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Drum Fill Of The Week #85

Drum fill of the week #85 takes fill of the week #84 and asks the question… triplets?

Drum Fill Of The Week #85

For this drum fill we’re using the same 5 note pattern that we used in drum fill of the week #84 but we’re applying it over the 8th note triplet subdivision. Let’s get to it.

Learn The Fill

Here’s our 5 note pattern from drum fill #84

Remember Me?

Hopefully you’re already comfortable with this pattern. If not, start practicing it!

Our next move is to play it over the 8th note triplet subdivision.

Time To Count!

In one bar of 8th note triplets in 4/4 time we have 12 notes; we can play our 5 note grouping twice and then we have 2 notes left over. Set your metronome to 50 or 60bpm, set it to the 8th note triplet subdivision and play the above pattern. Be sure to count!

Our final job is to orchestrate the pattern around the kit. Here’s my orchestration:

Add a couple of Toms.

Taking It Further

You can orchestrate this fill around the kit anyway you choose. Here’s one idea I liked which just changes the ending to two single strokes on the floor tom.

Change the ending

Another idea I liked was playing around with the 5 note pattern over 16th notes and 8th note triplets in the same bar. Try this idea.

Good Luck!

That’s a more advanced idea and it might take you a while.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #85. 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 #84

This week’s fill takes a 5 note pattern for a spin around the kit… starting with…. the LEFT HAND!!!!!!!!!!! Try not to panic!

Drum Fill Of The Week #84

Five note groupings can sound very musical when applied around the kit. You just need to find the right 5 note pattern and accent it the right way. It’s a matter of trial and error, but with patience you can find something usable.

Learn The Fill

Let’s focus on the five note pattern we’ll be repeating throughout this fill.

Five Notes Of Fun

Play this pattern repeatedly until it starts to feel good in your hands. Note the accents on the Right hand notes.

Now lets play the pattern as 16th notes in 4/4 time.

16/5 = Funky

We can get 3 groups of 5 into one bar of 16th notes in 4/4. Note that our pattern ends on the “&” of 4. Practice playing pattern this with a metronome at 75bpm and count out loud while doing it. Note where the accents fall: “&” of 1, 2, “ah” of 2, “e” of 3, 4 and the “&” of 4.

We can give the fill a smoother ending by adding one more left hand on the end.

Smooth landing

Now all we need to do is move the accents around the kit. There are many ways to do this, here’s the pattern I chose.

Move it move it move it!

I opted to put the second accent in each group of 5 on a tom-tom & I added the left hand on the floor tom for the final note. Try it out.

Taking It Further

Here’s a few other ways of orchestrating this fill around the kit. Play around with these and then create some of your own.

3 more ways to have fun!

Our first variation just sees all the accents played on the toms, rather than split between the snare and tom.

The second variation sees us accenting a tom and then the snare in each group of 5. This is opposite the original fill where we accented the snare first.

The final variation goes back to the original accent pattern but sees us playing the left hand on the hi-hat between the accents and the final note ends up on the snare.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #84. 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 #83

This week’s drum fill sees us take the inverted paradiddle out for spin around the kit.

Watch Drum Fill Of The Week #83 on Instagram.

The inverted paradiddle is easily one of my favourite rudiments; when accented and combined with other members of the paraddidle family it creates some great sticking patterns that can be used in grooves and fills. For this fill we’re just using the Right hand lead inverted paradiddle (RLLR) to create a simple drum fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic pattern we’ll be using for this fill.

Play it on the snare or even on a chair

Our fill consists of 3 right hand lead inverted paradiddles played as 16th notes. The first two are followed by an single left hand 8th note to add space to the fill. This phrasing is very common and very musical; you’ve probably seen it in some other fills, including on this website.

Get used to playing this pattern and count out loud as you do. You might want to practice adding a bass drum and crash on beat 1 of the next bar also. Be sure to hit the crash with your left hand.

Now let’s orchestrate the right hand around the kit. There are many ways you could do this. I finally settled on alternating between the high tom and the floor tom. We’ll keep the left on the snare for now.

High Tom – Floor Tom

Finally we’ll move the left hand around a little bit. I decided to play all left hand double strokes on the snare and the single strokes on the high tom.

The full fill

Take It Further

There are many ways to reorchestrate this drum fill around the kit. I suggest you explore and create some of your own. Here’s a couple of additional things you could do with it:

Change it up!

The first variation for this drum fill has us filling in the gaps with the bass drum. Try this out to create a more powerful sound.

The second variation has us changing the subdivision of the inverted paradiddles to 16th note triplets. This creates more space and gives the drum fill a different feel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #83. 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 #82

Space: the final frontier and often sorely lacking in drum fills on instagram… but not this week!

Watch drum fill of the week #82 on instagram

This week’s drum fill is a simple one. But simple fills are often the most musical ones. Most memorable drum fills are simple. Everyone knows Jeff Pocaro’s drum fill on Africa by Toto; it’s simple and instantly recognizable. Let’s get simple this week.

