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.

Groove Of The Week #38

It’s time to get a little bit latin with groove of the week #38.

This groove is taken from the classic early rock ‘n roll song La Bamba by Ritchie Valens. The song itself is a Mexican folk song, but Ritchie spiced it up and gave us the version we all know and love. Let’s get to learning!

Get The Groove

Let’s start by looking at the pattern being played on the bell of the ride cymbal.

The Bell Pattern
Ring my bell

Like most latin grooves, this groove features a broken rhythm on the ride bell. This can be challenging if you haven’t attempted latin grooves before. Spend some time with a metronome playing this pattern slowly, counting out loud and getting it into your hand.

Now let’s add the snare and tom toms.

Add the left hand
Two hands are better than one

Our left hand will be moving between the snare and first tom. You might want to practice each bar separately at first and then try playing them consecutively. Keep it slow and keep counting.

The final step is to add in the bass drum. For this groove the bass drum is playing just on beats 1 and 3. Again, practice it all slowly, before gradually bringing it up to our target speed of 152bpm.

add the bass drum
The full groove

Taking It Further

Getting the groove is the first step in learning any beat. Once you have learnt a groove, you need to be able to play fills with it and get in and out of it easily in order to be able to use it in a song. Here’s some basic fills to use with this groove. Try not to lose the pattern as you add the fills.

add some drum fills
Fill it in

I suggest playing these fills in a 4 bar pattern: play two bars of the original groove and then add on the 2 bar patterns shown above.

Our first fill goes over the whole of the second bar of the groove.

The second fill starts on beat 2 of the second bar. Note the sticking pattern – LLRLRL.

The third fill starts on beat 3. Again this one also starts with the Left hand – LRLR. I would suggest crashing with the left hand after this fill to give your right hand enough time to get back to the ride bell on beat 2.

The final fill is two notes on the floor tom starting on beat 4. The left hand on the first tom on the “&” of three is just part of the original groove.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #38. If your in Singapore and you’d like 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.

Groove Of The Week #37

Let’s spice up our hi-hats with groove of the week #37.

Groove of the week #37 is a simple groove spiced up with some 32nd note hi-hats and some accents. Let’s get to it!

Get The Groove

Let’s start by taking a look at the basic groove that we’ll be spicing up.

The basic groove
Going basic

This is fairly simple 2-handed 16th note hi-hat groove. There’s a little bit of syncopation on the bass drum. Hopefully you can play this groove already.

Our first step to spice this groove up is to add in the 32nd note doubles. I decided to play a double stroke on the right hand every time I hit the bass drum. Here’s what that looks like:

adding in the right hand doubles
Doubling up the right hand.

Play this at a slow speed and focus on playing the hi-hats at an even volume. You may need to spend time working on your double strokes to get each double perfectly even.

The final step is adding in accents with the left hand. For this groove I accented the “ah” of 2 and the “e” of 3. This is a very common place to accent. To get the accents I drop my left hand lower and play the accents with the shoulder of the stick on the edge of the hi-hat. The rest of the notes are played with the tips of the stick on top of the hi-hat. Here’s the full groove:

the full groove
The full groove

Take It Further

Let’s take this groove further by changing up the bass drum pattern. We’ll follow the same pattern of doubling the hi-hats with every bass drum. We’ll leave the accents out for now. If you’d like another groove with hi-hat accents, try groove of the week #36.

3 variations.
Change it up

Our first two variations are just very simple grooves with the hi-hat doubled on all the bass drums.

The third variation throws in some bass drums on the 16th notes together with left hand. However, I only double the hi-hat when the right hand and bass drum coincide – doubling the hi-hat with every bass drum would be a little too much. Try doubling the hi-hat when the left hand and bass drum hit together instead of the doubling the right hand, you might prefer that variation.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove 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.

Groove Of The Week #36

Let’s accent how awesome groove of the week #36 is:

Groove of the week #36 shows how you can take a simple groove, and spice it up using accents. Let’s get to accenting.

Get The Groove

The groove that we’re spicing up with accents is a simple two handed 16th note groove with a sparse bass drum pattern. Let’s check out the basic pattern first.

the basic groove
The Basic Groove

Hopefully you won’t have any problems with that groove. If you do, use a metronome, go slow, and, count. Don’t proceed until you can play this groove easily.

Now lets look at the accent pattern we’re going to apply to the groove. Here it is played on the snare drum:

the accent pattern
Accent Pattern

Learn to play this accent pattern on the snare drum first. As always, go slow and count focus on getting two sound levels – one level for the accents and a softer level for the unaccented notes.

