Difficulty LevelIn this free drum lesson I’m taking another song from the Top Best 350 Drum Fills Of All Time and working out how to play the great drum fills it contains. This time, as voted for on my Facebook page here, the song is “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica and drummed by the great Lars Ulrich.

This song features four great and popular drum fills. We will be looking at each of these fun licks in turn.

Later in the video drum lesson I show you how to develop Lar’s drum fill ideas into new and exciting drum licks and fill-ins. The classic and very popular “Fa-De-La-Dump” drum fill is also explored in greater detail, so make sure to watch until the end of the video drum lesson for that!

For many other famous and favourite drum fills, check out the Greatest Drum Fills list by clicking here. If you have any of your own suggestions for drum fills that I might have missed then please email me.


For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Free Video Drum Lesson

View the video on YouTube HERE – Learn How To Play Drums For Whom The Bell Tolls Video Drum Lesson (Metallica & Lars Ulrich)


For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Great Drum Fill (1:25 Album Version)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica & Lars Ulrich) 1:25

The first drum fill above occurs at 1:25 after a bar of standard quarter note rock.

All of the drum fill breaks that Lars plays in this song have an element of “Swing” to them. They all involve triplets and “swung” eighth notes in some way.

Lars plays a classic rock style drum fill, played by many great drummers before such as Bonham, Gadd, Grohl and many many more. It involves four notes played smoothly, one after each other and moving around the drums, starting on the snare, then the high tom then the floor tom, before ending with the bass drum. This sixteenth note triplet lick starts on the downbeat of beats 1 and 3 and ends, with the bass drum, on the ‘+’s.

A simple snare and crash is played in unison on beats 2 and 4.


For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Great Drum Fill (2:14 Album Version)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica & Lars Ulrich) 2:14

This next drum fill demonstrates how Lars plays in a kind of swing style for each drum break. This great drum fills beauty lies in it’s simplicity and the fact that it moves into swung triplets after the chug-chug of the straight verse. It’s a cool effect.

The fill starts with a single snare drum on beat 1 followed by another on beat 2. This second snare drum on beat 2 is proceeded by a quick drag with the left hand. You can use any hand you like for this. The bass drum then plays the swung triplet notes before a snare and crash on beat 4.


For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Great Drum Fill (3:27 Album Version)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica & Lars Ulrich) 3:27

The drum fill that occurs at 3:27 into the song is very similar to the first drum fill at 1:25, except that the classic four note triplet pattern is just played between the floor tom and high tom. You can use the medium tom instead of the high tom to create a more darker and deeper sound if you like.

Each of the triplet patterns starts on the ‘+’ of it’s beat compared to the downbeat of the beat in the first example from above. Lars ends the licks with some more swung triplet bass drum before another snare and crash unison on beat 4.


For Whom The Bell Tolls” – Great Drum Fill (3:43 Album Version)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica & Lars Ulrich) 3:43

The final drum fill we are going to look at in the free drum lesson occurs at 3:43.

Here, Lars takes the same idea from the fill that occurs at 3:27 and just extends it to the end of the bar. The bar ends with just a single bass drum on beat 4 and each triplet lick starts on the ‘+’ of it’s beat.

You can DOWNLOAD the FREE PDF drum notation by clicking HERE.


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