Building A Drum Fill In 3 Steps

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18 comments on “Building A Drum Fill In 3 Steps

  1. Lila says:

    Interesting video. As a newbie (just had my one year mark with the drums), I find myself very dependent on the written music. When I try drumless play-along tracks, I practice beats and keeping time, but struggle with applying simple fills.

  2. Ben says:

    Lila, I can totally relate that’s how I was when I started. I developed the skill of applying feels naturally. The more comfortable I became on the kit from playing the more free I felt to move around.

  3. Graeme McDonald says:

    Nice approach Stephen. Being an older drummer and having been a pro for a long time I can relate to what you’ve outlined. How about ‘Diddling’ on the accents & leaving the other notes as is?? As you say … There’s a bottomless pit of stickings & variations.

  4. Constantijn says:

    My favorite drum fill is: Jeff Porcaro’s fill on When A Men Loves A Woman. It’s an expressive fill with a lot of space in it.
    That’s something I try to incorporate when I’m playing the drums

  5. Chris says:

    I’m a big fan of the fills Bonham plays after the break in Fool in the Rain!
    So much power and expressiveness!

  6. mokko says:

    I like this topic. I think about fills in a similar way: What are good rules that produce nice fills (on average, nothing has to be perfect). Or rules that let me decide if this fill is good enough to be used in this spot or not. But these rules have to be context-sensitive. We need fills that are appropriate for a) the place in the song, b) the song, c) the style/genre (and of course d) for the drummer, but that seems rather obvious to me).

    Also, I would think it might make sense to have different rules for beginners and advanced drummers.

  7. Amanda says:

    Thank you for this lesson!! This makes so much sense to me. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of it this way before. I’m also new to drumming. Never took lessons professionally but I’m now the drummer in our family band after losing our drummer. I tend to try to memorize the drum patterns but I’m trying hard to ‘feel’ it naturally. Counting the fills this way is going to help me immensely. One of My struggles is with a song we play: What I Like About You…Lillix cover
    There’s a drum
    Breakdown that I never play the same way twice. Now I’ll try to count out the space and make it sound smother. Thanks again!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Black Hole Sun by Soungarten features the most EPIC drum fill of the 90’s.

  9. Bob says:

    Love the creative way you approach the fill. Simple concepts that when strung together make it sound phenomenal. We know that speed can be essential to this fill, but the rudiments selected make it buzz. Great job (as always) Stephen.

    My favorite fill is actually an intro. Going way back to Little Richard’s “Keep A Knocking” never fails to excite me…check it out if you can.

  10. Mark says:

    Great lesson. I would recommend George Lawence Stone’s Accents and Rebounds book and take this approach. Page 4 and 5 will keep you busy for a while. You can do it as is or cut time

  11. Robson do Carmo says:

    Fantastic cues! Thanks a lot and keep doing more videos for us to grow up musically.

    Robson do Carmo from Brazil.

  12. Huw Rees says:

    Nice lesson Stephen, well delivered, great ideas. On another note, what are you hats? EFX crash over another crash? cheers man

  13. Robert Hawkins says:

    Great video Stephen. I like fills using triplets, especially in 16th notes, like lots of the old jazz guys used to do. I find it can give a single stroke roll real character and movement.
    I love the way Ginger Baker used these types of jazz techniques in his playing especially with Cream. The guy takes some fairly simple concepts then blows everyone away with the way he applies them to the kit. Many many years ago I had lessons from a great jazz/dance band drummer who, knowing my passion for Cream and Ginger Baker, took some of the fills and solos apart to teach me how the were constructed. Now nearly 30 years on and returning to the drums, I wish I had listened to him more!
    I really enjoyed your approach to constructing fills, so often to have a technique or formula that can be applied easily and quickly can really help get you out of a hole and develop confidence.

  14. Igor Stankovic says:

    Grover Washington, Jr. Mister Magic ,from1,42 to 1,49

  15. Prince says:

    i have been playing and still want to improve my level of playing.

  16. Bob says:

    I love the fill from Phil Collins “in the air tonight”!

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