Free Drum Lesson: Intermediate Lesson 6 – Shuffle Drum Fills and Licks: Mixing Eighth Note Triplets With Sixteenth Note Triplets
This lesson continues on from the Basic Shuffle Drum Fills lesson by building up the complexity of the triplet based rhythms. If you are not able to perform the fills found in this lesson then I recommend you go back and check out the previous lesson first.
Each drum fill is a bar long and some contain combinations of both eighth note and sixteenth note triplets. They all contain some sort of “shuffle” rhythm in order to flow and feel correct when moving from a shuffled groove to one of these fills.
Its hard to create drum fills and say with certainty which style of music they belong too, these fills can be used in any style of music for this reason. Don’t feel that they can only be used with shuffle grooves as this is not the case.
Eventually you would want to be able to play these ideas with the drum beats found in the Intermediate Shuffle Drum Beats lesson, Beginner Shuffle Beats lesson, the Intermediate 12/8 Drum Beats lesson and the Beginner 12/8 Drum Beats lesson as well as with your own grooves and ideas.
This lesson focuses purely on the rhythmic side of triplet based fills and not on orchestration. Some of these fills have suggested movements around the drums but the lesson would be too long to do this for each. Its up to you, once the rhythm has been learnt, to experiment with different ways of moving the fills around the drums. Brand new ideas will emerge once drum choice comes into the equation so have fun with this!
I recommend that you learn these fills off by heart (if possible) so that when played you aren’t having to think about the movement or rhythm. This allows you time to be thinking about the more important things such as where to place the drum fill and what drum fill to use rather than how to actually play the fill itself.
Broken Eighth Note Triplets
This first set of fills are based upon groups of eighth note triplets with a “Broken” feel. Parts of the triplet have been changed to sixteenth notes to create moments of excitement and interest within the pattern.
I find it difficult not to lose my place when throwing sixteenth note triplets into an eighth note triplet based rhythm. For this reason, take extra care when counting or feeling the flow of notes as some of these patterns really disguise the location of the downbeat.
I find the best way to navigate such rhythms is to count/feel the eight notes strongly and then to double up the required eighth notes when encountered. This way, I’m still feeling the eighth notes and hearing the sixteenths as simply doubled eight notes.
Drum Fill 1
A nice simple one to start you off with. This basic shuffle rhythm will be appearing somewhere within the rest of the fills in this lesson.
Drum Fill 2
As I’ve already mentioned, try to feel those sixteenth notes as the third partial of the triplet being doubled.
Drum Fill 3
Drum Fill 4
Drum Fill 5
This fill contains the classic hybrid rudiment the “Herta”. Check out the Herta Lesson for a full explanation of this great rhythm.
Drum Fill 6
The rhythmic pattern in the first half of this bar moves through every other triplet creating a polyrhythm of quarter note triplets
Drum Fill 7
Throwing in some flams always helps to bring a fill alive!
Drum Fill 8
Drum Fill 9
Drum Fill 10
Drum Fill 11
Drum Fill 12
Drum Fill 13
Broken Eighth Note And Sixteenth Note Triplets
Although the last set of fills already contained sixteenth note triplets, the next set contain whole beats of sixteenths. This drastically changes the feel of the whole bar as the eighth note is no longer the dominant pulse within the rhythm, it shares it with the faster moving sixteenth.
Some of these ideas use some classic six note patterns around the drums and can be a lot of fun to play.
Be careful that the pulse isn’t lost though, I find its very difficult to move from sixteenth notes back to eighth note triplets especially when the sixteenth note triplets are split into groups of three. I highly recommend you try these with a metronome initially as this takes all the guess work out of it.
Drum Fill 14
This takes the idea found In Drum Fill 6 further with groups of two through sixteenth note triplets. This quarter note feel sounds really cool but can interfere with the flow of music. These fills should only be used in the right musical context ideally.
Drum Fill 15
Drum Fill 16
This idea can only be executed at a slow tempo due to the four bass drum notes in a row You can of course use a double bass pedal if one is available.
Drum Fill 17
I love this orchestration idea. I like to use the sticking RLRFFL for the groups of sixteenths as this allows the hands to flow around the drum kit really efficiently.
Drum Fill 18
As mentioned earlier, splitting up sixteenths into groups of three really throws the ear when trying to move back to eight note triplets. This is definitely one for the metronome.
Drum Fill 19
This involves a simple and cool sounding six note orchestration idea where the hands move down the toms. The two bass drum notes at the end are a real technique test when played up to speed.
Drum Fill 20
The sixteenth triplet idea for this fill involves playing alternating strokes between the hands and feet, creating a strong quarter note pulse. The hands are moving down the toms but any tom choice can be made when working on this technique.
Drum Fill 21
Drum Fill 22
Drum Fill 23
Drum Fill 24
I haven’t included any sticking suggestions for this lesson as I feel that at this level it would be up to the drummer to make the right choice for them. However, this fill really works best when using the RLLRLL sticking pattern through the sixteenth triplets.
Drum Fill 25
This fill is an example of just how much variation can be created using dynamics and rhythmic experimentation. The use of ghost notes, accents and flams can be added to nay of the previous drum fills to add yet another level of creativeness. The possibilities really are endless!
Well, I hope you found these fill ideas useful and fun. Hidden within this lesson are some great patterns and orchestrations waiting to be found and taken further.
The orchestrations aren’t really important but rather learning the rhythmic patterns themselves. Once you have the rhythm you can then experiment with moving to different drums.
These fills are going to teach you how to move from eighth to sixteenth note triplets as well as how to feel and navigate through highly syncopated broken triplets. You will hopefully be able to hear quarter note triplet patterns easier than before as well as the faster sixteenth note subdivision layered underneath the eight note triplets just waiting to be brought forward and used.
I think its worth just mentioning again that these fills are not really genre specific and should be used with any drum grooves you wish. However, I do recommend you try these fills with the Intermediate Shuffle Drum Beats lesson, Beginner Shuffle Beats lesson, the Intermediate 12/8 Drum Beats lesson and the Beginner 12/8 Drum Beats lesson.
This will teach you to hear the fills in context with a groove which is, ultimately, the way they should be heard.