Here we have a selection of ideas featuring fills, grooves and embellishments that will make a musical addition to any drummer’s vocabulary
The first example features a 16th-note triplet figure played on the hi-hats which uses aR-R-L-R sticking. This allows the right hand to land on the beat (beat 3) and maintain the flow of time.
This is another triplet-based figure, this time using single-strokes and with a descending quality as it moves snare, rack, floor, kick. This is a frequently used ‘lick’ but one which is also often mis-played, with the bass drum incorrectly preceding the floor tom, so be sure to play the four notes in the correct order.
Ex. 3 is a two-beat 16th-note based fill idea which features both movement around the kit but also a crash in the left hand on the final 16th-note of the bar. This is another popular sound and one worth pursuing, especially to encourage crashing with the left hand.
Here is another widely-used 16th-note triplet lick, this time between the bass drum and floor tom. This figure requires two fast notes to be played on the bass drum before the right hand hits the floor tom, followed by the snare on beat 4.
This example looks at the idea of adding dynamics to eighth notes played on the ride cymbal by moving between the bell and the body of the cymbal. The notation shows this with the bell played on the quarter-notes but this can also be played the other way around with the bell on the upbeat eighth note.
Here we have a single paradiddle played between the kick, snare and hi-hats to convey a funky 16th-note groove. However there’s an additional coordination challenge in the second half of the bar as the bass drum plays the ‘&’ of ‘3’ requiring a degree of independence between the right hand and foot.
Finally we have another two-beat fill, this time using a sticking instead of single-strokes. Here the accented notes are played on the toms while left hand notes on the snare are played as quiet ghost notes.