Full Bar 8th Note Fills In 5/8 Using Simple Orchestrations

Various ideas for fill construction in 5/8 using simple slow rhythms with no overly complicated movements. A great introduction to filling in this time signature.

In this lesson you will be increasing your familiarity with the Time Signature Of 5/8 by learning some nice simple eighth note fills. As suggested by the time signature, you will find five eighth notes in a bar where you are probably far more used to seeing either six or eight. As well as there being less beats in the bar, the other complication is that the number of beats is now an odd number. In time signatures such as 4/4 or 6/8 there are an even number of eighth notes which means when you play a single stroke roll style sticking the bar ends nicely on a left hand leaving the right free to start the next bar. When this number becomes odd a single stroke sticking ends on a right hand, meaning the next bar will start on a left. This isn't much of an issue, just something that you should be aware of. Obiously you could throw in a double stroke at some point in the bar if you really need the right hand to start the following bar but we'll worry about that in another lesson.

Several ideas have been listed below a long with a quick note on how each has been constructed. There are many more options for this style of fill so try and get creative and come up with both variations on given fills and your own ideas.

Example 1

It's easy to forget that just a straight roll on the snare can make quite an effective fill.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 2

Adding accents to the a straight snare part can also make some cool parts. Here counts 1 and 4 are accented.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 3

Then a similar idea with counts 1 and 3 accented. Experiment with different accent placements and combinations and you will see how many options there are.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 4

A straight roll around three drums. When played as singles that last floor tom will be played with a right hand so whatever is played at the start of the next bar will be with a left.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 5

Another simple roll idea using a slightly different movement. The intention is to use single strokes through the whole bar.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 6

One more straight roll just using two drums this time.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 7

This fill idea is quite similar to the accent idea. However, you are playing the accented notes on a snare and cymbal and filling in the other notes with a kick. This one uses a '32' style rhythm.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 8

Another crash accent idea with more accents pushed into the bar.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 9

Just a cool little fill making use of a flam.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8

Example 10

Finally a fill combining a roll around two drums and some cymbals.

A simple quaver fill in 5/8


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all exercises upto a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  2. Play a four bar phrase in 5/8 where the fourth contains a fill. Repeat this phrase over.
  3. Create your own 5/8 fills, write down any that you really like.