Syncopated 44442 Fills In 9/8

Using set blocks of sixteenth notes in and odd grouping to construct fills in this time signature.

This 9/8 fill construction idea is following a form similar to the 332 Fill Construction idea previously used in 4/4 and applying it within the context of 9/8. This lesson is linked at the bottom of the page and if you look back over it, it will give you the basic idea that will be applied in this lesson. We have many fill lessons covering similar grouping ideas in various time signatures and a selection of these can also be found at the bottom of the page.

As hopefully you are aware of now, when blocks of numbers are used in this fashion it is telling you that the notes within this phrase are going to be blocked in those specific groupings. On this page that will be a '44442' pattern. So you will play four blocks of four sixteenth notes, followed by shorter group of 2 sixteenth notes. Each of those 'blocks' or phrases will make a distinct pattern that is repeated through the bar, creating a syncopated feel. The syncopation comes from the notes falling in sets of two or four rather then the six or three you would expect in this compound time signature. The grouping for all fills on this page is this:

The rhythm for these fills.

Listed below are several ideas using this concept in various different ways. There are some longer runs of sixteenth notes on the foot that will push your foot stamina a little. I have linked some exercises to help with this below.

Example 1

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill

Example 2

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill

Example 3

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill

Example 4

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill

Example 5

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill

Example 6

A Syncopated 9/8 Fill


  • Using the 2 minute rule, get all exercises upto a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  • Play a four bar phrase in 9/8 where the fourth contains a 3323344 style fill. Repeat this phrase over.
  • Create your own 16th note 9/8 fills using this phrasing, write down any that you really like.
  • Create variations on the given examples.