Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #60

Give your drum fills a kick with some 16th note triplets.

This week’s drum fill is a simple 16th note fill played between the hands and feet but on beat 3 we have a sixteenth note triplet twist. We did something similar on Fill Of The Week #13 with beat 4. Check that one out to get more ideas.

Learn The Fill

The best place to start with this drum fill is to count the rhythm that we’re playing. Here’s the basic rhythm of the drum fill:

The basic rhythm
Going Basic

Start by playing this on your snare drum with single strokes and counting along. I like to use a metronome that clearly counts 8th notes and I listen to check that all my numbers (1,2,3,4) and “&”s are lining up correctly with the metronome.

Once we have that, we can apply our sticking pattern to it. This fill features some bass drum notes also, so we’ll put those in too.

the basic sticking + kicks
Give it some kicks

Practice playing this pattern slowly with the metronome – 50bpm is a good place to start. Go slower if need be. Count all the notes.

The final step is to orchestrate the drum fill around the kit. I encourage you to play around with it and find your own orchestrations. Here’s mine:

The full drum fill
The full fill

Take It Further

I consider the first half of this fill to a set up fill. That is, it’s setting up the second half for the big ending. After playing the first half of the fill, you can do whatever you like on the last two beats depending on the context you’re playing in. The first just provides you with a nice platform to jump off of and create something memorable. Here’s 3 suggestions:

three drum fill variations
Three variations on a theme

The first fill goes for a power finish with flams and kick drums but stays with 16th notes.

The second fill brings back the 16th note triplets but puts them on the 4th beat for a surprise ending.

The final fill brings in some 32nd notes to create an elegant ending around the toms.

Try out all three of these variations and then create some of your own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #60. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #59

What I’m about to tell you is highly classified: The cheat code for awesome drum fills is… uggh… I’ve been shot…

This week’s drum fill revisits a sticking pattern that we’ve used on more than one occasion: RLL. There are tons of uses for this simple sticking pattern. We most recently used it on fill of the week #56, check that one out for another example.

Learn The Fill

On fill of the week #56 we started the RLL sticking from beat one. With this week’s drum fill we’re displacing it so the RLL starts on the “&” of 1. This gives it a different sound to fill of the week #56.

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

The basic sticking pattern
Stick it to ’em!

As you can see we start with R L before getting in to the R L L sticking which we play 4 times before finishing with another R L. Practice this sticking until it is easy for you.

Now lets add in some accents.

Basic Sticking pattern + accents
Is that an accent I hear?

We’re accenting all the Right hand notes except for the second one which is on the snare. Now practice the sticking pattern with these accents added.

Our final task is to orchestrate the accents around the kit. I decided to start my drum fill on the 2nd tom because not many drum fills start there but maybe they should. Here’s the pattern that I played:

The final fill.
The Fill.

Take It Further

Once you have mastered this fill, the only logical thing to do is try out some other orchestrations of the same fill. Here’s four for you to try.

alternative fills
Four Fun Fills For You

The first drum fill has us playing the accents up and then down the toms from floor tom to the high tom and then back again.

The second drum fill reverses the first drum fill and has us playing the accents down and then up the toms, from high tom to floor tom and then back again.

The third tom accents the snare on the first and last accents and plays down the toms in the middle. Try using a rim shot on the snare accents to get an extra pop.

The final fill sees us putting the accents on a crash cymbal together with the bass drum. Now create some of your own… here’s a tip… the left hand doesn’t have to stay on the snare drum.

I hope you enjoyed fill of the week #59. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #58

Stop dragging around, start practicing this fill.

This week’s fill uses drags to augment what is a fairly basic fill. Drags are a great way to enliven a fill and make them sound busier than they are. You can also open up the drags so they sound like 16th note triplets or 32nd notes.

Figure Out The Fill

Lets get started by looking at the basic rhythm that we’re going to augment with drags. Here is the skeleton of our fill:

The basic fill
Keeping it basic.

