Crashes In An 'And 4 And' Pattern

In this lesson I will be presenting a very similar idea to the 4 - 1 Crash Placement and + - 1 fill concepts that involves using three crashes at the end of the bar. On this page I will show a simple version of this fill a long with a few simple variations that will give you many different options for constructing new patterns.

This fill idea can be applied to most styles of music at any tempo. It is very affective when used with a Pushed 8th Note Feel and I will show some examples of that below.

Let's start with the most simple version of the fill. In this you will play groove through beats 1 and 2 then over beats 3 and 4 you will play 8th notes starting on the snare followed by kicks with a crash. That looks like this:

A basic three crash fill

If you imagine this as part of a longer phrase, the first two beats worth of music could be a continuation of the groove pattern played previously. In the example shown above, it would be easiest to play the three crashes shown with the right hand, so they will just move from the hi hat to the crash as shown. When moving back to the groove from the fill, you would normally expect to see a crash following on beat 1. In these cases you could just play the same crash again or move it over to the second crash to show some distinction between a crash being used as part of the fill and then as a start of phrase.

Make sure you are comfortable with the pattern shown above at a decent tempo and as part of a longer phrase before trying the variations below.

Adding A Flam

A very quick and easy way to make this fill a little cooler is to throw in a Flam with that snare on beat 3. There is a bit more jumping around with the hands in this case so it may be worth slowing the part down a little to get familiar with the movement. The two dashed lines at the start of the bar indicate where groove will fall.

Adding a flam to the fill

Using Multiple Cymbals

Another simple variation is to use more than one cymbal over the three original crash notes. In this case it can be easier to use two hands for the part. I have given a couple of examples of this below, each with sticking underneath the clarify which hand is used where.

Using multiple cymbals Using multiple cymbals Using multiple cymbals

Use Toms On Beat 3

In this very simple variation you will just be using different combinations of drums on beat 3, this will be really simple if you have learned the variations above. Some examples of this are shown below. Notice that these examples start using combinations of previous variations.

Using toms in the fill Using toms in the fill Using toms in the fill

Switch Beat 3 To 2 16th Notes

As the title suggests, rather than playing a '3+4+' rhythm this variation will use a '3e+4+' count. All you need to do is throw in an extra left hand between the existing snare and the first cymbal. That would look like this:

Varying the rhythm

Play The Original Rhythm Twice

Instead of just using this pattern as a half bar fill, why not make it a full bar pattern. Just play the part twice starting on beat 1 then obviously apply any extra variations on top of that. This gives you a little more space to get creative with your variations so spend some time thinking up different ideas for construction.

A full bar version of the fill

Combing With The Pushed Crash Feel

As mentioned above, this fill works pretty well in this feel. The lesson on this groove consturction idea is linked above but to quickly recap, this is where the first crash of the bar is moved an eighth note forward to create a slightly rushed feel. In this case the pushed crash would be that last '+' count of the fill. An example of the fill used in this context is shown below:

A full bar version of the fill


  • Learn all examples upto a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  • Combine different construction ideas to create a wide variety of fills.
  • Think up further variations on the original example.
  • Add each example into one of the structures we have covered previously.



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