10 Fills Every Drummer Should Know


10 Fills every drummer should know. Inspired by Stephen Taylor. I added/modified some fills, and of course, it’s more than 10 because some have variations…. “17 drum fills every drummer should know” just doesn’t sound as good. 😉

  • Use a metronome for the exercises and notice the spots where you tend to speed up/or slow down – aim for cconsistency.
  • Practice the fills by themselves first, then add one measure of groove before the fill, then three.
  • Once you’re comfortable with the fills as written, try to come up with your own orchestrations, while adhering to the fill sticking/rhythm

16th Note Hi-Hat Variations Loop

Here’s a cool exercise one of my teachers shared with me, a long time ago:

  • You play 14 different 16th note variations on the hi-hat, one per measure, while keeping a continually repeated pattern (ostinato) on the bass drum and snare.
  • The bass drum syncopation includes a note on the “a” and “&” of the beat one and two, which makes it more challenging, coordination wise.
  • If you struggle with the independence between bass drum and hi-hat, try to play the variations over a four on the floor beat (quarter notes on the bass drum) first, and work your way up from there.
  • Focus on clarity, consistency, and groove. Make sure all the notes land in the right place.
  • Practice to an 8th or 16th note metronome, to identify where there’s a tendency to push or drag.
  • Practice each measure individually before putting them all together in a loop.

For a lot of people this is a hard exercise — it definitely is for me.

Its benefits are many: improved timing, coordination, and being able to stay in the pocket while transitioning between different variations, are just a few that come to mind spontaneously.

Remember: Slow, steady, and relaxed wins the race!

 

16th Note HH Var Loop.jpg