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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!

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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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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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Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #74

Get yer paradiddles out. It’s drum fill of the week #74!

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This week’s drum fill sees us combining the humble paradiddle with some single strokes to create a great sounding drum fill. This drum fill is great if you’re starting to work on incorporating paradiddles into your drum fills. Let’s get to it!

Learn The Fill

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

Just the basics

The sticking pattern for the drum fill is two single paradiddles (RLRRLRLL) followed by single strokes for the remainder of the bar. Practice this pattern first before moving on to the next step. Can you move smoothly between the paradiddles and the singles?

Our next, and final, step is to orchestrate this around the kit. I like to play paradiddles with accents on the right hand single strokes – R L R R L R L L – this is a pattern I use a lot. Here I put the first accent (beat 1) on the Floor Tom and the second accent (“e” of 2) on First Tom. Feel free to move that around as you see fit.

For the singles strokes, I went with one of my favourite orchestrations – three 16th notes on the Snare, three on the First Tom and the last two on the Floor Tom. It’s a combination that always sounds good. Here’s the full drum fill:

The full fill

Take It Further

Let’s take the chance to cement this use of the paradiddle into your playing and increase your drum fill vocabulary at the same time. Here’s three more drum fills using the same sticking pattern and the exact same paradiddle usage; we’re just going to change the ending.

You write the ending

All three drum fills use common patterns at the end. Hopefully you can play these with ease. Once you’re done with those, create some of your own endings.

If you’d like to take it further still, try swapping the singles and the paradiddles around – singles first and then paradiddles:

R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-R-L-R-L-L

Keep the paradiddle pattern the same as in the original fill and add your own single stroke ideas to it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #74. 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 #73

This week’s fill sees us welcome back an old friend: The three 16th note pattern.

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This a great sounding rock drum fill. The snare drum plays every third sixteenth note, the floor tom provides warmth and heaviness on the 8th notes and the bass drum fills in any spaces to give us a 16th note flow.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic ingredients that go into making up this fill.

First we have the snare drum pattern. This is a pattern you want to become very familiar with. It crops up in a lot of places and always sounds good.

On the left

If you’re not comfortable with this pattern yet, then I suggest you spend some time with it. Your left hand will be playing this on the snare drum during the fill.

Your right hand will be busy doing this:

On the right

Hopefully playing eighth notes on the floor tom is well within your ability…

Let’s mash these two rhythms together.

All together now

Get comfortable playing this pattern. It can be used as a drum fill as it is and always sounds great – especially at higher tempos.

Our final job with this drum fill is to add in the bass drum. The bass drum will occupy any note that doesn’t already have a snare drum or floor tom being played on it.

The full fill

Take It Further

Whenever you are playing a three 16th note pattern, you can always displace the pattern 2 times to create 2 new fills. Here’s the new snare drum patterns for this fill.

Two snare patterns to go

Again, get comfortable playing these patterns first before combining them with the floor tom and then adding the bass drum in the spaces. Here’s the full fills:

Two drum fills made to order

I hope you enjoyed fill of the week #73. 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 #72

This week’s drum fill is getting funky. Check it out!

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This kind of drum fill is what I refer to as a hybrid drum fill. It mixes a groove fill – where you’re focused on playing a fill between the bass and snare drum while keeping the time flowing on the hi-hat/ride cymbal – and a regular fill. You can find the full groove fill part of this drum fill on fill of the week #15.

Get The Fill

This drum fill consists of two parts, the groove fill and the regular fill. Let’s check out the groove fill part first.

Part one

This is part of one of my favourite groove fills. The snare drum lands on beat 1 and the “&” of 2 and the bass drum provides funkiness by playing on the “e” and “ah” of beats 1 and 2 and the “e” of 3. Play it slowly and carefully, be sure to keep the 16th notes evenly spaced. During the groove fill portion, the right hand stays on the hi-hat and the left hand plays all snare drum notes.

The second part of the drum fill is the more regular part. We’re playing a simple 16th note drum fill that starts on the “&” of 3.

Part two

Now let’s fit the two parts together.

The full fill

Take It Further

I like to take a modular approach to my drum fills and combine different ideas or modules together. So here are 3 groove fill beginnings and 3 regular fill endings. If you play each combination, you’ll get 9 new fills.

Three beginnings
Three endings

Play all nine combinations of beginnings and endings. The sticking for the third endings is R-L-R-K-R-L; the other two are simple RLRLRL stickings.

If you include the beginning and ending of the original fill into the mix then you get another 6 possible combinations. I’m sure you can also think of some of your own beginnings and endings to throw into the mix.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #72. 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 #71

664 – the number of the drummer

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This week’s drum fill uses our old friend, the 6-6-4 phrasing. We’re playing a 6 note grouping twice and then putting a 4 note group on the end. It’s a simple concept, but one that works well and sounds very musical. We’ve seen it before on drum fill of the week #37 and most recently drum fill of the week #46.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm and sticking that the hands are playing.

