8th Note '33334' Fill With Subdivided 16ths

In this lesson you will be expanding on our 8th Note '332' Fill With Subdivided 16ths, 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 a simple '332' crotchet style rhythm was taken and the gaps between the notes were filled with 16th notes. This time you will be doing very similar but spreading the groupings of three over two bars, giving you a subdivided 33334 rhythm. This rhythm can be used to create some really interesting fills and if you have covered the lesson linked above the construction of them will be quite simple. The main complication will be getting your head around the syncopation over two bars, but with a little work you will have it in no time.

The standard '33334' rhythm with no subdivision looks like this:

The 33334 rhythm

Then to create the subdivisions, just switch any eighth notes that aren't accented into two sixteenth notes. All accented notes will be played with a right hand and all sixteenths will be played as a single stroke roll. That would look like this:

The 33334 rhythm subdivided with 16ths

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the subdivided rhythm. This is best done by playing to a metronome and using the Two Minute Rule to get the pattern upto a higher tempo. Once you are happy have a go at the fill construction ideas listed below which are just orchestrations of this pattern. The concepts used for construction will be almost identical to the 332 versions but as you finish with a longer grouping some of the endings will use new ideas. For the '4' of the rhythm there is a lot more freedom and any fill concept or construction idea can be applied here.

Start Each Group With A Crash

A nice simple orchestration 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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