What's everyone's opinion? Do you need at least a few notes in succession, or does something as simple as a flam on a snare drum qualify as a drum fill?
Yeah, I like that......Anytime you intentionally mess up the groove is a fill
To me they are two different things. A fill is a short phrase, a bar maybe. It adds to the music by creating emphasis, dynamic tension, segues into a change (chorus/capo etc). It's generates attention.The reason I asked the question was that I have wondered for a long time why comping in jazz isn't really considered playing fills, even though at times there can be a lot going on, yet in groove based music, the slightest change tends to be considered a drum fill. Strange how the genre shapes people's takes on what they are playing to such a high degree.
I see it much that same way. There seems be a "grey are" that exists somewhere between fills and the groove/beat. Don't know if you'd agree with this, but I think Vinnie Colaiuta's playing on the song "The Hounds of Winter" by Sting is a good example of this. Lots of quick little splash cymbal and tom hits that aren't quite fills but aren't the groove either. They're more like "flavor" to me. Flavor, sauce, yeah.Usually, if it's not part of the regular beat, it's a fill to me.
Exception is in certain types of music where there's subtle grace notes on the snare that are quiter than the back beat. That's what I would generally call the sauce.
In bop and post-bop jazz, the sauce can extend to the toms without being called a fill.