'A A B C' Structure

A variation on the 'A A A B' structure where the third bar leads into the fill.

In this lesson you will be expanding on the Four Bar Fill Placement ideas presented in level 1. The structure you will cover on this page is made up of three parts, like the Adding A 'C' Section example, but in this case you are going to use the 'B' part to create a 'build up' to the fill that will happen in the 'C'. This idea of 'pre empting' a fill can give the last bar of a section a bit more impact. This structure can also be used to build up to a stop in the fourth bar which will be explored in the examples given later on.

So the 'B' and 'C' designations in this pattern are a little more vague. As always the 'A' will refer to a groove, this time the 'B' will be some kind of lead up to the 'C' and the 'C' is going to be something interesting. Let's think of this in terms of a short four bar pattern that relates to an imaginary riff a guitar player has asked you to put drums to. In this imaginary riff straight 8th notes are played for two bars as chords then in the third bar the chords change more quickly with a more intricate rhythm. Then at the end there is a stop. The structure we are covering here will fit that idea perfectly. Even if the imaginary riff was just semi breve chords played over four bars, the pattern can still be made to fit and will add more interest to the part. In that case using the B as a variation on the main groove followed a big fill would be more appropriate.

The structure for this idea looks like this:

The structure for this phrase construction idea.

Listed below are several example of this structure with a drum kit part applied. I have used a variety of different construction ideas but feel free to create your own parts.

Example 1

A four bar phrase made of three parts.

Example 2

A four bar phrase made of three parts.

Example 3

A four bar phrase made of three parts.

Example 4

A four bar phrase made of three parts.

Example 5

A four bar phrase made of three parts.


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all phrases up to a tempo of at least 130bpm.
  2. Create your own versions of these patterns based on the original phrase.