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jazz drummer
metal drummer
snare drum
kick drum
bass drum
cymbal
hype
combinations
Drum Fills
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Being able to play fills well is one of the most important skills as a drummer. A good drummer should be able to judge when and what type of fill to do in a song. The possibilities for types of fills are pretty much endless but it takes a good drummer to know when to use what type of fill.

Speed There is a lot of hype around the speed of drum fills. People tend to think the faster the fill the better. This is not the case. The perfect fill is one that compliments and fits into the song perfectly. Don’t get me wrong by no means am I saying that fast fills are bad, it all comes down to a fill that is most suitable for the type and style of music. For example if you are a metal drummer generally fast fills are the most suitable for the style of music. But if you are an indie drummer or a jazz drummer the most suitable fill generally is not going to be you blazing away 32nd notes. Know what types of fills are suitable for your style of music.

Using your whole kit A lot of drummers (especially beginner ones) will generally play fills on the snare drum, to the rack toms, then down to the floor tom, followed by a big generic crash and a bass drum. While this doesn’t sound bad, it certainly is not the most interesting fill you could do. Experiment with different cymbal and drum combinations, and try to change up the rhythms of your fills. Straight sixteenth notes over one bar can get boring all you rock drummers!

Using the bass drum Another aspect of drum fills that are not big in a drummer’s arsenal is using the bass drum in between fills. And no I’m not talking about putting a bass drum on every beat as you move between the snare drum, rack toms and floor tom. You should consider the bass drum as another drum to incorporate into your fills. For example instead of going RLRL RLRL RLRL RLRL CRASH! You could try going RLRK RLRK RLRK RLRK. See how this works? The kick drum is another drum. Now that was a very generic pattern, but it was just to give you an idea. Have a go at making your own combination of sticking combinations between your hands and feet and try to move them around the drum kit.

The types of fills you play have a massive impact on the type of drummer you are. A lot of drumming books on the market are excellent resources for getting your head around different fill types, giving you the foundation to come up with your own unique fills, and believe me, there are plenty of fills out there yet to be discovered!


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