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Finish The Fill instagram Tips for students

Finish The Fill #3

This week’s drum fill starts with 2 groups of 5 notes but the question is, how will you finish the fill? Let’s check it out.

Finish The Drum Fill #3

Where To Start?

Here’s the first 10 notes of the drum fill:

The Start

We’re playing a group of five 16th notes, twice. Our five sixteenth note group is played: Snare, Tom 1, Tom 3, Tom 3, Kick. Repeat the five note pattern to get a total of ten notes that cover 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e. We’re playing in 4/4 so that leaves us one and a half beats left to fill starting from the & of 3.

If you’re not yet comfortable with 5 note groupings then play the five note pattern slowly and smoothly over and over again until it feels easy. Also check out some of my Drum Fill Of The Week posts that deal with 5 note groupings such as Drum Fill Of The Week #84.

Finish The Fill

We have one and a half beats to play with at the end of this drum fill. That gives us three 8th notes or six 16th notes or nine 16th note triplets or twelve 32nd notes or combinations of various subdivisions.

My first variation keeps things simple by sticking to the 16th note subdivision and playing around the toms.

Ending #1

This tom tom pattern gives the fill a melodic ending and avoiding the snare drum means it sounds less aggressive than some of the other options.

My second variation introduces 8th note triplets on beat 4 to give the drum fill a dramatic almost slowing down feeling.

Ending #2

The idea was to play the 5 note pattern for a third time. You could play the original 5 note pattern verbatim, I felt changing the bass drum to a floor tom sounded better.

My 3rd variation adds a little bit of 16th note triplet spice into the mix, this time we do repeat the original 5 note pattern, we just changed the subdivision for part of it. There was still half a beat remaining so I played two 16ths on the floor tom to finish the fill.

Ending #3

My final ending is a little bit of a cheat. I like five note patterns because if you play them as 16th notes and repeat them 4 times, your next note will be on beat 2 of the next bar. If you have a bass drum as the last note of your 5 note pattern then it makes it easy to hit a snare + crash on beat 2 of the next bar; this creates an awesome over the bar line fill.

Ending #4

You might get away with this fill once in a song, probably on the last chorus of a more hi-energy song. Get the band to accent beat 2 with you.

What’s Your Ending?

There are still lots of other ways to finish the last one and a half beats of this drum fill. Play around with it, create your own endings. By doing this, you’ll find you get more comfortable with 5 note patterns and you’ll expand your drum fill vocabulary exponentially.

I hope you’ve enjoyed finishing this drum fill. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.

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Finish The Fill instagram Tips for students

Finish The Fill #2

For this week’s Finish The Fill we’re using a common 16th note pattern between bass and snare to set up the final two beats of the drum fill where you decide what happens. Let’s check it out!

Finish The Fill #2

Begin The Fill

Here’s the 16th note idea that we’ll use as this week’s jumping off point.

The Beginning

This is a very common pattern. It’s common because it sounds great. If you haven’t already added it to your arsenal of drum fills, you should. If you can’t already play this, play it really slowly at first (40 – 50bpm), get comfortable with the bass and snare pattern and then add in the hi-hat one note at a time. Counting 16th notes while you play this will help.

Finish The Fill

The first ending I chose for this fill was just straight 16th notes on the snare:

The First Ending

The 16th notes on the snare drum provide a nice contrast to the earlier bass and snare pattern and sound more aggressive and direct. I would use this to indicate that the song is about to get more intense.

The second ending I chose is also just 16th notes but this time played between the bass and snare with a hint of hi-hat.

The Second Ending

The open hi-hat note on beat 4 could be replaced with a flam on the snare, or with a crash to bring more attention to beat 4. This ending feels like a natural continuation of the fill as it keeps all the same voices happening.

The third ending is basically a repeat of the first two beats.

The Third Ending

The difference between the first two beats and the last two beats is the dynamic levels. The last two beats restate the intial pattern but with the volume/intensity turned up. I used a flam on the snare, then a flat flam between snare and floor tom, and finally a snare / crash combination to turn the volume up. You could chose just one of those options and apply it to all 3 snare notes to make it sound more uniform.

