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When in doubt, leave it out! Best minimal fills?

wolfereeno

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Was enjoying this Bernard Purdie video where he talks about minimal fills and leaving a lot of room.

Recently I was adding drums to a song a friend recorded that has some time problems in the tracks she sent me. My inclination was to try to cover up with shakers, tambourine, something to make the pulse stronger. The parts I recorded were midi into VST's and working in the midi editor to fix and change things, I found deleting notes and leaving just the basics worked best. When i doubt, leave it out!


Here are a few great simplistic files that are super effective and a blow my mind.

50" into this disco song by SOS kills me

15 secs into this, Nate Smith!

Gadd in Chuck E's in Love is legendary.

Any others?
 

RyanLovesDrums

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There’s one of those no fill-fills on this song that I always found interesting. I forgot the drummers name but when he comes back into the song at the end he really holds back, doesn’t even play the kick on the “1” instead he starts jamming on the bell of the ride. Happens at 1:55
 

wolfereeno

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This came across my feed today and it's also a good example, given how busy the rest of the band is, how restrained the drumming is.

 

Houndog

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I was at the guru of OKCs gig one night
And he did something interesting.
Sometimes coming back to verse after chorus he’d wait until the 4 to reintroduce the backbeat ….it was a nice touch
 

mtarrani

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Gus Johnson is laid back and only interested in laying down a solid, swinging groove in this clip:

 

Tilter

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I've spoken of this one before and will continue to do so. Nevermind being one of the stankiest songs and grooves ever, in my opinion, Jabo's snare hits with the horns and the space in between is just absolutely killer in its simplicity.

First ones pop at 02:29

 

RyanLovesDrums

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I've spoken of this one before and will continue to do so. Nevermind being one of the stankiest songs and grooves ever, in my opinion, Jabo's snare hits with the horns and the space in between is just absolutely killer in its simplicity.

First ones pop at 02:29

I used to love playing along to this song. I love John Jabo Starks snare sound too.
 

DrumPhil

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One of the primary jobs of the drummer is to give the rest of the band confidence. When the music is highly syncopated (or just busy, like disco), the drummer can most effectively use a fill spot to give a simple gathering point that lets everyone know without a doubt where the 1 is. But if the music is already quite simple, sometimes the drummer needs to add a little spice to reassure people that there is substance underneath a basic-sounding song. My point is that simple fills are often very effective, but there are also times when a little more is called for. It is a situational judgment call.
 

Tilter

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I used to love playing along to this song. I love John Jabo Starks snare sound too.
I don't know what he played on that track, but I once had a keystone badge LM400 that sounded really close with a cranked up coated Emperor and Grover snare wires. That was such a great drum.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I don't know what he played on that track, but I once had a keystone badge LM400 that sounded really close with a cranked up coated Emperor and Grover snare wires. That was such a great drum.
My buddy Zak who I’ve mentioned on this forum is primarily a funk drummer and a long time ago he showed me this trick that we did on my pearl maple snare drum and it made it sound really cool. You take two thinly cut felt strips and make an “X” with them off-center on the batter side, gently tape them the ends on the outside of the drum so they stay in place then put the head back on and crank it pretty tight.
 

John DeChristopher

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There’s one of those no fill-fills on this song that I always found interesting. I forgot the drummers name but when he comes back into the song at the end he really holds back, doesn’t even play the kick on the “1” instead he starts jamming on the bell of the ride. Happens at 1:55
The truly legendary Gene Chrisman. If he'd only ever recorded this song, he'd be a legend. But he also played on a couple of little Elvis hits called "Suspicious Minds" "Kentucky Rain" and "In The Ghetto." But his playing on "Son of a Preacher Man" is a masterclass.
 

healthie1

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The fill in the intro to 'Hey, Johnny Park!' is excellent. I also like all of Stewart Copelands fills; they're spiffy.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I remember meeting Ricky Lawson in LA at a GC clinic (along with K. Aronoff, D. Abruzzese, and Ed S haughnessy- all nice guys!) in the late 90's. And he was joking about his "most famous" drum solo at 3:09.....

 

RyanLovesDrums

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The truly legendary Gene Chrisman. If he'd only ever recorded this song, he'd be a legend. But he also played on a couple of little Elvis hits called "Suspicious Minds" "Kentucky Rain" and "In The Ghetto." But his playing on "Son of a Preacher Man" is a masterclass.
“Suspicious Minds” brings back memories, living in LA and listening to K-EARTH101. The radio station where I first heard all those classic songs. So it turns out the Elvis YouTube channel just released this video yesterday. Good timing!
 


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