Fills that will get you fired

A while back I shot a series of formal lessons titled “Fills that will get you fired” which featured three unusual fills that don’t necessarily have common applications but are still good to have in your tool bag. One presented a series of flutter fills between the hi-hat and toms, one mimicked the Mission Impossible theme, and one alternated between the snare/hi-hat and bass. Unfortunately these lessons were all posted in a Facebook album and are not easily accessible to upload to YouTube. Although I don’t have the full lesson available I do have a 40-second black and white video shot on my iPhone that I’m able to share with you here. Please forgive the quality. Nothing fancy, just a quickie that I used for testing the camera frame. This fill represents a neat little foot-hand combo that I use from time to time. It sounds more complicated than it is. The overall sequence is a mix of flams between the hands (hi-hat/snare) and feet (double bass). It almost feels like doing a quad fill.

The key to making this fill effective is speed and maintaining a consistent dynamic throughout. This fill also relies on the wrists as opposed to the arms. Stay loose and let the wrists do all the work. You should get a nice rebound which will help smooth things out. Here is a simplified variation. It is meant to be played fairly fast in order to get the desired effect within the confines of a 4-bar groove. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share your own combinations with your fellow readers. Look at this as merely a starting point and make it your own!

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