In the two pages of 24 exercises offered here, I seek to give you an introduction to some simple linear fills. These ideas are based on three simple building blocks: 1) two notes with the hands and two with the feet (four-note grouping) 2) four notes with the hands and two with the feet (six-note grouping), 3) six notes with the hands and two with the feet (eight-note grouping).
By combining these ideas (or “germs” as John Riley likes to say) in different combinations as 32nd notes, I’ve come up with 24 exercises to get you started.
A few things I want to point out:
The bass drums are notated here as double bass (one right foot and one left foot) and that’s because I like the way it sounds and I like how fast you can go when using two bass drums for these fills.
The three patterns used in the combinations are presented both as beginning with the hands and beginning with the feet.
The notes that make up the hand portions of the patterns can all be played as alternating singles beginning with the right hand (so, RL, RLRL or RLRLRL).
When the fills end with two bass drums, note that you’ll need to play a third bass drum note on beat one in order to get back to “one.” In other words, you’ll have three bass drum notes in a row. But, that shouldn’t be a problem when you’re using two bass drums.
These exercises begin with the fills being one-eighth note in length and end up at maximum, as two beats in length. More exercises with longer durations of fills will come later (that’s why this is part 1).
Finally, I’ve indicated orchestrations, but you are also encouraged to ignore them and make up your own. If you want, just look at the exercises as combinations of hands and feet that you can orchestrate on the drums however you wish.
Here’s the PDF: Linear Drum Fills as 32nds Part 1
The goal is to develop fluency with these ideas and eventually be able to improvise using them.