Now lets orchestrate our basic rhythm around the kit. Note that the right hand does most of the work. Also note the open hi-hat on beat 1; don’t close the hi-hat until beat 1 of the next bar, let it ring throughout the whole fill.

Orchestrating the basics
Orchestrating the basic fill.

Now lets get the left hand working by adding in the drags:

Adding the drags.

There you have the full fill. It looks simple, but when played at 120bpm those drags sound like 32nd notes or 16th note triplets and make the fill sound more complex than it really is.

Taking It Further

You can add drags to virtually any fill. Here’s a few more:

All three of these fills are fairly simple rhythmically. Try playing them with out the drags first, then add the drags to hear the difference the drags can make.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #58. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #57

Don’t blink, you’ll miss this week’s drum fill!

This week’s drum fill is a fast one. It’s at 90bpm, which isn’t the fastest tempo, but it’s using 32nd notes. We’re using flurries of 3 notes to create this fast and furious drum fill. We’ve done similar 32nd note drum fills before, check out fill of the week #18 for further ideas.

Learn The Fill

When I’m learning a 32nd note drum fill, I find it easier to rewrite it and double all the note values and the length of the drum fill. The reason for this is that it’s easier to count 16th notes than it is to count 32nd notes.

Once I can understand the pattern and get my hands to play it easily, then I can halve the note values again and play it as originally intended. Let’s start by playing the basic rhythm of this drum fill as 16th notes.

The basic rhythm - as 16ths and 8ths
Stretch it out.

This fill doesn’t seem so intimidating when written as 16th notes. Set your metronome to 80bpm and count out loud as you play the rhythm. Pay attention to the sticking pattern; your hands should be alternating.

Once you’re finding that easy, you can look to orchestrate the drum fill around the kit.

The basic rhythm orchestrated.
Orchestrate it.

The first four groups of three notes alternate between being played on the toms and on the snare. The LRL groups are played on the high tom and floor tom; the RLR groups are played on the snare drum. You might want to practice moving between those two groups. The final group of RLR is split between snare, high-tom and floor tom.

Now that you can play the fill and orchestrate it, it’s time to play it at full speed.

the full fill
One bar of fury.

When playing this drum fill, I count the 16th notes as notated and just trust my hands to play the 32nd notes in between. Start practicing with your metronome at 40 bpm and ideally counting 16th notes. Pay attention to which hand falls on which 16th note. Once you are playing it accurately, then speed it up slowly until you can’t go any faster!

Taking It Further

You’ve just spend time getting comfortable moving quickly been two groups of 32nd notes – one group on the toms and one group on the snare. Let’s create another drum fill using those two groups.

32nds on the one
Spot The Difference?

This time our groups of 3 are starting on beat 1 and we’re playing 5 of them before we hit the ending. If you need to, go ahead and rewrite the drum fill as a two bar pattern using 16ths, 8ths and quarters. The 32nd notes change to 16ths, the 16ths change to 8ths and the 8ths become quarters.

We can easily create another two fills by starting the 32nd notes on the “&” of one or the “ah” of one. Try these two:

32nds on the and
Starting on the “&”
32nds on the ah
Say “AH”

Try all four variations of this drum fill and find which one suits you best. For more 32nd note fun try fill of the week #21.

I hope you’ve enjoyed drum fill of the week #57, If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #56

Right, Left, Left, Repeat.

This week’s fill is a based on a three sixteenth note sticking – Right Left Left. Some of the most famous and popular fills are based on groups of the three sixteenth notes. Check out fill of the week #42 for another fill based on a group of three 16th notes.

Learn The Fill

The place to start with this fill is to be comfortable playing the 3 note sticking pattern over the sixteenth note subdivision. Let’s start by playing the RLL pattern on the snare drum. Count out loud as you do it.

the basic sticking pattern
The journey to enlightenment begins

Take note of where each group of 3 starts – Beat 1, the “ah” of 1, the “&” of 2, the “e” of 3, beat 4 and finally the “ah” of 4. This will help you with your accuracy because as you’re counting out loud you’ll be aware that you should be playing a Right on those beats.

