How would you explain a drum fill to a non-drummer?

Fill (drum) n : a short, ornamented, rhythmic phrase for justifying the purchase of extra toms, cymbals, and other percussion-instrument toys


Senior Member
If the non-drummer is a musician, I figure the simplest thing would be to write it out, no?

If the person, however, is NOT a musician by any stretch of the imagination, and cannot get him/herself to "feel" what the fill is about (no pun intended), then (IMHO) it would be utterly pointless to even attempt an explanation...


Platinum Member
If someone has so little musical knowledge that they didn't know what drum fills were, I'd describe them as "the bits with the cool drumming".


The basic explanation of a drum fill is where the drum beat of the song is being interrupted. For example:

Fast forward to 1:06. This is the intro. It is a type of fill.
At 1:10 he starts the beat, which is the basic rhythm of the drum part.
At 1:16 he starts yet another fill, this one lasting until about 1:18, at which point he returns to the beat.
At 1:24 he starts a final fill that he uses to end the beat.

If you don't understand what a drum fill is now, I'm afraid you never will.