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drum fills

ajcf1995

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i swear ive seen every drum fill lesson online and i still cant seem to fit in a drum fill. why? it makes me want to give up because this is something ive been trying to get down for a year and im getting nowhere. i can do many snare fills but i cant seem to do any with the toms. this is whats holding me back from getting anywhere. snare fills get extremely boring after a while.
 

nanashi

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Personally, I would stop looking on line and start looking within. Think in terms of phrases , in a sense it can be compared to speaking. Fills can be used to end a phrase or lead into another. Start simple, practice two bar phrases, playing time with two beat fills. Example: /1 2 3 4/1 2 fill/ 1 2 3 4/12 fill/. keep repeating this using variations and take the time to analyze what you are doing. keep it simple and don,t move on until you are comfortable with it. This is just a start. I'm being called for supper.
 

troutstudio

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i swear ive seen every drum fill lesson online and i still cant seem to fit in a drum fill. why? it makes me want to give up because this is something ive been trying to get down for a year and im getting nowhere. i can do many snare fills but i cant seem to do any with the toms. this is whats holding me back from getting anywhere. snare fills get extremely boring after a while.

Try some paradiddle variations. They are great for fills which mix up snare and tom. If you are right handed, here's one:

RLLRLLRL RLLRLLRL The first two right hand strokes are played on toms; with the left on snare. The last two strokes (RL) are played on snare drum.

The first section of Stick Control is full of these variations. Just swap one hand to toms and muck about, at a nice even tempo. You should practice them first as 1/8th notes; then move to 16ths.
 

drums147

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Can you groove . . . are you maintaining time and the groove when you do a fill? I have had students that lost the groove/time when they did a fill and needless to say it didn't work . . . . my guess is that you are loosing time and not coming in on the beat . . .

I will reiterate what Nanashi said . . . get your groove going and do a very simple quarter note fill around the kit . . . 1 2 3 4 . . . one note each drum (example: SN-MT1-MT2-FT) . . . one hand, then two, clockwise, then counter-clockwise . . . then go to eighth notes 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & . . .
two notes each drum . . . one hand, then two . . . clockwise, then counter-clockwise . . . it is called the KISS method . . . NAD

 

Drummer232

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Whatever you do on the snare, play the same rhythm but just hit other stuff in addition to the snare.

Remember that fills are supposed to compliment the groove. A couple years ago when I worked on fills with my teacher, I was putting complicated fills where only simple stuff was needed. For instance, a fill could simply be a rest followed by two eight notes. Like above, when in doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

If you are having trouble keeping the beat when doing a fill, try keeping time with your foot on the hi-hat. It's I wish I had learned earlier, since keeping time with your feet help keep other band members, in addition to yourself, in time. (For instance, the ending fill in "Make Me Smile" by Chicago, I have learned that if I don't limit it to a certain number of beats, and keep track of those beats with my feet, the rest of the band doesn't know when to come in for the final hit.)
 

RIDDIM

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None of this matters. What does matter is that you play one note right before the band is due back in. If you do that, you've fulfilled your mission. The rest is gravy, and while it can be tasty, it's not the meal.

Check out Chris Dave,Mark Giuliana, and Matt Halpern (Periphery) when you have a minute. Often they play with just one tom. I've yet to hear anyone accuse them of being boring.
 

troutstudio

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None of this matters. What does matter is that you play one note right before the band is due back in. If you do that, you've fulfilled your mission. The rest is gravy, and while it can be tasty, it's not the meal.

Check out Chris Dave,Mark Giuliana, and Matt Halpern (Periphery) when you have a minute. Often they play with just one tom. I've yet to hear anyone accuse them of being boring.
Although if you study Stick Control, in the manner suggested by the author, it's probably really all that matters for percussion.