Learn The Fill

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

Five notes & done

All we’re playing for this drum fill is five notes. Five notes spread across a whole bar. Hopefully you can play the rhythm above accurately. If not, get your metronome out, start at 80bpm and count the 8th notes out loud as you play the rhythm.

All that remains now is to orchestrate the pattern around the kit. I decided to emphasize some of the notes over the others. In particular, beat 1, the “&” of 2 and beat 4. This is a very common accent pattern found right across all different styles of music.

I emphasized beat one by making it a flam. The “&” of 2 and beat 4 are emphasized by hitting a tom and the snare together & they sound stronger than the “&” of 3 which is just a tom.

On the “&” of 1 I play the bass drum and a open hi-hat so the drum fill doesn’t sound so dry. I elected to close the open hi-hat on the “&” of 2. You can also try closing it on beat 2 or letting it ring throughout the whole drum fill.

The whole fill.

Taking It Further

As mentioned above, accenting beat 1, the “&” of 2, and beat 4, is very common. Here’s 3 more simple drum fills that accent those beats.

Simple fills

The first drum fill, you’ll probably recognize, is a classic that has been in many many songs including Highway To Hell by AC/DC and You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi.

The second drum fill keeps the accents from this week’s fill, but moves the bass drum around and gets rid of the open hi-hat.

The final drum fill reinstates the open hi-hat and adds another one on beat 3.

Now create some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #82. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Drum Fill Of The Week #81

This week’s drum fill is a tried and trusted drum fill that works great when you’re rocking out! Simple, but effective.

Watch Drum Fill Of The Week #81 on instagram

This drum fill is what I’d call a partial groove fill. It keeps the 8th note flow going on the hi-hat until the “&” of 3 and then we release all the tension the fill has created by going caveman on the snare on beat 4.

Learn The Fill

This drum fill uses our old friend, the three 16th note group. Our group this time is bass, snare, rest. Here’s what that looks like played across a whole bar:

Bass, snare, rest, repeat.
Bass & Snare

Play this with a metronome and count as you play it. Get used to the three note pattern.

Next, we’ll add in the hi-hat playing 8th notes.

add the 8th note hi-hat.
Add the hi-hat.

You may find that the steady hi-hat makes the bass and snare drum pattern easier to play. Make sure you can play the bass and snare pattern with and without the hi-hat. It’ll give you a stronger time feel and allow you to use the pattern to create further fills.

Now let’s cut the bass snare and hi-hat off at the “&” of three and we’ll accent the last snare with an open hi-hat. You can let the hi-hat ring until beat 1 of the next bar.

stop the pattern on the "&" of 3.
Cut off point

Now we have a whole beat to fill. I opted for just 16th notes on the snare. You can use your creativity to come up with many alternate endings.

Add an ending.
The full fill

Take It Further

The easy way to take this drum fill further is to come up with as many variations as you can for beat 4. I’ll let you do that. You can also change how this drum fill feels by altering how you play the “groove fill” part of the fill. Rather than just 8th notes on the hi-hat, try some of these variations.

3 variations of the fill.
Change it up

The first variation just sees the right hand moving from the hi-hat to floor tom to give a different sound to the fill.

The second variation has us crashing together with the bass drum.

The third variation sees us crashing together with the snare drum.

All 3 variations offer a different sound and feel. Experiment with them and see which you prefer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s drum fill. 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

Drum Fill Of The Week #80

This week’s drum fill has a bit of an accent. Check it out!

Watch drum fill of the week #80 on Instagram.

This week’s drum fill takes a 16th note accent pattern and orchestrates it around the kit. The challenge here is to keep the snare drum notes nice and soft and to bring out the melody of the toms with the accents.

Learn The Fill

The place to start is with the accent pattern being used. Here it is just played on the snare drum:

Do I detect an accent?

Practice playing this just on the snare drum first and make sure you can articulate all the accents cleanly and that you have only two sound levels going on; one loud accented sound level and one soft sound level. You don’t want anything in between. Really try to make a big difference between the accented and non accented notes.

The next step is just to orchestrate the accent pattern around the toms to create the drum fill. Here’s my orchestration:

On The Move

The challenge with this drum fill now is to keep the snare drum soft when moving to and from the accented tom toms. If you get it right the tom tom melody will be easily heard above the buzzing snares. If you get it wrong, the snare will drown out the tom toms. Practice it slowly and carefully at first paying full attention to your sound levels.

Take It Further

Once you have learnt an accent pattern, you want to make it a regular part of your vocabulary. To do that, I suggest coming up with as many orchestrations as you can for the pattern. Here’s 3 more ways of orchestrating this pattern.

Re-orchestrate the orchestration

The first variation has us play the first half of the fill on the snare only & the second half incorporates the toms as before. This creates a kind of call and response between the snare and the toms.

The second variation sees us keep the left hand on the snare until the very end while the right hand accents wander down the tom toms.

The final variation sees all the accents from the first 3 beats played on a crash cymbal together with the bass drum while the final four notes are accented on the snare. This is an aggressive sounding drum fill and works best with two or more crash cymbals.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #80. 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

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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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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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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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #76

It’s drum fill of the week time!

Watch drum fill of the week #76 on Instagram

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.