Single Stroke 4 Fills Starting On A Kick

In this lesson you will be taking the Ending On A Kick concept and reversing it so you start on a kick. This creates an interesting sounding pattern that you can create many variations on. Using the kick in this can make the fills sound far more complicated than they are and can be far more interesting than just straight rolls.

It would be worth covering both the ending on a kick pattern and our Foot Independence lessons before starting this lesson.

To get you started I have given the pattern as eighth note tripelts. Starting slow like this will allow you to work on the placement of the hands on feet easily and the timing of the notes is very important. If the kick and hands start falling 'offbeat' the part will become sloppy and start sounding rubbish.

The basic part as eighth note triplets

Notice that the sticking is altered slightly as you start with the right hand on the second triplet note. Spend some time getting this pattern up to a tempo of around 140bpm then try the version below which is written at full speed but still unorchestrated:

The basic part as sixteenth note triplets.

Spend time time getting the full speed version up to a tempo of at least 110bpm and, as mentioned above, make sure the placement of all notes is accurate. When you have the part sounding good have a go at the orchestrations given below.

Orchestration 1

This orchestration moves the hands round the drums.

An orchestration on the basic pattern

Orchestration 2

Because the foot creates a break in the hands, it's quite easy to create awkward rolls around the kit such as moving backwards.

An orchestration on the basic pattern

Orchestration 3

In this version the hands move in a similar pattern to the Triangle Pattern covered in our single stroke roll orchestrations.

An orchestration on the basic pattern

Orchestration 4

Here you are reversing the previous orchestration.

An orchestration on the basic pattern

Orchestration 5

In this orchestration you accent the snares on the '+' count and add some toms.

An orchestration on the basic pattern


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all orchestrations up to a tempo of at least 130bpm.
  2. Create four bar patterns that use these orchestrations as fills.
  3. Experiment with creating different lengths of fill based on these orchestrations.

Listed below are several four bar patterns the incorporate the fills above. A note is included with each explaining what is happening.

Example 1

In this example the fill is based on the first orchestration played as a half bar fill.

An Example Piece

Example 2

Here you are using the second orchestration but are adding crashes.

An Example Piece

Example 3

This takes orchestration three and uses it as a quarter bar fill.

An Example Piece

Example 4

In this example the fill gets a bit more complicated. It's based on orchestration 4 but includes the 'starting on a kick' version along with some variations on the pattern.

An Example Piece

Example 5

The fill in this example incorporates orchestration 4 into the groove.

An Example Piece


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