But I dare say that's another topic. :icon_smile:

Good point about leading the band though. As far as eating regular goes: primo importante. :occasion5:
 

JohnL

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Sounds to me at least like your trying to hard relax and have fun with your playing and it will happen. Sometime we get so wrapped up in the technical end of things that the enjoyment is gone. As others have said try doing on the tom what you do on the snare.
 

supershifter2

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listen to old pop songs from the 60's. a lot of them have a lot of really cool fills that fit the song. toms were used a lot. my granny got me a 9 volt transistor and thats when am radio was pop music radio.
 

lrdrumdude

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Not generally a fan of the magazine, but the latest issue of Drum! has a very good article and set of exercises on fills.
 

5 Style

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Even if you were to do just a handful of lessons, it would probably be worth it to you. getting the feedback is key. I really think that I... and I"m not a teacher, could teach you just what you need to know in an hour or two... or at least help you understand the idea so that you could then teach yourself. Much easier to show than explain...
 

SteveB

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Why not start by playing those same snare fills on two different drums like maybe the snare and rack tom, just to get used to the different placement and breaking away from that frozen mode. Then move around the set without changing anything but the drums or cymbals you're striking. Frankly, a lot of drummers do nothing more than this anyway, especially in more commercial tunes. Obviously you would want to create a catchy phrase, but to get the hang of it I don't think it matters at first.

Once you get the top of the set happening and have exhausted all the possibilities substitute the bass drum in there somewhere.
 

Stretsch

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Biggest problem for me for the longest time was throwing something in and getting back in the groove at the right time.
I learned such a simple lesson - COUNT.
You can keep the heel of your left foot tapping 1-2-3-4 and when you do the fill - count the numbers. Add the extras also if you want to get fancy - 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and... or even 1 e and a 2 e and a 3 e and a 4 e and a.
It's important to remember that there is a bit of time after the 4 before the 1 comes back as well. Sounds simple I know but important to remember.
Like the man says - 'the way to Carnegie Hall: practice, man. Practice.'
 
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You say you are having trouble "fitting drum fills in" but have no problem with snare fills.
So, I (like other here) assume that your question is in regards to fills that move around the set.

Without seeing you play it's almost impossible to give you specific advice. However, there are a few simple exercises you can do to improve your flexibility when moving around the drums as well as your timing.

The following assumes an understanding of 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16 notes and their counting.

Start with an "anchor" like playing all 4 quarter notes on the bass drum [1 2 3 4]

With the 1/4 notes on the BD [1 2 3 4] alternate playing a measure of 1/8 notes on the snare and then on the tom and so on.


SD/TT[1+ 2+ 3+ 4+]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

Once you can to this smoothly and in time, try the same thing with 1/16th notes on the snare and tom:

SD/TT[1e+a 2e+a 3e+a 4e+a]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

Take the time to get these so that they flow and you are able to move from a simple beat to the fill and back to the beat. To keep it simple, play a beat using the 4 quarter notes on the BD, 1/8th notes on the Hi Hat and 1/4 notes on the SD played on 2 and 4 (backbeat).

HH [1+ 2+ 3+ 4+]
SD [ 2 4 ]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

After that try different note combinations for the SD/TT part of the fills while maintaining the 1/4 note on the BD:

SD/TT [1 2 3+ 4e+a]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

SD/TT [1+ 2e+a 3+ 4e+a]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

The combinations are endless.

After playing the full measure on the SD and then the full measure on the TT try breaking the measure up between the two drums:

SD [1+ 2e+a ]
TT [ 3+ 4e+a]
BD [1 2 3 4 ]

Relax and have fun with it and before you know it you'll gain confidence.

I hope this helps.

Billy G.

NOTE: Once I posted this the system messed up the spacing so that the different drum parts were not lined up with each other. So I attached a PDF file.
 

cworrick

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ALFRED'S BEGINNING DRUMSET METHOD

It has a great page working on just fills.

You play 3 bars of time and then it has about 10 different written out (simple) drum fills. BE SURE TO GET THE BOOK WITH THE CD so you have the band playing with you and a click going behind the fills to help you keep track of time.
This is a great way to start and get some basic ideas of moving around the kit and improvising fills.

After that, I enjoy the Tommy Igoe Groove Essentials books with CDs. They have the different styles with the band playing in the background. You can choose whether or not (and how much) to fill all while keeping the time.

:bunny:
 


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