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.