Stephen Taylor on
The 455 and developing your own bag
As a professional player, I found myself in a lot of pressure cooker situations. Rehearsals, sight reading charts, subbing for groups. I quickly learned that I needed a steady supply of fills and grooves that I could do in my sleep that would work in a variety of situations. So over the years I’ve collected my own “bag” of practical fills that work for me and my style of playing, no matter the situation. If I’m sitting in on a rehearsal with a new artist and sight reading one of their songs, I can throw these fills and patterns into the music almost without thinking about it. It helps me focus on the job at hand, which is learning the new song and keeping the band together in the rehearsal. I can later go back and decide where I want to put certain patterns and fills.
If you haven’t taken the time to start collecting your own bag of fills and grooves, I suggest you start now. It will help you in those situations where you need to focus on things other than the playing (like keeping your nerves under control!). They can be patterns you’ve come up with that work for you or patterns you’ve heard in the past that you felt worked well. The point of this type of fill is not to be flashy, it’s to provide a tasteful addition to the music.
The 455 is one of the fills that I’ve developed over the years. I’ve found that it works in a variety of settings at a variety of tempos and has some fun variations that can be played as well (I give you a few of my own in the sheet music included with the lesson). I don’t want you to just play what I play though, I want you to come up with your own variations and make this fill your own.
I hope you use it as much as I have.
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