Just the hands

So here we’re playing two groups of 5 and a group of 4 all separated by a 16th note rest. Our groups start on beat 1, the “&” of 2 and beat 4. Note that I start each group with the Right hand and then alternate. Practice this pattern with a metronome and get comfortable with it.

Now let’s bring in the bass.

Snare + Bass = a match made in heaven.

The bass drum fills in the space created by the rests in our original pattern to give us the 6-6-4 pattern. Play this pattern slowly at first and focus on keeping all the 16th notes evenly spaced.

The final step is to orchestrate the hands around the kit. Here’s my orchestration.

Everyday I’m orchestrating

For the groups of six I’m just playing 3 on the snare and then one note on the high tom and one note on the floor tom. The group of four is just a very common four note fill – snare, tom 1, floor tom, floor tom.

Take It Further

There are loads of drum fills you can generate using the 6-6-4 pattern, here’s a few more using this particular pattern with the bass drum on the end of the 6 note groups.

6 6 4 6 6 4 6 6 4

Our first variation plays each group on a different drum.

The second variation includes every drum in all the groups.

The final variation sees our right hand leaving the snare drum to play a tom tom on the third note of each group.

Experiment with this pattern yourself and see what you can create.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #71. 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 #70

12 / 8 = drum fill of the week #70!

This week’s drum fill, like groove of the week #70 is in the 12/8 time signature. You might want to check out groove of the week #70 for some further drum fill suggestions in 12/8.

Our drum fill this week features flams and bass drums and showcases the way I often combine these two elements in drum fills to create complex sounding fills.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm and hand pattern for this fill.

This drum fill is in 12/8; notice how we count it. Each eighth note gets one count and the 16th notes get counted as “and” (&). Play this slowly with a metronome at first. As not all metronomes can count 12/8, I use a metronome set to count eighth note triplets in 4/4. The fill is at 76bpm, you may want to play slower to start with. Beats 1, 4, 7 and 10 should coincide with the main 4/4 beats.

Now let’s add in the flams.

Flammable

The flams simply go on beats 1, 4 and 7.

Now lets throw in the bass drum.

Give it a kick

The bass drum goes before and after every flam and between the last three 8th notes. When I’m playing a 16th note drum fill with flams, I often put a bass drum either side of the flam to keep the 16th note flow going and to give my hands time to prepare for the flam or what follows it. This is especially useful at faster tempos.

Our final step is orchestrate the hands around the kit. Note that I play flat flams on the last three beats with right hand joining in on the floor tom.

A thing of beauty

Take It Further

Anytime learn a reasonably complex drum fill like this, it’s worth spending the time to get as many drum fills as you can out of the pattern. Here’s a few more ideas using the same pattern.

A few ideas more

Our first variation just moves each block of 3 eighth notes onto a a different drum.

The second variation is a similar idea except the change the next tom is foreshadowed on the last 8th note of the previous block.

The final variation has us moving the RLR around between the snare and the toms playing a melody and the final three 8th notes are orchestrated so the right hand moves down the toms.

Now create some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #70. 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 #69

It’s bass drum workout day!

This week’s drum fill is based around groups of 7 being played between the hands and the bass drum. Its a fairly simple fill to play but it may help you get used to working with 7 note groups. We’ve previously played a similar idea with 5 note groups on fill of the week #26.

Learn The Fill

Let’s look at the basic idea before orchestration. The 7 note grouping is clearly marked along with the 16th note counting.

Keeping it simple

Play through this pattern slowly at first and count it both ways – using the “1 2 3 4 5 6 7…” count and the “1 e & ah 2 e &…” count. Eventually you’ll be able to feel the 7 note groups within the 16th notes. Note: when I count “7” I count it as “Sev” – it helps to avoid playing an extra note on the “en” of “seven”

Once you have the pattern, you can start to orchestrate it around the kit. I decided to double up the hands, my right hand moves around the kit while the left stays on the snare drum.

The full fill

Take It Further

Once you can play the fill, you re-orchestrate the fill around the kit as you see fit. Let’s look at some permutations of this pattern. Here’s two fills for you to try:

Two permutations

Here we’ve shifted the pattern so that it starts on one of the other snare drum notes in the pattern. I’ve kept the orchestration very simple, once you can play the basic pattern, orchestrate your hands around the kit as you see fit.

We can also start the pattern on the bass drum. Try these two patterns:

Two more permutations

Again, once you are comfortable with the patterns, then orchestrate them as you see fit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #69. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.