Once you can play this pattern easily, then we can try orchestrating it between the hi-hat and snare. The snare drum will naturally add another accent to the accent pattern. Hit the snare drum at the volume you would usually use when playing a back-beat.

accenting the hi-hats
Accenting The Hats

To get the accents on the hi-hat, I use the shoulder of the stick on the edge of the hi-hat. For the unaccented notes I use the tip of the stick on the top of the hi-hat. Watch how my hands move to in the video to see this in action. Practice this movement until you can do it smoothly.

The final step in our groove is to bring in the bass drum. Here’s the full groove:

Accents on the hi-hat
The Full Groove

Take It Further

Once you have learnt the groove of the week, experiment with the bass drum pattern to create other grooves. Here’s 3 examples.

additional bass drum patterns
Experiment!

After experimenting with that accent pattern, try to find some accent patterns that you like the sound of. Here’s one more pattern for you to try, with two examples with the bass drum added.

additional accent pattern
Create!

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove 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.

Fill Of The Week #35

Here’s fill of the week #35:

Fill of the week #35 was inspired by groove of the week #35. It features the same rhythm. After recording and writing about groove of the week #35, I noticed that the groove was essentially two blocks of seven 16th notes; One block started on beat 1, the second block started on the “e” of 3. Being unable to resist expanding my repertoire of fills featuring 7 note groups, I immediately set to work finding a 7 note group that would sound good with this rhythm. Hope you like it!

If you like seven note groupings check out Fill of the week #19 for a fill that goes over 2 bar lines.

Learn The Fill

The first step in learning any fill that uses groups, is to learn the basic group that you’ll be using. Here’s the 7 notes that make up our 7 note group:

the basic 7 note group RLKRLRL
Get to know the group

So our group this time is R L K R L R L; Practice playing this group smoothly. Count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Sev while you do it. Once you can produce a evenly spaced 7 notes using just the snare and the bass, then we can orchestrate it around the kit. Here’s our orchestration this for this fill:

7 note group orchestrated
Move the group around

Our final step is to put that orchestration into the fill. As mentioned earlier, we’ve got one group of 7 starting on beat 1 and then another group starting on the “e” of 3. Let’s take a look at that:

the final fill
The finished fill

The tricky part of this fill is restarting on the “e” of 3. If you are not sure of your timing, work with a metronome at 40bpm; count 16th notes out loud as you play the fill. You’ll soon be able to play the fill with accurate timing and then you can speed up the metronome.

Taking It Further

Rather than re-orchestrate the original 7 note grouping, I thought I’d just give you some additional 7 note groups to play with. Please orchestrate all these 7 note groups as you see fit. The more you play with them, the more you’ll be able to use them. Also, try creating your own group of 7 and apply it to this fill.

3 variations
3 ways to have more fun with 7 note groups

Our first variation is the 7 note grouping that was used in Fill Of The Week #19, have you checked that one out yet?

The second variation features a very common 8 note pattern with the last note chopped off – R L K R L K R (put another left on the end to get the 8 note pattern). You’ll have to crash left handed after this fill.

The final variation is the group of 7 split between flat flams between snare and floor tom and the bass drum. This is a powerful sounding fill.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #35. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, just fill out the form on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #35

Let’s get linear for groove of the week #35.

Groove of the week 35 is a linear 16th note groove featuring the Toms. Let’s get to learning!

Learn The Groove

A linear groove is one where we don’t hit any drums or cymbals together. It’s just one drum or cymbal at the time. We’ve looked before at putting linear ideas in to regular grooves – groove of the week #23 is one of my favourites – but I don’t think we’ve done an entirely linear groove yet.

Let’s start by looking at the rhythm we’re going to make linear first.

The basic rhythm
The basic rhythm

To start with, make sure you are comfortable playing and counting this rhythm. Work with a metronome slowly and count out loud as you play it. We want that restart on the “e” of 3 to be accurate every time.

Our next step is to bring in the linear pattern that we’re going to apply over this rhythm.

the basic linear pattern
Let’s get linear, linear…

Learn to play this pattern before attempting to orchestrate it around the kit. If you’re not experienced with linear drumming, then take it slow and learn it bit by bit. Get the first 4 notes, then try to add the next 3 notes. Once you can play the first 7 notes, look to learn the next 7 notes separately. Once you can play both sets of 7 notes, try playing the whole pattern.

Once you can play this pattern, we can start orchestrating it around the kit. Again, I’d work in 7 note chunks. Here’s the first 7 notes orchestrated.

orchestrating the first half
Woah, we’re half way there…

In the first half of the groove, the left hand plays the hi-hat and snare, the right hand plays the toms. Once you can play this groove, then we can add orchestrate the 2nd half of the groove & create the full, awesome, groove.

orchestrating the second half
The full, awesome, groove

Taking It Further

Let’s take this further by orchestrating the exact same pattern in slightly different ways.

four useful variations
Four times the fun

Our first variation just has us reversing the order of the toms. Our first right hand is on the floor tom, then we have the two notes on the second tom, the final two notes are played on the first tom tom. This pattern just gives a slightly different melody to the groove.

