A fill construction idea based on using the hands and feet in a grouping of 3.
In this lesson you will learning fills based on groupings of three eighth notes in the time signature of 6/4. When applying this syncopated idea in previous time signatures you would get a couple of full blocks of three followed by shortened grouping, however in this time signature you can fit four full groupings. The groupings will still be syncopated against the pulse, they just fall in line nicely with the bar line. Similar concepts have been applied in different time signatures and in different forms, you can find some of these linked at the bottom of the page a long with some other lessons you may find useful when learning these parts.
As discussed above, for this fill concept you will be taking a '3333' eighth note grouping. Within each of these groups of three you are going to further sub divide the part and this idea has been discussed in the 4/4 version of this lesson. If you want to read up on subdivision have a look through some of the lessons linked below. To create the rhythm you will be using in these fills, you will play the first of each grouping of three as an eighth note like normal but the remaining beats will be filled with sixteenths. In the example below, on the left you have the original '3333' eighth note rhythm and on the right the new subdivided versions. All 16th notes should be played with a single stroke sticking.
Hopefully having seen it notated this makes sense! It is really a very simple idea that can be orchestrated in many different ways to create some interesting sounding fills. Before progressing make sure you can comfortably play the example on the right, try throwing it into a short phrase as a fill, it will work quite well just on the snare. Accent placement is important as you want to be really emphasizing the start of these odd groupings to highlight the syncopation.
Once you are happy with this basic rhythm have a go at some of the variations below. The idea of just orchestrating the snare pattern around different toms has been left out, it's worth experimenting with though.
Start Each Group With A Crash
A nice simple variation to start with, just play each eighth note on a bass drum and cymbal. The use of crashes will help accent the start of each grouping. In the given example only one cymbal is used, experiment with using and combining different cymbals.
Move The 16th Notes Between Crashes
In this variation on a variation, you will take the crash idea from the previous lesson and start moving the 16th notes around different drums. It is important to be aware of where your hands are going next and a bit of thought has to go into crash placement to avoid 'cross overs'. The use of the second crash below is deliberate and for this reason.
Use The 'RLRF' Sticking
This is slightly harder idea. This time for the four 16th note groupings you will be using the RLRF sticking (linked below). The purpose of this is to allow for snares and crashes to be played at the start of each grouping. Obviously other sticking shapes could be used too. In the examples below I have shown a version of this using just the snare for the 16ths followed by some using toms.
- Using the 2 minute rule, get all example fills up to a tempo of at least 130bpm.
- Combine the ideas above to create a wide variety of fills.
- Think up new variations on the original pattern and create some variations on the given parts.
- Apply the fills to a structured pattern.