Now let’s move the right hand around a little. For this week’s fill we’re just going to move it between the snare drum and the floor tom. Keep counting as you try this:

moving the Right hand around
The journey continues

So, now we have the floor tom on the “ah” of 1, the “e” of 3 and the “ah” of 4. I encourage you to try moving the right hand around on to other surfaces just to get more comfortable with the pattern.

Our final step is to move the left hand around. For this fill the left hand is just going to move between the hi-hat and the snare drum. Again, go slow and keep counting.

the full fill
We have reached our destination.

Now try playing a groove and then play this fill; when you return to the groove after this fill you should hit a crash on beat 1 with your Left hand because the fill finishes on the Right.

Take It Further

The first step in taking this further is just to re-orchestrate the fill around the kit and create some of your own fills using this sticking pattern.

The next step is to create fills of different length using the RLL sticking. Let’s create fills that start on beat 2, beat 3 and the “&” of 3. When learning these fills, count out loud and take note of which beat the first note of each group (The Right) falls on. This will help with your timing and accuracy.

3 variations of different length
RLL Awesomeness

For all 3 variations on our fill we’re using the same orchestration as the original full length fill, we’re just starting it in a different place.

The first fill starts on beat 2 and allows to play the RLL group four times.

The second fill starts on beat 3 and we only get two full groups of RLL and then a RL.

The final fill starts on the “&” of 3 and allows two full groups of RLL.

Try these fills out with your own variations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #56. Check out fill of the week #32 to see another 3 note group deployed.

If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us Page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #55

Return Of The Five…

This week’s fill, number 55, is a built on a 5 note group. This is a concept we’ve explored here before. Check out fill of the week #45 for a five note grouping fill in 7/8. Fills #14, #23, #26, #28 & #33 also use fives – follow the trail from #45. Let’s learn the fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start with the sticking pattern we’ll be using for this fill.

The basic sticking pattern
Stick it to ’em

We’ll be using RLRLL as our group of 5 for this fill. Our first group starts on beat one, the second group on the “e” of 2, the third group on the “&” of 3 and the final note goes on the “ah” of 4. Here it is again with the groupings clearly shown.

The grouping
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1

If you’re new to five note groups then this pattern may feel strange to you at first. Practice it slowly and count out loud. To start with you may want to count it as “1 2 3 4 5, 1 2 3 4 5, 1 2 3 4 5, 1.” Once you are comfortable with that, try it with the regular 16th note counting. Be sure that each group starts in the right place (beat 1, “e” of 2, ‘&” of 3, “ah” of 4.)

All that remains now is to orchestrate this fill around the kit. This time I chose to go with stack cymbal, bass and snare. I put the Right hand on the stack cymbal together with the bass drum and left the Left hand on the snare drum. Note that you’ll want to crash with your Left hand on beat 1 after the fill.

the full fill.
The full fun fill of fives

Take It Further

Now, the obvious way to take this fill further is just to re-orchestrate the hands around the kit. Leave out the kick drum and hit tom-toms with your right hand instead. That’s a good way to get to know this fill better and I encourage you to do that. Come up with your own versions of it.

Instead of that, let’s just displace our 5 note groupings to create some new groups. We’ll start with the original grouping RLRLL and then move it one place to the left. Our new groups will be…

LRLLR

RLLRL

LLRLR

LRLRL

Let’s play our fill using these groups.

four variations
Four Fun Five Note Fills

By simply displacing the original 5 note group we have come up with 4 new ways of playing this fill. Explore each group and find out which group, or groups, feel the best to you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #55. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #54

Let’s get flying around that kit.

This week’s drum fill is a simple drum fill that all drummers should know. We’re just moving around the kit with a common rhythmic pattern. We’re just playing it faster than our usual fill of the week; we’re doing it at 140bpm. Let’s check it out.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start off by looking at the basic rhythmic pattern we’ll be using.

The basic rhythm
The basic rhythm.

