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  #1  
Old 08-21-2017, 03:47 AM
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Default When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I'm talking about those times when for instance a musician on your gig says to you afterwards "I liked that snare thing you did in that song!" (or any part of the kit), or, "I liked that fill you did!" but you can't remember what it was you played or maybe only partially remember it even when you ask him to describe it so that you can store it in your mental drum library for future use.

And what about those times when you're recording yourself, (either just a rolling practise recording or you're recording a song but you stop because you want to do it again), listen back and hear a beautifully executed fill which makes you go "woah, that's cool!" but when you try to play it again you can't play it as good because the first time had just the right dynamics and timing. That happened to me recently. I ended up doing the fill ok the second or third time, but it never had the magic of the first time. Frustrating ain't it? :) Any of you had those times? Often the things we play the best come from not thinking.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
And what about those times when you're recording yourself, (either just a rolling practise recording or you're recording a song but you stop because you want to do it again), listen back and hear a beautifully executed fill which makes you go "woah, that's cool!" but when you try to play it again you can't play it as good because the first time had just the right dynamics and timing. Frustrating ain't it? :) Any of you had those times? Often the things we play the best come from not thinking.
Every single time I play Tom Sawyer. One time it will sound amazing, and then the other time it sounds like I played it for the first time.
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I've had that happen! Nowadays I just say thank you, and don't promise that it can happen again. When I'm playing in a band context, it's almost like a trance state where we're all locked in and just enjoying grooving together as a unit, so even if I did remember that fill and was able to recreate it, it may never fit again because there's more to the situation than just what I played. Most times I'm reacting to the players around me, and if it feels good to try something, I'll try it so long as it doesn't screw up the time. But those are a lot of factors that have to repeat before I'm thinking about playing the exact same fill again.

It's like the planets aligning ;)
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Old 08-21-2017, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

You're speaking to the master of that art, Lee! :)

Seldom do I remain steadfast on utilizing recognized rudiments when playing, so hammering-out a slick or unusually wicked fill, and then trying to repeat, more often than not, escapes me, but not without a pinch of frustration to go along with. That's me! :)

I will say the frequency of such episodes occurs less these days as compared to my younger days, but still, it does happen. Thing about me is, I'm so anal when it comes to blocks such as this, that I'll roll up my sleeves and spend the remainder of my playing session trying to reproduce the pattern and beat again.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I think most of it is attitude. Did you have a lot of fire going on, or were you a zombie. Fills are for setting up another section of song. Once you are concerned with making a fill 'cool' you have already lost it and left the song. It's about the song, not the fill.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

It happens probably a lot more than we think. I usually try to stick to the regulat skeletal structure of the song in question (when to drum out, fill), but will have some variations in certain accents i feel like placing on ride bell or snare work.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

It's because the first time you played it, you weren't thinking about it in the same way. The 2nd time....you were trying to re-create something in the past....instead of creating new. Big difference. Don't look back.

If it worked once....don't chase it. It has to come naturally.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

Indeed 12x7, TripletStroke, larry.
Yeah, once you start thinking about making that fill happen, it generally doesn't work.

What happened with me is that there's a 2 bar break in the song I was recording which calls for a fill. This one time my camera was rolling, I got to that bit, continued the groove and forgot to play a fill. Two beats in I remembered and scrambled a spontaneous fill together that was completely different from a fill I was playing there earlier that I had worked out beforehand. I stopped the recording a few bars later as I'd made some mistakes. But I listened back to that recording to see what it sounded like and loved the fill. I wished I hadn't made mistakes later and had completed the song on that take, because it would have had that fill in it.

It was about being in the moment, no time to think hard about what the fill will be, it just happened spontaneously.
But once you try to recreate it, it's never the same.

I was watching a video by a top studio engineer/record producer called Warren Huart. He talked about these sessions aces who did maybe 4 or 5 takes of a song.

