Finish The Fill #5 starts with a common sticking pattern that has many uses around the kit.
Where To Start?
Here’s our first 8 notes:
This sticking pattern is extremely useful for getting around the kit and creating musical ideas. It’s worth sppending some of your time exploring this sticking pattern and all the ways it can be used around the kit.
The first ending I put on this drum fill is a simple 16th note ending incorporating the bass drum and an accent on the snare on beat 4.
The second ending uses 8th note triplets played down the toms to provide a dramatic ending.
The third ending echoes the beginning of the drum fill but ups the power and intensity with double stops and the bass drum.
The final ending uses 32nd notes to add some speed and excitement to the fill.
What’s Your Ending?
Have fun creating endings for this fill. Take your time and come up with as many endings as you can. The more drum fills you create, the more comfortable you’ll get with the RLLRLLRL sticking pattern at the start of the drum fill. You’ll find that after many repetitions the RLLRLLRL pattern will start to show up naturally in your playing without you even thinking of it.
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.
This week’s finish the fill starts with a very useful 16th note bass drum, snare drum and hi-hat pattern which takes us up to the & of 2. You then get to decide what happens from the ah of 2 onwards.
Where To Start?
Here’s our first 7 notes:
It’s very common in rock music to accent beats 1 and the “&” of 2. With this drum fill, the snare drum is providing the accent on those two beats. The bass drum is playing a funky syncopated pattern on the 16th notes that’s always going to sound awesome. Work on the interplay between your hi-hat and bass drum to make sure the notes are evenly spaced.
The first version of this drum fill I played is just a continuation of the pattern. This keeps the 8th note hi-hat nice and sm0oth and the funky bass drum happening. The snare drum plays one final note on beat 4 and then we put a bass drum on the “&” of 4 to indicate the party is over and it’s time to get back to grooving.
The key points for this drum fill are to keep the bass drum and hi-hat notes evenly spaced.
The second ending I went with for this fill features a few 32nd notes.
I start the end of the drum fill on beat 3 with an open hi-hat. This is something I like to do, I just let the open hi-hat ring throughout the drum fill and close it on the next bar. Practice this fill slowly at first, to get the movement smooth – 50bpm is a good start tempo. My sticking pattern for the ending – from beat 3 onwards is: R RLR L R L RLR
The 3rd ending continues with the 32nd note theme. I play a Right-Left-Kick pattern between the snare and the toms. I ghost the snare a bit so that the tom melody stands out more.
The limit on your speed here is how fast you can do the RLK pattern cleanly. You can also change the pattern into 16th note triplets if you find it easier. I wanted the slightly more staccato feel of the broken 32nd notes here, rather than the more rounded 16th note triplet feel.
For the 4th ending I kept things simple but added a 16th note triplet twist on the end.
Again this drum fill features an open hi-hat, but this time I close it within the fill to give a more controlled sound. I opted for a 16th note triplet flourish to end this fill, but you could just as easily end it with a single 8th note on the “&” of 4 or a pair of 16ths and it would still sound good.
What’s your ending?
There are thousands of ways to finish this fill. How are you going to end it? Practicing ideas like this should help you get more comfortable playing fills and flowing around the kit. Come up with as many ideas as you can.
I hope you’ve enjoyed finishing this fill. If you’re in Singapore and would like a free trial drum lesson, send us a message via the contact us page.
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.
Where To Start?
Here’s the first 10 notes of the drum fill:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Begin The Fill
Here’s the 16th note idea that we’ll use as this week’s jumping off point.
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 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 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 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.
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.
This week’s drum fill takes a common idea – 3 note groupings – and applies it to 16th notes. Check it out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take It Further
There are so many ways to move this pattern around the kit. Here’s 3 I like:
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.
Drum fill of the week #85 takes fill of the week #84 and asks the question… triplets?
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
This week’s fill takes a 5 note pattern for a spin around the kit… starting with…. the LEFT HAND!!!!!!!!!!! Try not to panic!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.