Here’s an old favorite of mine. It’s a five note pattern: three with the hands (RLR) and two with bass drum (FF). In this instance, we apply the five notes as 16th notes. The pattern is distributed around the kit like so: Right hand on the snare, Left hand on the hi tom, Right hand on the floor tom, and then two bass drum notes with your foot.
The work sheet contains four different applications of the pattern, each of which is designed for you to play as a fill or a break and be able to begin the next measure of time playing with a right hand.
Note that 1 and 3 are almost exactly the same; the only difference is that the “and” and “a” of “three” are moved from the hi tom to the snare in #3. That small change makes a big difference, but I love the way both versions sound.
In 2, we start the pattern with the foot, but that allows us to gracefully exit with one of my favorite four note 16th patterns beginning on beat “four.”
Finally, in 4, we go over the bar line with a two measure fill. Note that you have to begin the last seven single strokes with your left hand in order to get out of the fill gracefully.
Nasty Lick 47 sounds better at tempos of 130 or higher. Try it as 32nd’s too.
Here’s the PDF: Nasty Lick 47
This time it’s about getting around the drums in a hurry. No, I don’t mean rushing the time, but I mean roundhouse type licks that make me think of Buddy Rich or Steve Gadd. Each of these three licks will get you around the drums in triplets.
Licks #40 and 42 are played as alternating single strokes beginning with your right hand, while #41 begins as alternating singles, but throws a paradiddlediddle in for good measure.
The first lick, #40 is one I’ve heard Gadd play. Repeat it a bunch of times continuously. It will sound great that way. Notice the repeat signs around the measure. The lick itself is two beats long and the one measure example shows the lick played twice…but keep it going even longer.
Moving on, #41 is kind of Max Roach-ish.
Finally, #42 is one I came up with to go around the drums clockwise, and then come back in the other direction. Repeat the two measures over and over. The trick here is to play one additional note on the floor tom in order to allow you to come back around the drums counter clockwise (see beat 3 in measure 2!). Have fun and please use them for good instead of evil (ie use them musically and in good taste).
Print out the PDF here: Nasty Licks 40 through 42
Are you ready?
I am about to give you one of my Nastiest of the Nasty Licks!!! Nasty Lick #38 is one of my favorites. It pretty much ALWAYS gets a reaction. Just check out the screams from the audience when I launch into it in the video below. It’s a live video of my rock band MANCIE playing at Spike Hill in Brooklyn, NY in November of 2011.
It’s a cool song and the band is great, so check it out. But if you want to go right to the drum solo, it begins at around 2:52 in the video.
I begin with some rudimental type stuff on the snare, work in some hand/foot combinations, and then launch into Nasty Lick #38. You can skip directly to Nasty Lick #38 by going to 3:03 in the video.
The Video: MANCIE, Live at Spike Hill
Alright! Want to know how to do that? Just print out the PDF by clicking here:Nasty Lick 38 PDF
Analysis of Example #1
The lick as played in the video is written out in example #1. The pattern—three groups of five notes–is played a total of five times. I move counter clockwise around the drums, with the first note of each group of five on a different drum: 1) snare, 2) floor tom, 3) high tom.
That accented note is followed by two ghost notes with the left hand and then two fast bass drum notes. Note that at this part of the solo, the time is “free.” I’m just going off, playing the lick a bunch of times and then improvising as I see fit. It’s an open solo, so playing “freely” is always an option. I cue the band to come back in, so I don’t have to worry about the pulse.
Analysis of Example #2
Example #2 is another way to use the lick that I rely on frequently. This time, we play completely in time. In this case, each group of five takes up the space of three 16th notes. I’ve included a measure of accented 16th notes below the lick so you can see how the phrasing lines up. The first note of each group of five lines up with the 16th notes shown below example #2 as follows: 1) the “1,” 2) the “a” of “1,” 3) the “and” of “2,” 4) the “e” of “3.” Finally, you can easily resolve the lick by playing an accented note on beat four with your right hand.
Let Me Know What You Think!
