Further

This is a great fill to orchestrate around the kit in as many ways as you can. Here’s a few suggestions:

3 variations on a theme.
Change it up

Our first variation changes the flams that were between snare and tom to flams between crash and tom. This adds a lot of energy to the fill.

The second variation moves the fill down the tom toms, the flams are now played on a single surface.

The final fill creates a tribal sounding fill, with the flams being played between the floor tom and snare drum, and the rest of the notes being played between the floor tom and bass drum.

How many variations of this fill can you think of?

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #37. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #36

It’s time to get groovy with fill of the week #36.

Fill of the week is what I consider to be a groove fill. It mostly keeps the flow of the 8th note hi-hat going and focuses on the snare and bass drum & sounds like a variation on the groove. Let’s check it out!

Learn The Fill

Let’s break this fill down into four easy to digest chunks. Our first chunk spans from beat 1 to the “&” of 2.

the first 2 beats
First chunk of funky goodness

The main feature of this first chunk is the alternating hi-hat / bass drum pattern. The snare drums on beat 1 and the “&” of 2 bookend this portion of the fill.

You may need to spend time practicing alternating your hi-hat and bass drum. Focus on keeping the right hand on the hi-hat on the 8th note & the bass drum playing evenly spaced 16th notes in between them.

alternating hi-hat and bass
Practice alternating hi-hat and bass.

Once you are comfortable with this, try playing the first chunk of this week’s fill again.

Our second chunk is the quad happening on beat 3.

adding in beat 3
Second chunk of funky goodness

For this part of the fill, the right hand will temporarily leave the hi-hat and play the snare drum on beat 3, before returning to the hi-hat to play it together with the bass drum on the “&” of 3. The left hand plays the snare drum on the “e” of 3. Again, you might want to practice beat 3 in isolation first before putting it together with the first chunk.

working on quads
Working on my quads

Once you can put the first two chunks together, then you can add in the third chunk.

adding in beat 4
3rd chunk of funky goodness

The third chunk is simply a very common snare fill on beat 4. Again your right hand needs to leave the hi-hat to play the snare drum on the “&” of four and the left hand plays the “ah” of four.

The fill already sounds complete now. However the 4th chunk adds in an open hi-hat to add little exclamation point to beat 4. I think of the open hi-hat on beat 4 as a controlled crash. It adds a burst of colour to the fill but it’s not as powerful, or possibly overpowering, as a crash would be. Focus on closing the hi-hat together with the snare drum on the “&” of 4. Here’s the full fill:

the full fill
Fourth chunk of funky goodness

Take It Further

The great thing about learning fills in chunks is that you can switch chunks in and out of fills to create new fills. To start with, lets keep the first chunk of our fill and replace the last two with something different.

variations
Change it up

Our first variation keeps the groove fill idea going, using a very common snare and bass pattern under the 8th note hi-hat.

The second variation moves from being a groove fill into a more regular fill.

We can also replace the first chunk of the fill and keep the last two chunks the same.

more variations
Change it all again

So here I’ve used the same two ideas from the earlier variations, but now I’ve replaced the first chunk of the fill with them and reinstated the original fill ending.

Play around with the variations here and create some of your fills of your own using these ideas.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #36. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.