We’re playing a very common 16th note pattern for this fill. It’s 16th note based and we’re just missing out all the “e” from each beat. Hopefully you can play this already. If you can’t, put a metronome on at 60bpm, count all the 16th notes (1-e-&-ah 2-e-&-ah etc…) and then play along but don’t play on any of the “e.”

Now we have the basic rhythm, lets add a sticking pattern and some bass drum to it.

adding a sticking pattern and bass drum.
Stick it to the bass.

In this fill, the bass drum is playing on the beat. When playing drum fills in a Rock/Pop/Blues setting it’s common to play the bass drum on the quarter note pulse under the fill. This helps to cement the time feel during the fill and adds more weight to the fill. To hear this in action, listen to Tre Cool with Green Day, Liberty Devito with Billy Joel or Mickey Curry with Bryan Adams. Sometimes they’ll even double it up to play 8th notes on the bass drum under the fill.

If you’re playing a more complex fill which involves the bass drum anyway, then you don’t need to play it on the beat.

The sticking pattern for this fill is led by the Right hand; It is playing on the 8th notes (1 & 2 & etc) and the Left hand is playing on the “ah”. This sticking helps with time keeping because your Right hand is keeping a constant 8th note beat and also makes the fill easier to move around the kit. You can use other stickings, such as alternating strokes, but you might not find them as easy to move around the kit.

Now lets orchestrate it around the kit.

The full fast fill

There are many ways to move this pattern around the kit, I chose to play the first four notes on the snare and then move around the toms. I change drum on the “&” of each beat. It’s a simple orchestration but it works. To hear something similar check out Fill of the week #31 which was taken from the song “White Room” by Cream.

The main thing I want you to do with this fill is play it FAST. How quickly can you move it around the kit? Learning a fill isn’t finished when you’ve learnt the sticking and orchestration and can play it at 60bpm. You want to really get to know the fill. Play it with a variety of grooves, try it out in some of your favourite play along tracks, and find out how fast you can play it. Will it possible for you to use it when you’re rocking out at 175bpm or will you need something simpler?

You’ll also find that some fills that sound lame at 80bpm sound awesome at 140bpm. You just need to spend the time to find out which ones are which.

Take It Further

Here are some more simple fills for you to speed up.

Fills to try.
Start your engines

Our first fill is a classic 6-6-4 fill. This can be played with alternating hands (RLRLRL etc). Just be sure to put the bass drum on the beat and not when you change from one drum to the next.

The second fill is another common pattern just moved around the kit. The suggested sticking is RLR RLR RLR RLR. You can try it anyway you like.

The third fill sees us hitting a tom tom every third 16th note. This is quite a common phrasing. Again, pay attention to where the bass drum falls. To make it sound better, accent the toms and don’t play the snare drum too loud.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #54. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #53

Here’s Fill Of The Week #53:

For this week’s fill we’re incorporating the bass drum and hi-hat into a 16th note fill. Let’s get to learning!

Learn The Fill

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

The basic rhythm for the fill
The Basic Rhythm

Hopefully you can play that and count through it with a metronome. Now we’re going to substitute some of the snare drums with bass drums, add in a unison hit on the “&” of 3 and add a sticking pattern. Here’s the next step:

basic pattern
Bringing in the bass

Practice this pattern slowly at first with a metronome and count through it. Take note of the unison hit on the “&” of 3. The left hand plays the snare (for now) and the right plays the first tom.

Once you can play that pattern, then you can move onto the final step which is orchestrating the fill around the kit. Here’s the full fill:

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

Note the open hi-hat on the “&” of 3. I play the open hi-hat with the left hand while the right hand hits the first tom. I close the hi-hat on beat 4.

Taking It Further

After taking the time to learn a pattern such as this, the only sensible thing to is re-orchestrate it around the kit and come up with as many useful variations as you can. This will help you to internalize the underlying pattern and will enable it to appear effortlessly in your playing.

Here are some ideas:

fill variations
Change it up.