He said by the time they got to the last take, they all knew the song really well, but it didn't have the sparkle of the first take where it was just evolving. They ended up using the first take because he said it had the magic.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I've never played anything complex enough that I couldn't replicate.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2017, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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I've never played anything complex enough that I couldn't replicate.
:D

Actually, it's not always about it being complex. It might be that the first time it sounded very smooth, had just the right volume and the timing was really good so that the fill felt perfectly placed and groovy. I've actually got an outtake of another song where I was really happy with the fill but not the rest of the recording. I might upload that fill later along with the same fill I wasn't as happy with on the completed recording for comparison.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
:D

Actually, it's not always about it being complex. It might be that the first time it sounded very smooth, had just the right volume and the timing was really good so that the fill felt perfectly placed and groovy. I've actually got an outtake of another song where I was really happy with the fill but not the rest of the recording. I might upload that fill later along with the same fill I wasn't as happy with on the completed recording for comparison.

I've experienced this with recording, and it's frustrating as crap. It's not really been the drum parts, but I've had problems with having to rerecord a song, and while the notes were more "correct," it simply didn't have the same "vibe." This is one of the many cases where just because it's "right" doesn't mean it's the "best."
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I've had it happen, too.

In my younger days I'd record with a basic cassette recorder. I was long on chops and short on discipline, and I'd record these long, self-indulgent solos. Musical masturbation, really, but it was fun at the time. Anyway, more than once I'd listen back and hear something really cool, and not even be able to figure out what I did, much less replicate it.

In years since, it happens while playing live with a band, if it's one that allows you to stretch out a little.

It's probably pretty common!
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I've experienced this with recording, and it's frustrating as crap. It's not really been the drum parts, but I've had problems with having to rerecord a song, and while the notes were more "correct," it simply didn't have the same "vibe." This is one of the many cases where just because it's "right" doesn't mean it's the "best."
I had a similar thing happen, but it was the guitarist who couldn't get the feel right.

I was working long distance with a guy who was writing songs on guitar and bass, playing along to a drum machine. He was new to recording, but he was getting good sounds. He'd email me a track, and I'd record the drum part and send it back.

Anyway, I recorded a really nice drum part to one song, a really good, pretty ambitious song, only to find that he had embedded the drum machine in the master track and hadn't kept the separate tracks. When he tried to reproduce it, he just couldn't get the feel or sounds anymore! He got frustrated and moved on to other things.

Too bad, because it was a good song, and I quite liked the drum part I came up with.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

Heck, I've had that on basic fills too! Did a demo of a song, nailed a fill in it, and it took a few month's practices to recreate it.

It went flam on the snare - tom - tom - tom - floor tom - floor tom. Played half way through a bar while doing a 16th note run on the kicks. I have a hard time explaining haha.

Basically kadoodoodoodumdum!
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I've stitched together a fill from two takes of a different song I recorded. The first one feels and sounds smoother but was in an aborted take. That's the one I like. The second time it's played is from a completed recording. The second one is 'ok' but I couldn't get it to feel as balanced as the first one, it's a bit louder and feels slightly jagged. Or, maybe you think the second one sounds better. OR, maybe they both sound crap, lol. See what you think.

https://soundcloud.com/user-689462784/recreating-fill
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:16 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

I think these things are more about the moment and really depend on the mix, you know what other people are doing thinking feeling. Often times it's better to build new better moments.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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I think these things are more about the moment and really depend on the mix, you know what other people are doing thinking feeling. Often times it's better to build new better moments.
Agreed-- you played it before, you'll play it again. What made you play it the first time? You were listening, and in the zone-- so just get back in the zone, and don't worry about specific cool things you once did. There will be others.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: When you can't recreate that amazing fill

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Originally Posted by Merlin5 View Post
I've stitched together a fill from two takes of a different song I recorded. The first one feels and sounds smoother but was in an aborted take. That's the one I like. The second time it's played is from a completed recording. The second one is 'ok' but I couldn't get it to feel as balanced as the first one, it's a bit louder and feels slightly jagged. Or, maybe you think the second one sounds better. OR, maybe they both sound crap, lol. See what you think.

https://soundcloud.com/user-689462784/recreating-fill
Both takes are sweet and rich, Lee. Nicely done.
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