Difficulty LevelThis free drum lesson is going to take a look at two almighty drum fills from Keith Moon on the track “Baba O’Riley“. Both the intro where the drums first come in and then half way through the song where the drums enter for a second time. Both showcase Keith Moon’s almost random and signature sounding drum fill style.

The Who weren’t as big as other bands at the time but certainly contained the biggest personalities. The Who would be nothing without Keith Moon and vice versa…in my humble opinion of course!

Lets take a look at two of Keith’s famous drum fills now…


Baba O’Riley” – Drum Fill (0:57 Album Version)

Baba O'Riley Drum Fill Notation (Keith Moon & The Who)

This is the drum fill that Keith enters the song with after the long synth intro.

Seeing the notation isn’t enough to make this sound like Keith though, the sixteenth notes need to be highly swung. As with most drummers of this era, they were brought up on a lot of Jazz and Swing music which meant that their playing emulated this “feel”. Everything was slightly swung or “shuffled”. You will know what I mean when trying to play along to the original track, the sixteenth notes are not played evenly one after the other but in a shuffled/swung style instead.

As with most of Keith’s drum fills, this one has the bass drum pumping out eighth notes underneath to give his hands something to play over the top off. This means that a lot of Keith fills sound quite busy because of this constant bass drum pulse underneath everything. It’s certainly what gave him one of his signature sounds.

Notice the quiet snare drum note played on beat 4 (indicated within brackets). This note can be left out if desired as it’s very low in the mix anyway.


Baba O’Riley” – Drum Fill (2:32 Album Version)

Baba O'Riley Drum Fill Notation (Keith Moon & The Who)

Again, for this drum fill, we see Keith’s bass drum pumping away underneath whilst his hands dance up and around the snare drum and toms. The suggested sticking above is just that, suggested, and so feel free to use whatever hands you like to play this. Notice how Keith keeps the bass drum pumping into the first bar of the drum beat. He just can’t help himself, bless him! šŸ™‚


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