Note: On your phone, PDF documents may only open if you choose the “Save, Replace, or Keep Both” option and then it will be downloaded and notify you of this on the top of your screen. Open it there or in your Downloads folder and it will give you the option to Open with Adobe Acrobat, Drive, or some other PDF app you have installed on your phone. If you watch the associated video, it will open in another tab/window so that you can easily bounce back & forth between the PDF doc and the video. If your screen is big enough you can even arrange the windows next to each other!
Fills shouldn’t be confused with Fill-ins. Fill-ins occur during the Time-Keeping by adding extra quieter (ghost) notes between the regular Time-Keeping notes and Groove, and thus act as “Embellishment” of both.
However, Fills occur after a “Stop” in the Time-Keeping and Groove usually during a “Break” when nobody else in the band is playing, and thus acts a conversational “Dialogue” with the band. Fills are usually louder than Fill-ins!
Just as Grooves & Fill-ins can, the Fill can create “Rhythmic-Energy Contours” (see Drums – Grooves). Fills can either “Build-up” energy-intensity to signal a louder upcoming Section of the music or they can help “Release” energy-intensity to a mellower Section of the music. In my charts I mark these, with a “F” or “Fill” over a long “<” Crescendo sign or a long “>” Diminuendo sign, respectively. Sometimes I add “B” for “Buildup” to further clarify!
Steve Gadd Triplets:
Steve Gadd Triplets are R L F or L R F, but these can also be played F R L/F L R or even R F L/L F R. They can be played with 1/8 or 1/16-note Triplets. Instead of the cumbersome counting of 1/8-note Triplets as “1-trip-let, 2-trip-let, etc.,” I teach to count as “1 e a 2 e a, etc.” or sing “1 da na 2 da na, etc.” or evenly simpler as “1 da da 2 da da, etc.” and for 1/16-note Triplets counting as “1ee+aa 2ee+aa, etc.” or singing as “1 da na and da na, 2 da na and da na, etc.” or even simpler as “1 da da and da da 2 da da and da da, etc.”
Motion Studies for Fills:
I teach my Motion studies using Linear Fills like R L R L F or R L R L F F or leading with the Feet as F R L R L or F F R L R L, respectively. These Motion studies will really help you get around your drum set! Keep each stroke evenly spaced and let them flow in a continuous circular motion to take advantage of the free energy of momentum. If you move in a straight line you have to stop to move in another direction, but then you have to overcome the force of inertia – a body at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. You don’t want to be that “outside force,” because this is a waste of energy you could use instead for speed, volume, and endurance!