Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Two-beat rock fills

Here's a page of basic two-beat rhythms for use as rock/funk fills, which I wrote for my intermediate students. 

You can and should play these on any one drum, or move them around the drums. Play them at an even volume, or add accents. Rushing during fills is a universal bad thing lots of drummers do, so play with a metronome and practice 1) not rushing, and 2) not feeling physically tempted to rush— you know the feeling I'm talking about.

Per the instructions on the page, you should practice:
1. Ending the fill with a bass drum and cymbal on 1.
2. Playing the first note of the fill on the drums, or on a cymbal, together with the bass drum.
3. Make a two-measure phrase, filling at the end, crashing on 1, resting during the middle of the phrase.
4. Two-measure phrase, playing a rock groove of your choice for the first six beats, playing the fill on the last two beats.

Use whatever stickings you like; I've written them in in key places, and you can use them or ignore them as you see fit. Usually you'll want to start with the right hand, but you can also start with the left. Stickings should mostly alternate, or you can try natural sticking, too. Or whatever you need to do to get around the drums. You can also add flams or unisons between hands (on different drums) if you feel like it. HECK, you can play some notes with the bass drum if you want. I've given a tempo range of 55-120, but practice them slowly— give yourself enough time to think about what you're going to do, and do it cleanly, with solid rhythm.

You don't need to exhaustively run through every possibility— just run these until you're able to improvise your own fills along similar lines.

Get the pdf

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