8th Note '332' Fill With Subdivided 16ths

In this lesson you will be expanding on the level 1 One Bar Eighth Note Syncopated 332 Fill, it is important you can play the fills presented in this lesson as all examples here will be directly based on these.

In the previous lesson we discussed how the '332' description refers to groupings of eighth notes. What we will be looking at now is some subdivision within this rhythmic grouping. Subdivision is the idea of splitting up existing groupings into smaller parts, for example you could 'subdivide' a quarter note into two eighth notes or four sixteenth notes. In this new rhythm you will play the first of each grouping 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 '332' eighth note rhythm and on the right the new subdivided versions. All 16th notes should be played with a single stroke sticking.

The basic rhythm for these fills

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 comfortable 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.

The basic rhythm for these fills

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.

Moving the 16th notes around the kit Moving the 16th notes around the kit Moving the 16th notes around the kit Moving the 16th notes around the kit

Use The 'RLRF' Sticking

This is slightly harder idea. This time for the four 16th note groupings you will be using the RLRF pattern. 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 RLRF sticking Using the RLRF sticking Using the RLRF sticking Using the RLRF sticking


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all example fills up to a tempo of at least 130bpm.
  2. Combine the ideas above to create a wide variety of fills.
  3. Think up new variations on the original pattern.
  4. Apply the fills to a structured pattern.



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