<< First  < Previous    |  Intro 1 2 3 4 5 |     Next >  Last >>
Back to Table of Contents

Playing Fills

Once you can play a variety of basic beats, you are ready to start playing fills. A fill (or fill-in) is a musical idea that breaks away from the basic beat and leads into either a new section or a repeat of the basic beat. The easiest way to start playing fills is to leave your basic pattern and play a bar of eighth notes on the snare drum before returning to the basic beat, as demonstrated in the following example. When playing the snare drum fill in bar 2, begin with the right hand and then alternate both hands. Take care not to speed up or slow when changing between the fill and the beat.

30
30

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

31

Now try this variation. The fill here is played on the snare drum and the small and medium tom toms. Once again the fill is played with alternate sticking, beginning with the right hand. When learning to play fills, it is useful to keep the bass drum going on each beat as demonstrated here.

31

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

32

Here are some examples using fills which should help you become comfortable moving around the drum kit. The first example alternates between the snare drum and the small and medium tom toms.

32

Video

33

This example moves around between all three tom toms and the snare drum.

33

Video

34

Once you are comfortable moving around the drums, try alternating a fill with a basic beat as shown in this example.

34

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

Using The Crash Cymbal

Another part of the drumkit you will need to become familiar with is the crash cymbal. It can be played with either hand, but for now, use the right hand. In the following example, the right hand moves between the crash cymbal and the hi hat. Play slowly at first and remember to count.

35
35

Video

Know Your Drums…

Zildjian Zil-Bel

The Zil-Bel is a small dome shaped cymbal that comes in two sizes and is used as an accent or special effect cymbal. It is a high pitched, bright sounding cymbal made using Zildjian’s three hundred and eighty year old alloy formula. Additionally, it can be mounted upside down for even more more tonal possibilities.

In this example, the crash cymbal is played along with the basic beat. This can be useful when you want to add some extra drama to a certain part of a song, e.g., during a lead guitar solo.

36
36

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

37
37

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

12 Bar Blues

12 Bar Blues is a form of music containing a chord progression which repeats every 12 bars. A chord is a group of notes played together by an instrument like a guitar or keyboard. A chord progression is a group of chords played in succession before repeating. Chords will be discussed in Lesson 10. There are hundreds of well known songs based on the 12 Bar Blues progression, i.e., they contain basically the same chords in the same order.

12 Bar Blues is one of the most common progressions in Blues, Jazz and Rock. Every drummer will be asked to play a 12 Bar Blues at some stage. In fact it is very likely to be one of the first progressions used at a jam session. When playing a 12 Bar Blues, try playing a fill at the end of every four bars. This will correspond with some of the chord changes played by the other instruments and will help build momentum in the song.

Songs using the 12 Bar Blues Progression

  • Original Batman T.V. Theme
  • Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
  • Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
  • Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
  • Killing Floor – Jimi Hendrix
  • Sweet Home Chicago – Blues Brothers
  • Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ice Cream Man – Van Halen
  • Why Didn’t You Call Me? – Macy Gray
  • Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
  • Oh Pretty Woman – Gary Moore
3812 Bar Blues

Notice the fills in this example. Each one is slightly different, which keeps the sound interesting. The fill in bar 8 lasts only two beats. This is just as common as a full bar fill. Experiment with other beats and fills on the 12 Bar Blues form. If you are playing in a band, listen to what the other players are doing and try to make your part fit in with theirs. Don’t be afraid to try variations and use the crash cymbal where you think it sounds good.

38

Video

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Solo Track

You need Flash Player 9 or later installed to play this s3audio

Audio – Backing Track

 

 

 << First  < Previous    |  Intro 1 2 3 4 5 |     Next >  Last >>
Back to Table of Contents