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Bill Powelson's School of Drums

Rudiments, Rolls and Fills (Part 2)

Whole Measure Fills:


If you still do not have a drumset then simply continue to pound away on the computer desk in front of you. Begin very slowly and count each stroke. I will assume here that you already understand the earlier lesson, 'Rudiments, Rolls and Fills, (Part 1)': Singles, Doubles, Paradiddles and Triplets. This lesson is an extension of that one. Now we will concentrate on whole measure versions of the same rolls. It is really the same thing doubled.

Single or Double Stroke, Whole Measure Fills:

VIDEO: This video clip is large and slow loading. Click on it now, and allow it to load while you study the techniques below. The video will play each of the fills below, in sequence.


Hear this fill! I have combined it with a Basic 8th-note rock beat but it works well with many beats (ie: Funk, Fatback, Shuffle, 4th Rock & others).

Practice the above pattern as single strokes (RLRL) until you have it memorized. Be able to adapt it to a beat in progress, then use it with music. You will discover thousands of ways to re-configure this pattern around the set. Use your imagination and experiment! Let the creative juices flow! Just let go and improvise.
Now change the stroke pattern to doubles (RRLL) and continue to experiment the same way. From there, try an endless variety of . . .

Paradiddle configurations. . .

Notice: This is much easier than it looks, if you know your paradiddles. Simply place your right hand (stick) on one drum and the left on another. Play a full measure of 16th paradiddles then return to the beat.

Hear this fill with 8th-note rock! It also works well with other beats (ie: Funk, Fatback, Shuffle, 4th Rock & others).

Eighth Triplets

Eighth triplets may be treated the same way. After you have the feel of the pattern in your mind, just move to different drums (toms) with the same feel. Some ideas will be quick and easy to manipulate while others will hang you up and slow you down. Stick with the easy moves at first. Save the tough stuff for later.

This sound file . . . adapts 8th triplets to shuffle . . . partly because of the limitations of my midi file maker and partly because you need to hear how these fills may be adapted to other beat patterns.
8th-note triplets may be used with almost any beat pattern (ie: Funk, Fatback, 4th Rock & others).

Other Fill Types:


I hope you are moving along nicely with the above ideas. Now we will pick up on a few more roll types.

4th or Quarter Triplets

This sound file . . . adapts 4th (Quarter) triplets to shuffle. Notice that since this is an easy fill to coordinate, we are playing simultaneous Quarter triplets with both hands. Experiment!!! 4th-note triplets may be used with almost any beat pattern (ie: Funk, Fatback, 4th Rock & others).

The above fill type is a note value. It is a triplet form but half the speed of eighth triplets at the same tempo. Remember to keep the bass tempo rock solid steady as you execute this fill with a beat in progress and finally with a song. Try to alternate between eighth triplets and fourth triplets within the same beat pattern in progress.

Sixteenth Triplets

This sound file . . . adapts 16th triplets to shuffle. 16th-note triplets may be used with almost any beat pattern (ie: Funk, Fatback, 4th Rock & others) if the tempo is slow enough. REMEMBER! You are only human! There ARE limits here!

The above triplet form is exactly double the speed of 8th triplets at a relative tempo and three times the speed of 4th triplets. It may be impossible to play at fast tempos. Use it only in slow tempo songs until your speed and coordination have had a chance to develop. It works quite well with slow 8th 4/4 bass syncopations.

Roger's (4 stroke) Ruff:

This sound file . . . adapts the 4 stroke ruff to shuffle. Sometimes called the 'Rogers Ruff', it may be used with almost any beat pattern too (ie: Funk, Fatback, 4th Rock & others) if the tempo is slow enough. REMEMBER! You are only human! There ARE limits here!

Notice the 16th rests! This is really a 16th triplet but we are resting on the 5th and 6th notes of each group. This fill/roll needs an accent on the final (4th) note of each group.


Combinations

Mix and match combinations are fun and easy. Think of the possibilities! Try a half measure of singles followed by a half measure of Paradiddles or Eighth Triplets. The possible configurations are nearly infinite. The more roll types you know how to play, the more combination possibilities exist.


No sound file! . . . My poor little drum machine midi file maker laid down and died on this! Score one for us lowly humanoids! This is a simple example of the human imagination at work. Can you see the billions of ways these roll patterns may be configured to create countless fill possibilities? The rhythmic variables are virtually endless!

There are many, many other rolls to learn but our space is limited here. Virtually all rudiments and note values may be applied as fills to any beat. Try the above ideas with Swing, Shuffle, Waltz, 16th 4/4 and even 12/8 Blues. I wish for the space to illustrate all these techniques but like I said, there are limits.

Check out E-M lesson #5. It is designed to you how to create your own innovative fills.

Virtually any of the standard rudiments may be adapted to beat patterns as fills, much like we have done in this lesson. The key to everything is in free and open experimentation. You may omit notes (add rests) anywhere and anytime you like to extend the rhythmic potential even more . . . but don't lose track of the beat flow. Stay with the beat of the music!

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He who knows not and knows he knows not:
he is simple - TEACH HIM.

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Copyright Bill Powelson 1994 all rights reserved.