Quarter Note Drum Fills

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Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

This next free drum lesson is a great place for learning your first drum fills, or to add new patterns to your ever growing collection of drum fills. In the video, Jared Falk shows you five basic quarter note drum fills, and goes about teaching you how to better practice them so you can achieve your drumming goals a lot faster.

Knowing how to read and write sheet music is an important asset for any drummer. Having these abilities will allow you to read and understand all the quarter note drum fills featured in this free drum lesson, as well as let you write your own. Learning about basic music theory and drum notation is not as hard as people make it out to be. So before going any further with this free drum lesson, we encourage you to start learning about drum theory and notation by watching the free drum lesson “How To Count Quarter Notes“.

Drum Fills

These drum fills may look easy on paper, but just like with any other pattern you learn on the drums, it’s better to start out slowly so everything lines up perfectly. Don’t underestimate the power of mastering things at slower speeds. The more controlled you get at slower tempos, the easier it will be to play at faster tempos. Work on drowning the sound of the metronome with each stroke. If all of a sudden you stop hearing the click track in the background, don’t worry, this means you’re playing a given pattern with perfect timing.

The first quarter note drum fill in this free drum lesson is played exclusively on the snare drum. Learn the stroke sequence first. Add the metronome later on, making sure everything lines up perfectly. Don’t get demotivated with the simplicity of this exercise. The exercises get more interesting and challenging as you move along this free drum lesson.

Things get a little more interesting with exercise #2. The quarter notes are moved around the toms, instead of being kept on the snare drum. This adds to the level of challenge of this exercise. Avoid hitting the rims of the toms and off-center, since it creates an inconsistent sound. Use this quarter note drum fill to practice your accuracy. Focus on hitting the center of each drum with the same strength and stick height. This will make sure you’re playing consistently. Being an accurate player is an essential asset for any studio drummer.

Drum fill number #3 is a variation on the previous exercise. With this pattern, three of the four strokes are played on the same drums and on the same counts as the previous exercise. The mid-tom stroke is replaced with a snare shot on count 3. After this last stroke, you have to make sure you take the leading hand out of the way of the weaker hand, as it travels to hit the floor tom.
If you don’t do so, you’ll end up blocking you stronger hand beneath the weaker hand, preventing you from hitting count 1 on the crash or hi-hat.

Exercise #4 is another variation of exercise #2. It’s basically exercise #2 shifted by one count. This means that instead of playing the snare drum on count 1, you’ll be playing it on count 2. The floor tom stroke on count 4 is shifted by one count also. Since 4 is the last count, the floor tom is played on count 1. The high-tom is played on count 3 and the mid-tom on count 4.

The last quarter note drum fill in this free drum lesson is based around snare and floor tom strokes. Counts 1 and 2 are played on the snare drum and counts 3 and 4 on the floor tom. Remember to start slowly and to focus on getting the stroke sequence down, before adding the metronome in. Strive for playing a very clean sounding fill. Increase the speed at what the metronome is clicking once you’ve mastered the pattern at the speed you’re playing it at.

Each drum fill in this free drum lesson has a quarter note rock beat preceding it. This will make you work on beat-fill-beat transitions. After you get comfortable playing the transitions with the provided beat, you can take any beat from this website and use it instead. We’ve also included play-along tracks specially created for practicing drum fills, in the free drum lesson “Beginner Drum Fills“. Go to that lesson, download the tracks, and use them to practice these or any other drum fills you may be working on.

After you’re done with this free drum lesson, take a look at the free drum lesson “Eighth Note Drum Fills” for further developing your fill library.


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