Drum fills are the type of pattern that’s most easy to get creative with. From the more simple to the more complex, there are tons of different concepts you can use to take standard drum fills and make them sound unique and fresh. In this free drum lesson Dave Atkinson shares a simple one: playing drum fills on different counts.
The concept Dave goes through in this lesson can be broken down into two sub-concepts. In the first one the idea is to start a drum fill from any count other than count one. In the second one you have to do the opposite: end the drum fill on any count other than count one. If you’re a beginner drummer, move the start or end of the drum fill you’re playing by quarter notes. This means you should start or end them on counts two, three and four. Intermediate players can play around with 8th notes, 8th note triplets and 16th notes instead. This is a little more tricky since your drum fills will be starting and ending on the “trip” and “let” or on the “and,” “e” and “ah” of every count. As for advanced players, use the sub-concepts with 16th note triplets and 32nd notes–it’ll keep you busy for a while.
To get started, pick one of your favorite drum fills, write it down and remove or add notes depending on where you start or end the pattern. Apply the first sub-concept and see what type of variations you can come up with. Then, take the same drum fill and use the second sub-concept with it. Remember to write down the drum fills you’ve enjoyed and came up with by applying these sub-concepts. Doing so will enable you to use these sub-concepts with them or even employ new ones. If you’re interested in learning how, check the free drum lessons “Combining Fills” and “Playing Fills Backwards.”
Once you start developing new drum fills with this concept, you’ll definitely need a musical setting to test them with. You can do so with the play-along we created specifically for mastering drum fills that we have for you on DrumLessons.com.
If you’d like to apply what you’ve learned here to drum fills different from the ones you already know, check the various lessons on drum fills that we have on DrumLessons.com. If you’re a beginner drummer, watch the free drum lesson “Beginner Double Bass Drum Fills.” For intermediate and advanced drummers the free drum lessons “Intermediate Broken 16th Note Fills” and “Advanced 7/8 Drum Fills” are great for learning slick and fancy drum fills.
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