There are certain drum fills and/or drum chops that enter the drumming community and then never leave because they’re so natural or fun to play. There are many famous drum pattern examples, one of which is known as the “Fa-De-La-Dump“.
The name is derived from the way it sounds when played around the drums. I’ve heard other variations of this onomatopoeic phrase but this is what I call it. It’s a silly name I know but it drummers seem to understand what I mean when I refer to it. Which is nice 😀
It’s popularity amongst famous drummers such as Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Dave Grohl, Steve Gadd and John Bonham, to name but a just a few, has ensured that it can be heard in all styles and genre of music as well as on many recordings.
This classic drum chop is demonstrated and taught in a brand new free drum lesson added to the site yesterday. You can view this brand new free drum lesson, teaching this classic triplet based drum fill by clicking on the title below.
To give you a little taster of what’s included in this free drum lesson I’ve included a few exercise and demonstration patterns from the lesson itself. The full lesson (available by clicking above) contains many more patterns as well as full explanations for each drum pattern.
Click HERE to be taken straight to the free drum lesson now.
Basic Hand & Foot Pattern
The drum fill itself consists of just four drum strokes, three with the hands and one with the bass drum. In this musical bar example we see that the pattern has been written out twice (two groups of four notes) but it’s really just the first four notes that make up this drum lick.
The hands are played in a single stroke manner (right, left, right) and all four strokes are to be played smoothly and evenly. The idea when practicing this is to not loop the four notes around again and again but instead to get the four notes to flow one after another in a controlled and even manner. If you then want to loop the four notes then great!
Orchestrating The Hands Around The Drums
The next step is to move the hands to the appropriate drums. This is what gives the “Fa-De-La-Dump” it’s distinctive sound. The right hand plays on the snare drum, the left hand then on the high tom, the right hand then moves to the floor tom and then finally the bass drum at the end.
The drum fill moves around the drums in order of pitch with the highest pitch drum at the beginning (snare drum) and lowest at the end (bass drum). The drum fill/lick is sonically very pleasing to the ears because it moves around the drums from high pitched to low pitched. Very musical!
Once more, all four notes should be played as smoothly as possible. Try to increase the speed the four strokes are played without sacrificing the evenness of the four notes.
Playing Through Eighth Note Triplets
Now we can finally play the drum fill through triplets. This is the drum pattern in its final form. The hands and sticking are exactly the same except now we play the pattern as a triplet based rhythm.
This means that the snare drum falls on the down beat (beat 1 of the bar in the above example) and the bass drum on the next downbeat (beat 2 in this case). All four notes are played evenly spaced between beat 1 and beat 2 of the bar. Beat 3 and 4 are exactly the same as beat 1 and 2.
Playing Through Sixteenth Note Triplets On The Downbeat
This is the most common form of triplet the drum fill is played through, the sixteenth note triplet. Instead on each group of four notes lasting one whole beat of the bar the drum lick now last for just half a beat.
In this example each group of four strokes is started on the downbeat of the bar and ends on the upbeat (the ‘+’).
This drum fill sounds great played at speed so work on increasing the tempo of the drum lick, again, without sacrificing the quality of the sound or the evenness of the four notes.
Drum Fills/Patterns Examples Taken From The Full Drum Lesson
Full description and explanations are available in the actual lesson itself.
Played As A Drum Fill Example 1
Played As A Drum Fill Example 2
Playing Through Non Triplet Subdivisions (“Stairway To Heaven” Drum Fill Example)
Adding Onto the Fa-De-La-Dump (“Aja” Drum Fill) Example 1
Adding Onto the Fa-De-La-Dump (Steve Gadd Inspired Licks & Fills) Example 2
Basic Hand & Foot Pattern
Double Bass Drum Variation
Combination Example 1
Combination Example 2
I hope you enjoy learning to play this great drum lick. To get started and view the full free drum lesson click the title below.
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Related Free Drum Lessons
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