These seven examples feature a selection of grooves and fills aimed at the more experienced player
The first example here is actually an Afro-Cuban 6/8, or Bembe as it’s sometimes called, however here we’ve written it as eighth-note triplets in 4/4. As you can see, the backbeat lands on beat 3 to give it a half-time feel but notice also the layered quality between the ghosted notes on the snare and hi-hats.
Ex. 2 is a two-bar 7/8 groove featuring an over-riding broken 16th-note rhythm in the right hand. This is a popular approach when playing odd time signatures and that can be heard in the playing of drummers such as Vinnie Colaiuta and Gavin Harrison.
A one-bar fill featuring Herta’s or Cobham triplets as they’re sometimes known. However, the Cobham triplet moniker is somewhat deceptive as here the figure is played through 16th notes. This is achievable because the Cobham triplet is in fact a figure that’s three notes long so will drop into the 16th-note where we can play four of them in the space of three beats.
Ex. 4 relates to the previous example and features another onomatopoeic lick called the Blush-Da. Again this is three-notes long and consists of a left-hand flam followed by a double-stroke in the right hand. This lick is credited to jazz/fusion pioneer Tony Williams but has been used more recently by many drummers including Vinnie Colaiuta and Todd Sucherman.
The fifth example continues this three-note idea and this time phrases the same kind of 4-over-3 rhythm using five-stroke rolls.
Ex. 6 is our final 4-over-3 based idea and this time features a right, left, foot combination to create a linear fill that moves around the kit. A great challenge for this and all of these examples would be to step quarter notes with the left foot throughout.
Lastly, Ex. 7 finishes how we began, in a triplet rate, with something often referred to as paratriplets. Most of us are familiar with single paradiddles where we play them as groups of four notes. We play the same sticking but through eighth-note triplets and creating a two-bar pattern, and here with the accented notes on the toms.