Learn to Play Drums/Lessons/Fills

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A fill is a part of a song that is different from the main beats. I hope you have noticed that the toms were
left unused in the lesson A 4/4 beat. This is because the snare and bass drums, along with the hi-hat, are the main instruments used. We say 'instruments' because we (well, okay, I who wrote this bit) view the drums as a lot of different instruments used together to form one sound - if you know what I mean.

CR|----------------------------------x|
HH|x---x---x---x---x---x---x---x------|
T1|----------------------------o------|
Sn|----o-------o-------o---------o----|
T2|--------------------------------o--|
T3|-----------------------------------|
BD|o-------o-------o-------o----------|

This is the 4/4 beat of the previous lesson coupled with a fill and crash cymbal. If you play this on the drums you will realise what we mean when we say that fills break away from the main beat. The fill is easily recognisable, and for practice on defining what a fill is, when you're listening to music, point out to yourself when a fill occurs. This will help you develop your understanding of fills.

The fill in the above tab is very simple. I don't suggest you try this next one, but it is an example of a complicated fill which you will be able to, later on, perform with ease.

CR|--------------------------------------------|
HH|x---x---x---x---x---x---x-------------------|
T1|--------------------------------------------|
Sn|----o-------o-------o--------oo-o---oooo--oo|
T2|---------------------------------o------o---|
T3|--------------------------------------------|
BD|o-------o-------o-------o-------------------| 

Back to Starting Out

Learn to Play Drums
Previous: Lesson 1: A 4/4 beat Lesson 2: Fills Next: Lesson 3: Exploring the Hi-Hats