Similar to the first ending, I would use this version when I want to turn up the intensity and bring more energy to the song.

The final ending I went with is more of a show-off ending; Using a very common 16th note triplet pattern (RLK) to bring some pizzaz to the fill.

The Final Ending

I would probably use this fill if I was being given space within the song to show off a little.

What’s Your Ending?

I’ve shown you four of the many ways that I have finished this drum fill. Feel free to use them as inspiration when you create your own endings. How are you going to Finish The Fill?

Practice this at a range of tempi and, once you have some ideas, I would also suggest trying it in various musical contexts with drumless tracks from YouTube.

There are many options I haven’t used here: 8th notes, 8th note triplets, 32nd notes, rests, combinations of different subdivisions etc… Good Luck!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fill. 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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Finish The Fill instagram

Finish The Fill #1

Welcome to a new series – FINISH THE FILL! The idea is for you to decide how to finish the drum fill. I’ll give you the start of the drum fill and four possible endings, but there are many more ending options available. Your job is to find as many as you can.

Doing this exercise should help with your movement around the kit and your spur of the moment creativity. It’ll also increase your drum fill vocabulary and give you more musical options for drum fills. Let’s check out this week’s fill.

Finish The Drum Fill #1

Learn The Drum Fill

Here’s the basic fill that we’re working with:

The Basic Fill

It’s a simple 8th note drum fill with the last beat being left up to us to decide.

How To Finish The Fill?

Here’s the four ways that I finished the drum fill:

The First Ending

My first ending was just a flat flam between snare and floor tom on the “&” of 4. This gives a syncopated feel to the drum fill.

The Second Ending

My second ending featured 16th notes played on Tom 2 and the Floor Tom. This adds more energy to the drum fill.

The Third Ending

My third ending stayed with the 16th note subdivision but features a flat flam on beat 4 to help accent that note and includes the bass drum to add more weight to the rum fill.

The Final Ending

My final ending used 16th note triplets. This more of a show off ending. It might not be something I’d use often, but it’s good to practice all possible endings.

What’s Your Ending?

There are many possible endings to this drum fill. I suggest trying to play it at a few different tempi to see what you can do at a range at tempos. I won’t be playing 16th note triplets at 200bpm!

For beginners, I would suggest sticking to the 8th note and 16th note subdivisions and a tempo range between 80-120bpm.

For more advanced beginner students, try using more complex 16th note patterns (including 16th note rests) and maybe flams and the bass drum.

For intermediate students increase the tempo up to 15obpm, try to incorporate drags, 8th and 16th note triplets.

For advanced players, include 32nd notes and more advanced rudiments and maybe try extending the drum fill over the bar line and finish with a Crash + Snare on beat 2.

Good Luck!

I hope you enjoy finishing this drum fill. 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 #86

This week’s drum fill takes a common idea – 3 note groupings – and applies it to 16th notes. Check it out.

Drum Fill Of The Week #86

The part of this drum fill you may find tricky, is that it starts with the Left Hand. Drum fills starting with the left hand can open up the kit for you in a different way to if you always start with the right.

Learn The Fill

The drum fill is built on a 3 note grouping – Left Left Right (LLR). We’re just applying that grouping to 16th notes and then moving it around the kit. Let’s get used to playing LLR over a bar of 16th notes first.

LLR all the way

So over a bar of 16th notes in 4/4 we get 5 lots of “LLR” and one additional Left to end the bar. Practice playing this pattern slowly with a metronome and count all the 16th notes while you do it.

Now lets add some accents to it to give it some shape. You’ll note that we’re accenting all the Rights (R) and the final Left.

Let me hear those accents!

Accents help to bring drum fills to life. Try to make the accents stand out and drop the volume of the non accented notes a bit.

Now lets move some of the accents around the kit.

Hit those toms.

This already sounds like a pretty cool drum fill, but to spice it up a little, lets move the left hand between the hi-hat and snare.

The final fill.

