Single Stroke Four Fills With Moving Quarter Notes

The fill concept discussed in this lesson is very simple, take the Single Stroke Four played on the snare and move each quarter note to a different part of the kit. We did a similar thing for the paradiddle which you can see Here. This movement is very simple and can create some nice sound fills with minimal effort.

The aim of this lesson is to show you how easy it is to take simple rudiment orchestrations and create a wide variety of fills from the part. I will only be providing a few example on this page but you should use that as inspiration to create your own fills using the ideas presented.

Example 1

We'll start by going through some examples based on that simple orchestration discussed above. Below is an example of this used as a fill in a four bar phrase that follows the 'A A A B' structure. All you are doing here is literally playing three bar of grooves followed by this orchestration idea. Just make sure the timing of each part is accurate and you are transitioning to and from the fill without any breaks in timing.

A four bar phrased using a four stroke roll fill

Applying orchestrations is really as simple as that. Have a look through the orchestration lesson linked at the top of the page and have a go at applying each exercise to the 'A A A B' pattern. When you have done that, try creating your own versions of the orchestrations. This could either be a variation in the way the hands move around the kit in the given examples or by coming up with a whole new orchestration idea. You could even play a different fill for the first half of the bar followed by some single stroke 4 orchestrations. The possibilities are endless!

Varying The Length

In the next step you will be changing the length of the fill. When doing this there are two options, you can either literally replace the first beats of the fill with groove or you can start the fill a little late, toth ideas will be used in the examples below. All fills have been written as part of a four bar phrase. I have continued using that first exercise from the lesson linked above here but remember to experiment with different orchestration ideas.

Half Bar Fill

In this example you are replacing the first two beats of the fill with groove.

A four bar phrased using a half bar four stroke roll fill

Three Quarter Bar Fill

In this example you are starting the fill one beat late.

A four bar phrased using a three quarter bar four stroke roll fill

Quarter Bar Fill

With the fill only lasting one beat there you are limited with your options here. Just play a four stroke roll on any part of the kit, in the example below the floor tom is used.

A four bar phrased using a quarter bar four stroke roll fill

Orchestration Ideas

Changing orchestrations in this fill is pretty easy. For the sake of keeping with the title of this lesson you will keep each grouping on one drum so try moving around the quarter notes in a different order. You also don't need to change the drum every beat. In a full bar fill you could perhaps play two beats worth using the high tom followed by one on the mid tom and one on the floor tom. Or in a three quarter bar fill you could play two beats on the high tom and one on the floor tom. Experiment with these ideas and maybe write down the versions you like best. Don't forget that there are two rhythmic versions of this rudiment and several sticking options around this. All of this will have an impact on your options for these orchestrations.


  1. Learn all phrases above to a tempo of 130bpm.
  2. Use different grooves in each example.
  3. With each given length of fill experiment with different construction ideas and different orchestrations.
  4. Write down any fills you create that you like.


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