Beginner Double Bass Drum Fills

Bass Drum Boot Camp

In this free drum lesson, Dave Atkinson teaches you how to play five double bass drum fills he came up with. These exercises are geared towards beginner drummers. Try them out no matter at what level you are now. You’ll not only brush on essential double bass drum fills, but get new ideas for developing your own as well.

These double bass drum fills range from 16th note and 16th note triplet hand-to-feet combinations, to more complex rhythmical patterns that mix them both. We encourage you to learn to play these double bass drum fills using your hi-hat pedal, if you don’t have a double bass pedal or two bass drums. By doing so you’ll work on your weaker foot independence and control. When you get yourself a double bass drum pedal or a second bass drum it will be a lot easier for you to master these double bass drum fills.

Learning these patterns is a great way for you to be introduced to the world of double bass drum fills. Once you’ve mastered these exercises, be sure to check the really cool sounding double bass drum fills that some of the world’s finest drummers have come up with.

Drummers: Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Dweezil Zappa), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic), Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan (Avenged Sevenfold), Joey Jordison (Slipknot, Murderdolls), Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantômas, Grip Inc.), Chris Adler (Lamb of God, Burn the Priest), and Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall).

Drum Fills

Exercise #1 is a fairly simple 16th note hand-to-feet combination. Transitioning between the fill and the beat may bring about some issues. You’ll have to play an extra stroke on the bass drum with your lead foot, right after the last four double bass strokes of the drum fill. Practice this exercise slowly at first, so you can get used to playing the extra bass drum hit with more ease.

Exercise #2 is another 16th note hand-to-feet combination. The first three counts are the combination of two strokes with the hands and two strokes with the feet. The last count is a 16th note single stroke roll played with the hands and with dynamics. Practicing this double bass drum fill at a fast tempo at first, may jeopardize stroke consistency and evenness. Start this one out slowly, making sure everything lines up perfectly, even if you feel confident with your chops.

The crescendo on count 4 is short. You’ll have to go from a low to a high volume in a very short amount of time. Practice this section separately from the remainder of the drum fill, so you can perfect the way you play the crescendo.

Exercise #3 is a hand-to-feet combination played as 16th note triplets. For the first two counts the hands play the 8th notes and the feet play the 16th note triplets in between. This sequence is followed by a left hand flam tap that goes into a 16th note triplet single stroke roll. You have to be careful when transitioning from count 2 to count 3 to avoid playing a flat flam, and from the flam tap to the single stroke roll to avoid playing a very messy sounding roll.

Exercise #4 is another example of a 16th note triplet hand-to-feet combination. The sticking pattern is a bit more complex than what we’ve seen so far. Remember to learn the stroke sequence first before cleaning the pattern up with a metronome. This optimizes your time behind the drum set since it actually increases the speed at what you learn things. When practicing along to a metronome, set it at just under the maximum tempo at what you can play an exercise accurately. This ensures you practice the pattern correctly and work on expanding your boundaries at the same time. You can use this concept with in any drum beat, drum fill, or exercise you come across.

Taking a look at the sheet music below, you can see that exercise #5 features two note values. They are 16th notes and 16th note triplets. This can be a bit confusing to play at first. It’s imperative you give your brain the time to assimilate the transitions between note values. This will enable you to play this double bass drum fill by feel, without even thinking about it. You can also practice single stroke roll transitions between 16th notes and 16th note triplets on a practice pad, to further develop your inner ear.

These drum fills are great exercises for working on your ability to play fast double strokes with the heel-toe technique and the slide technique. To do so, you just have to play the double bass patterns with one foot while using one of those bass drum techniques.

Once you’ve mastered these double bass drum fills, check the free drum lesson “Intermediate Double Bass Drum Fills“. If you’d rather learn more beginner double bass hand-to-feet combinations, check the free drum lesson “Beginner Metal Drum Fills” and play the single foot double strokes from the lesson “Beginner 16th Note Linear Drum Fills” with a double bass drum pedal instead.




  • Eric Goodman says:

    Dave is much younger than I recognize. Apparently he got better as a teacher as he got older, because all of these demonstrations are at presto, or at least it seems. It’s a good thing I can read music, or it would have taken longer to break these down. This is my only negative comment I have ever posted on your website….sorry.

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  • Allision Tan says:

    is too hard for me

    • Basilo says:

      that successful Web-scale tehenologics tend to be simple (for users), sloppy, standardized (widely deployed in a more or less interoperable way, irrespective of formal status), and scalable. I don’t think Atom or RDF meet these criteria. Atom’s main value over RSS is supposed to be its FORMAL standardization, but apparently nobody really cares. (Tim Bray’s Mr. Safe has not appeared, but RSS interop and even extensibility is happening and making it boss-friendly in practice). RDF is not simple for ordinary mortals, and its scalability is unproven. (I have been informed that actual RDF systems handle sloppiness well, even though one would think that its basis in formal logic would make it brittle I don’t know how to evaluate that). Or maybe these could just as well have proven to be HTML for data but didn’t through the sheer perversity of timing or luck or personality who knows. The apparent fact is that RSS has the momentum and mindshare, and the various power laws (Metcalfe’s, Pareto’s, even Gresham’s!) predict it will dominate.The way it (or Atom for that matter) would work as HTML for Data is by providing a framework in which information that is common to most data formats (an identity, title, description, timestamp, owner ) just work, and it provides a framework within which specific communitites or domains can agree on conventions for marking up the content to be interoperable. For example, I have heard that Froogle is driving the evolution of markup for online stores toward conventions that it understands. If you build it and Froogle can find it, presumably the customers will come. If you wait for a real standard or try to do the Right Thing but publish your data in a format that consumers can’t consume, you’ll presumably go out of business. Given the intense competition among Yahoo, Google, and MSN, even slight movements toward domain standardization seem likely to be amplified, much like the way HTML markup evolved in the early 90 s. Again, this will be quick n dirty type of standardization that we may all regret in a few years, but if Bosworth is right, it is very likely to happen.I would have agreed with Danny about RSS being only for blogs rather than data, but the way interoperable RSS enclosures for sound files ( podcasting ) has come out of thin air in less than a year suggests that it does provide that simple and sloppy framework that evolves and survives.I would be perfectly happy to be wrong about this this looks like an interesting real-world experiment to test the Worse Is Better hypothesis. I wish it weren’t true, but I’m not going to bet against it this time.

  • Chris Maynard says:

    These are not too difficult I do have a bit of trouble getting my left foot in the groove, I don’t know what I can do to help fix it.

  • Judah says:

    Gosh! this is beginner double bass drum fill.. man..luks so tough..

    • Yell says:

      Read this hpulfel guide for buying your? drum kit at :bukisa.comX/articles/294902_guide-for-buying-your-first-drum-kit- remove X??

  • Gregory Lance says:

    this is a great drum lesson and it helps me to watch and listen to this lesson ,and i thank you for having this online ty…i was in a coma and had memory loss,this really helps me to get back the way it is done…tyvm…;)

    • Mado says:

      this cover is ptrety bad, sounds kinda boring, you didnt put any type of your own flare on it. You looked like you were sleeping through the whole song.

  • Gideon says:

    To me this is the best site for one to enhance his or her drumming skills, i love, and i’ll us it’s techniques to teach my fellow drum mates and we all will visit this site on weekly basis. I LOVE this SITE (IT IS THE BEST)

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