Continuing On With The Counting Discussion and How It Applies to Fills

wraub

Well-known member
I've been doing this, it really has helped.

On topic, last night I was playing a beat, played a fill I liked, then wrote a beat using that fill, played it for a while, and then went to count the beat.
I mainly did this so I won't forget it. :D


Sounds like maybe some rudimental pad work with a metronome would help a lot here.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You could start slow...just counting the 1 beat. When that's comfy, count the 1 and the 2 beat. And so on. You get the idea. Crawl before waking kind of tactic. Take it in small chunks for starters
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I've been doing this, it really has helped.

On topic, last night I was playing a beat, played a fill I liked, then wrote a beat using that fill, played it for a while, and then went to count the beat.
I mainly did this so I won't forget it. :D
Every. Day. 30 minutes at work (aquarian tru-bounce) and then 3 20 minute sessions at home, 2 on the prologix black, one on the vater red.
I didnt like the pad when I was learning. I would try to do my rudimental homework on my kit. I always got distracted and didnt advance as fast as I could have. Now I love the pad. Wish I had embraced it a long time ago. It really allows me to focus on the technical aspects of what I'm doing, not just what I want to sound like. And it makes playing the kit easier too.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
I appreciate everyone's responses about counting. It seems that the majority of people count while trying work out drum pieces but not during performances.

The issue I'm having is with fills. Even though I'm getting better at counting along with music I listen to or counting out something I'm trying to learn, when I'm actually playing, either along to music or some bars I learned, when it comes to fills and their subdivisions, I can't count them out in time with the rhythm. And so, unless I'm doing the most basic fill pattern, i.e., consisting of the same notes with no rests, I tend to get tripped up. And this results in ending a fill either before the start of the next bar or after.

What's the fix for this?
Try to synchronize internally with the pulse of the song while listening without playing along. Nod your head, tap a foot, whatever. You can still count, but be sure to mentally mark each new bar at the downbeat of 1 to learn how a bar feels. Feel the fills you're going to work on as they fall within your internal pulse. Vocalization of any sort of sound, out loud or internally, helps entrain you to a pulse. You'll soon start to feel musical length without counting, which should transfer to fills in time.
 

mata

Junior Member
if the "1" is coming up and I'm still on the high tom, I can know more easily that I need to speed up in order to be able to get in a couple notes on the floor tom before I have to go back to the hihat.
You don't need to do your fills always clockwise around the set and using every tom that you have. It's good to shake things up in your practice and trying things that you don't think naturally. Not to do them live or anything, but to find unexplored paths
 

ZenR1

Well-known member
You don't need to do your fills always clockwise around the set and using every tom that you have. It's good to shake things up in your practice and trying things that you don't think naturally. Not to do them live or anything, but to find unexplored paths
If I use only, say, the snare and hi tom I have a much easier time with the count.
 

jazzin'

Silver Member
If I use only, say, the snare and hi tom I have a much easier time with the count.
Just out of curiosity, have you done much foundation work on just basic rhythms and counting them out on the snare/pad? That type of rhythmic foundation work should be a solid chunk of your practice to learn how to internalise counting standard 1/4, 8th, 16th and triplet rhythms that will make up the vast majority of your fills.

Syncopations the obvious place to start to really get this happening.
 

ZenR1

Well-known member
Just out of curiosity, have you done much foundation work on just basic rhythms and counting them out on the snare/pad? That type of rhythmic foundation work should be a solid chunk of your practice to learn how to internalise counting standard 1/4, 8th, 16th and triplet rhythms that will make up the vast majority of your fills.

Syncopations the obvious place to start to really get this happening.
yes...that's pretty much all I do. I'm taking this online lesson course and that's all we've been working on. But at the end of the last lesson, the "teacher" suggested finding some songs to play along with. And that's where I get tripped up, because the songs usually don't have basic fills.

Also, if I want to improvise my fills, I can't come up with impromptu permutations while I'm in my head counting. And, when not counting, I can't consistently end on note before the "1". Sometimes I can but it's hit or miss. Hope that makes sense.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
There really is only one answer to resolving most rythmic issues in drumming: Repetition. The more you do something, the easier it becomes and the more second nature it becomes. Someone mentioned slowing it down so you can count it out. That is essential. And you only speed it up once you can do it slowly many times over. And I also agree with @MrInsanePolack that rudimental pad work with a metronome would help you a great deal. Your ability to do things on the kit requires that you be able to do it on a pad first. That's why they are called "rudiments". Because they are rudimentary but also because they form the basis for everything you are looking to do on the set.
 

ZenR1

Well-known member
There really is only one answer to resolving most rythmic issues in drumming: Repetition. The more you do something, the easier it becomes and the more second nature it becomes. Someone mentioned slowing it down so you can count it out. That is essential. And you only speed it up once you can do it slowly many times over. And I also agree with @MrInsanePolack that rudimental pad work with a metronome would help you a great deal. Your ability to do things on the kit requires that you be able to do it on a pad first. That's why they are called "rudiments". Because they are rudimentary but also because they form the basis for everything you are looking to do on the set.
when you say "pad work" I assume you mean the practice pad?
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
when you say "pad work" I assume you mean the practice pad?
Yes. Spending time working on your hands is essential because you're essentially asking your hands to do the same thing on drums while playing a kit that you would do on a pad. If you can't do it on a pad, you sure won't be able to do it on your drum kit.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
when you say "pad work" I assume you mean the practice pad?
Absolutely. The idea is you get the fundamentals of the different stickings down with the metronome. Once you become comfortable with a rudiment playing it in time, you learn a second one. Once you are comfortable with that, you can put them together. The more rudiments you learn, the more your options grow. Fills and solos are built from rudiments. Best to get comfortable with them sooner than later.
 

ZDrumMan

Active member
I agree with the suggestions already provided. One thing you might think about doing is singing (even in your head) the fill you wish to accomplish. (watch any of the Bernard Purdie youtube stuff) Or if you are embellishing the melody, sign it in your head.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
And add your foot tapping the quarter notes as you play rudiments on a pad, sitting or standing, works either way. If you can’t, work at it. Coordination starts earlier when your feet can tap while your hands are playing. Also your tapping makes counting easier, I think. Fitting a paradiddle in-between four foot taps, starting with rt. or left hand will give you some indication of where 1” is in 4/4 with 8th notes.
 

georgeusa

Member
sometimes you just know when to hit the drums for the fill, you just feel it

i would suggest to go through all the videos from this guy and take a look


This is just my random opinion of the moment, but when you're in the groove, noone is counting!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Increasing control and understanding of all rhythms is the key, so is slowing down.

Many people, when they slow down, don't slow down nearly enough. If you can't fully understand, feel and envision it's still too fast. It may mean completely free form, just counting and connecting it together.

A lot of understanding is gained through a progressive method of reading rhythms, subdivisions with accents etc...
 
Top