These 3 variations keep the same sticking as the original pattern, we’re just moving around the kit differently.

The first two variations re-orchestrate the fill around the snare & toms. The first variation even removes the open hi-hat and instead has a flat flam between the snare and floor tom.

The third variation focuses more on the cymbals and brings the bell of the ride cymbal into the fill on the “&” of 2.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #53. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #52

Here’s Drum Fill Of The Week #52:

This week’s drum fill features an open hi-hat and a slightly tricky 16th note rhythm. Let’s learn the fill.

Learn The Fill

Let’s start by looking at the rhythm we’ll be applying around the kit:

basic rhythm
The Basic Rhythm

Start by playing this rhythm slowly with a metronome. Count out loud and pay attention to the sticking pattern. Don’t move on until you are comfortable with the rhythm and the sticking

Now let’s bring in the trickiest element, the bass drum together with the open hi-hat on the “&” of 1.

open hi hat focus
Open Your Hats

When trying to add the open hi-hat in, note that I play it with the left hand; I’ve always liked the way it looks. However, if you’re not comfortable with that then you can play it with the right hand. Note that I close the hi-hat on beat 2; try to get a nice clean close together with the snare drum.

The final step will be to orchestrate the fill around the rest of the kit. Here’s how I orchestrated it.

the  full fill
The Full Fill

Taking It Further

I like to use the snare on beat 1 and the bass / open hi-hat on the “&” of 1 to start fills. Here’s some more patterns for you to orchestrate around the kit:

change it up
Change It Up!

With all three of these rhythms, take it slow at first and work with a metronome to ensure rhythmic accuracy. Decide on your own sticking pattern for each one. A good starting point is to play all the 8th notes (1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &) with the right hand and all the other notes (“e” and “ah”) with the left hand. However, the sound you want from the kit should ultimately determine your sticking. Experiment and find what works well for you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #52. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like drum lessons, please send us a message on the contact us page.

Categories
Fill Of The Week instagram Tips for students

Fill Of The Week #51

This week’s drum fill has us playing double paradiddles to double our drumming fun!

We’re starting this fill early, on the “&” of 4 and going over the bar line. We’ve done this a few times already so hopefully you’re getting used to it by now. The double paradiddle also comes into play for this fill and we’re using it to create a new take on a commonly used accent pattern. Let’s get to learning!

Learn The Fill

Hopefully you’re already familiar with the double paradiddle, we’ll be using three of them to create this fill. The double paradiddle is 6 notes long; three of them will be 18 notes in total. We’re playing in 4/4 and using the 16th note subdivision, therefore, we’ll not be able to get all 18 notes into 1 bar so we’ll need to go over the barline. I decided to start this fill early, on the “&” of 4. Let’s look at the basic rhythm.

The basic pattern
Going Basic

The first step in playing this fill is to just play this rhythm on the snare. Work with a metronome, get comfortable starting it on the “&” of 4.

Once you have the basic pattern in your hands then you can look to start moving around the kit with it. I decided to use a common pattern which is accenting every third 16th note. Because we’re starting on the “&” of 4, the accents will fall in a different place than if we started on beat 1. I break from the pattern at the end of the fill to give a more complete ending to the fill.

To achieve this pattern we just need to accent the first and fourth note of the first two double paradiddles and the first and third note of the final double paradiddle. You may want to practice this pattern on the snare first (Accented notes in caps + bold):

R l r L r r L r l R l l R l R l r r

Once you can play that, you can orchestrate the accented patterns around the kit. Here’s my orchestration:

the full fill
The Full, Glorious, Fill

Taking It Further

Now that you have one awesome sounding double paradiddle fill, you might as well develop some more. Here’s some additional ideas:

Fill variations
Change Is Good

Our first 2 drum fill variations just re-orchestrate the original fill around the kit. The final variation reverses the pattern so we lead with the left hand. It’s similar to our original fill but has a slightly different ending. Now create some of your own!

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #51. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, please send us a message on the contact us page.