Take It Further

There are so many ways to move this pattern around the kit. Here’s 3 I like:

All change.

The first drum fill just changes the order in which the left hand hits the snare and hi-hat. Instead of hi-hat first, we go snare first.

The second drum fill the right hand now plays the toms first and then snare. This allows us to include the 2nd tom in the middle and to end on the floor tom.

The final drum fill just has the right hand moving in a clockwise direction around the kit from the snare and then come back to the snare at the end.

Play around with this pattern yourself and come up with your own version.

I hope you’ve liked drum fill of the week #86. 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 #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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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #83

Let’s get groovy!

Watch Groove Of The Week #83 on Instagram

This week we’re adding a simple 16th note triplet flourish to a very common groove. The two 16th note triplets are played as ghost notes between beat 1 and the “&” of 1 and add a bit more texture to the groove.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the basic groove we’ll be adding the 16th note triplets too.

The Basic Groove

Hopefully you can play this basic groove already. If not, start practicing!

We’re going to add two 16th note triplet ghost notes into this groove between beat 1 and the “&” of 1. It’ll be played as a soft double stroke with the left hand.

You may want to practice the timing and the volume of the ghost notes before trying the full groove. Try this exercise first:

Practice Practice Practice…

Try to make each group of 4 notes smooth and even & keep the volume of the ghost notes down.

Now lets put the ghost notes into the groove.

Ghosted Up

Practice the groove slowly at first. Try to make a big difference between the ghosted snare drum notes and the non-ghosted notes.

Take It Further

Sixteenth note triplet ghost notes can be added to any groove to give the groove a little something extra. Here is the same basic groove with 16th note triplets added in a couple of different places to give you some idea what you can do with them.

Change it up.

The first variation puts the ghost notes between beat 3 and the “&” of 3. This placement requires good stick control as you have the loud snare drum on the “ah” of 2 right before the ghost notes. For an addition variation, try ghosting the snare drum on the “ah” of 2 also.

The second variation adds a little flourish at the end of the bar. Try playing these two ghost notes on the hi-hat instead of the snare for a different effect.

The final variation puts all three variations together to create a busy groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove 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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Groove of the week instagram Tips for students

Groove Of The Week #82

It’s Tom Tom Time!

Watch Groove Of The Week #82 on Instagram

This week’s groove sees us playing a simple foot ostinato while the right hand plays a tom pattern over top and the left hand keeps the back beat on 2 & 4.

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the foot ostinato we’ll be playing under the hand pattern.

Just The Feet

The bass drum is going to be playing on 1 & 3, the hi-hat will be playing on the off-beats. Get comfortable with this pattern first if you’re not familiar with it.

Now let’s add the snare drum on beats 2 & 4.

Add The Back Beat

The left hand joins our foot ostinato on beats 2 & 4. We’ve now got a good basic groove going and the right hand is doing nothing yet.

The final part is to add in the right hand on the toms to bring some colour to the groove.

Colour between the lines.

The right hand is free to roam around the kit. I chose a pattern I liked, what pattern do you like? You may not have the co-ordination to play this groove straight away. Take it slow and you’ll get there.

Take It Further

Try coming up with your own patterns for the right hand to play over top of the basic groove. Once you have a pattern you like, you can try the following ideas.

  1. Displace the tom-tom pattern.
  2. Change the foot pattern.

Here’s how you can displace the tom tom pattern.

Where did I displace the toms? Hmm….

My original tom pattern started on the “&” of 1 with the 2 sixteenth notes on tom 1. Here I change the tom pattern so it starts on the “&” of 2, then on the “&” of three and finally on the “&” of 4. This creates 4 different sounding grooves.

Here’s two ideas I played with for the foot pattern on this week’s groove.

Change the feet

The first pattern was my original idea for this groove with the hi-hat on the beat rather than the off beat. This gives a different feel to the groove.

The second pattern keeps the hi-hat on the beat and removes the bass drum on beat 3. This gives a little more space to the groove and allows the hi-hat on beat 3 to really add something to the groove.

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