The second variation has the right hand play only on the floor tom, this gives us a heavier, more powerful version of the groove.

The third variation has us move the left handed hi-hat notes to the first tom instead. The right hand plays only on the floor tom as in the second variation. This gives us a heavier groove again.

The final variation does away with the tom toms and puts all the right hand notes on the bell of the ride cymbal and the left hand moves between hi-hat and snare. This creates a funky groove with an off-beat ride bell pattern.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #35. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on our contact us page.

Fill Of The Week #34

Get a brimful of this drum fill on your way to the corner shop.

This drum fill is taken from the song Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop. The drum fill happens at around 3’33” and serves as a pickup to restart the song after a brief pause. Let’s learn it.

Learn The Fill

This is a fairly simple fill, but don’t let that dissuade you from adding it to your arsenal; often simple fills sound the most musical. Let’s start by looking at the basic rhythm.

The basic rhythm
Brimful of the basic rhythm

Note the sticking pattern that I recommend for this fill. It keeps the Right hand on all the eighth notes and Left hand fills in any 16th notes. This should help your flow while you’re playing this fill.

The two tricky spots on this fill are the first note on the “ah” of four, and, the two 16th notes on the “e” and “&” of 2. Play this fill slowly with a metronome and check your rhythmic accuracy.

Once you are comfortable with the fill then you can orchestrate it around the kit. Here’s the full fill:

the full fill
Drum fill on the 45

Take It Further

The opening two beats of this fill provide a great setup for any fill you want to put over the last two beats. So let’s take this further by varying the ending. Here’s 3 variations:

fill variations
Everybody needs variations for a pillow

Our first variation just adds a simple 16th note fill to the end.

The second variation is also a simple 16th note fill with a slightly different rhythm.

The final variation is a slightly trickier rhythm but still using just 16th notes.

For all of these fills I recommend using the sticking idea discussed for the original fill: Play all the 8th notes with the Right hand and fill in any “e”s or “ah”s with the Left hand.

I suggest you play around with this fill some more and come up with your own variations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed fill of the week #34. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the contact us page.

Groove Of The Week #34

This week’s groove features a 6 stroke roll, a double paradiddle, and an inverted paradiddle. What more could you ask for?

Groove of the week #34 is a funky syncopated 16th note groove. We’re using two rudiments which are normally found in 16th note triplet form, but we’re converting them to 16th notes. Both of those rudiments are 6 notes in length, so to complete a bar of 16th notes I added an inverted paradiddle on the end. Let’s get to learning.

Get The Groove

This groove starts out with a 6 stroke roll (RLLRRL) which is followed up by a double paradiddle (RLRLRR) and finally an Inverted paradiddle (LRRL). Let’s start out by getting comfortable with that sticking pattern.

Basic sticking pattern
Basic Sticking Pattern

Once you can play the pattern easily, the next step is to split the hands between hi-hat and snare.

split the hands up
Split your hands up

Once you’re comfortable with that, the next step is to add in the dynamics. I ghost all of the snare notes except for the “e” of 2 and beat 4 – I rim shot those two notes.

add the ghosts
Beware of the ghosts

The final step is to add the bass drum. You can put the bass drum where ever you like, I kept it simple on this groove. It’s on beat 1, beat 3 and the “&” of 3 – all of them occur together with the Right hand.

The full groove
The full groove

Take It Further

Rather than take this groove further, I think it’s better to split it up. From any busy groove like this you can take pieces of it and use them in other grooves. You might find more applications for them and find they help you to create new variations of your grooves.

So first up, lets take the 16th note version of the 6 stroke roll and add it to other grooves. As in Groove #34, the 6 stroke roll can be used to give you an accented snare on the “e” of 2 or the “e” of 4 – depending on where you start it. Try these two variations:

6 stroke roll variations
6 strokes of fun

Now let’s play with the double paradiddle. First we’ll keep it in the same position as Groove #34 – starting on the “&” of 2. We’ll accent the snare drum after it on beat 4 to provide us with the back beat. Then we’ll start with the double paradlddle on beat 1; if we accent the snare drum after it this time, we’ll have an accented snare on the “&” of 2 which will give us a funky syncopated groove.

double paradiddle variations
Double trouble.

I’ll let you take the inverted paradiddle and experiment with including that into your regular grooves.

I hope you’ve enjoyed groove of the week #34. If you’re in Singapore and you’d like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message on the Contact Us page.