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Advanced 5/4 Drum Fills

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

This free drum lesson was designed by Dave Atkinson to take your 5/4 drum fills to a whole new dimension. These are hard patterns that incorporate the hybrid drum rudiment herta and a mix of 32nd notes with 16th note triplets, and exposes you to the use of quintuplets – a very unusual note value. You’ll have a blast with this free drum lesson. Ready to dig in?

Taking a look at the sheet music for exercise #1, you can see that you’ll perform 32nd notes and 16th notes for the first three counts. You’ll basically play two fast singles followed by two slower singles. This pattern is known in the world of rudimental drumming as the hybrid drum rudiment herta. The last two counts are 16th note triplet hand-to-feet combinations. The bass drum pattern is broken up between two bass drum pedals. You can still use a single bass drum pedal to play this advanced 5/4 drum fill. All you have to do is learn how to play the slide technique or learn how to play the heel-toe technique and use them to play the double bass strokes as double strokes. To learn more about the herta and on how to apply it creatively, check the free drum lesson “The Herta Sweep“.

Exercise #2 is a challenging one. Most drum beats and drum fills on this website are based on triplets and duple-based note values like 8th notes and 16th notes. In this case, you’ll be handling quintuplets. This note value is mostly used in fusion and in drum solos. Much like with 8th note triplets, your leading hand will change as you move between counts. The best way to learn how to feel and play quintuplets is to practice it on a single surface and at a slow tempo. To do so, take the rhythmic pattern from exercise #2 and play it on a practice pad or snare drum. Once you get a good feel for it, challenge yourself even further by playing this advanced 5/4 drum fill as notated.

Once you’re done with this free drum lesson, and if you’ve only been through the free drum lessons on 5/4 drum fills, move on to the free drum lesson “Beginner 5/4 Drum Beats. If you’ve already been through the free drum lessons “Beginner 5/4 Drum Beats” and “Intermediate 5/4 Drum Beats”, watch the videos “Advanced 5/4 Drum Beats“ and “Heavy-Metal Odd-Time Drum Beats” next. If you’ve been through all the free drum lessons on 5/4 odd-time signature that we have here for you, keep furthering your knowledge of odd-time signatures by learning 7/8 odd-time signature.


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