I want to hear from you! Please leave comments here on the blog so you can ask questions, give your opinion, or tell me how you are using this lick….
This Nasty Lick is based on a six stroke roll, but with some bass drum thrown in. It comes from something I’ve heard Dave Weckl do a lot, but I’ve added an extra triplet at the end of the phrase to make it a nine note grouping….I like the way that makes it move around and over the barline when it repeats.
There are two versions of the lick shown, but the difference is only about the accents: in version A there is one less accent than in version B. I use B more often, so I chose to illustrate the lick in context (see examples 1, 2 and 3) by using B. Note that although the pattern is shown as played only on the snare and bass drum you should try moving the accented notes from the snare to the toms. My favorite orchestration of the lick is to move the left hand that follows the two bass drum notes up to the high tom and leave my hands on the snare for the rest. But try different stuff out….you’ll find something new that works for you.
The sticking is given, and the lick is transcribed note for note, so there’s not much more to say…..except…have at it!!!
Download the PDF here: Nasty Lick 37
Steve has a number of great signature licks, seven of which are included here. Click on the link to the right to download the PDF:Seven Gadd Licks
Take ‘em to the practice room, then to the bandstand. Enjoy!
Welcome back to the BANG! The Drum School blog. Today, I’m posting a worksheet of 7 fills from none other than the grandaddy of rock drumming himself, John Bonham. If you’re new to drumming and you don’t know about Bonham, I urge you to check him out. Most, if not all, of today’s rock drummers will profess a love for the groove, chops and fills of the great Bonham. I myself am a disciple.
Even if you’re already a fan, perhaps you don’t know all of the fills included here. These 7 fills are just a few of my favorites. Not all of them are super difficult, but they are all super musical. Don’t forget to check out the recordings….these fills are best learned by looking at the transcriptions AND by listening to the recordings….and then by trying them out.
Certainly a few of these licks belong in your fill vocabulary if they are not already in your “tool box.”
You can download the PDF of this worksheet by clicking on the link to the right: Seven Bonham Fills
Have fun, check em out, and please, feel free to ask any questions or make any comments.
Playing great fills is all about vocabulary. One of my favorite patterns, and I’ve written about it before (see “Milking Your Licks Dry”), is RLRF….or right hand, left hand, right hand, bass drum (right foot). Bonham and Gadd have both used this pattern (I believe that is where I first heard it), but it has been used by many others. For me, it’s a go-to fill and pattern, especially when playing rock, although it works great in jazz as well. The attached sheet details four specific ways to play the pattern as a one measure fill.
Here is the link to download the pdf file: Four Great Rock Fills
Please note that the rock groove that is notated in the exercises is there only to indicate one way to integrate the fills into your time playing. It does not matter what beat you play…make up a different one if you like. The point is to show how the fills work in the context of some time feel.
Check it out….take it into the practice room….I promise that you will be able to use these fills to sound great if you spend some time working on them. Please feel free to ask any questions. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love the drums and hope you do too.
One of my favorite drumming ideas is that you should ”milk your licks dry.” A lot of great drummers and musicians rely on a limited vocabulary of ideas and patterns, but they play the shit out of those patterns and use them in many different ways. One player who has signature licks he uses over and over to great effect is Steve Gadd, one of my all-time favorite drummers.
Once you find an idea or pattern that you like, you can “milk it dry” by manipulating it in various ways. Here is a lick that I use a lot : RLRF. The link below will allow you to open a pdf file with full drum notation that shows you how to take this lick and play it in several key ways. Click on it…it’s called “Nasty Lick #32″:
The pattern we’re manipulating here is orchestrated as follows: right hand on snare, left hand on hi tom, right hand on floor tom, and finally, foot on bass drum. The pdf exercise /transcription simply shows you how to play the lick as eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, and finally as sixteenth note triplets.
Try playing the exercises on the sheet. You should have a great new lick you can use after mastering the lesson. Perhaps more importantly, though, you should have a good understanding of how to milk your licks dry.
I love the drums and hope you do too.