reason behind sticking of fills

I was looking at a really good drum tutorial for "Dream On" by Aerosmith. The guy in the video was saying for one of the fills that the sticking is R L L R R L . I'm trying to make sense of why the sticking is that way. The man in the video keeps snapping his fingers when he's going through the dang fill count and every time I get lost because I'm distracted by this fool snapping his fingers. The fill starts about 3:21 into the song. I could really use some help understanding this.


Gold Member
It's almost always about freeing up the R hand so they can keep the groove going.

How about linking the drum tutorial?

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Don't get buried in the academics of fills. Their most important attribute is sonic, not mechanical. A drummer might choose a particular sticking pattern for a multitude of reasons. Your reasons for taking an alternate approach are just as valid. It's what your audience hears that matters, not what they see your hands doing. You don't have to walk like someone else to get across the street.


Senior Member
Exactly. Unless the guy in the video is Joey Kramer I wouldn't get stuck on the sticking. Focus on replicating the pattern of the fill, and voice it appropriately on your setup.

Joey Kramer's setup has changed over the years. Fairly certain if you search YouTube for live versions of the song by Aerosmith, he will be playing the fill on different drums.
The application of various sticking patterns is intended, mainly, to provide a variety of sounds from a single, or, multiple sources (surfaces). A secondary use of varied stickings is to enable the drummer to move around the drum set in the most fluid way possible in order to facilitate a desired musical phrase. As has already been said, don't get too hung up on what you see on any one video. That's why we practice many patterns... to be creative and have fun. Not to be clones.


Senior Member
Follow up for @drummanic58 to address the 'why' of the RL LR RL sticking.

If you play straight, alternating 16th notes (1e+a2e+a etc...) and sing the fill, the notes sung (1e a2 +a) will fall on those hands. (RL LR RL). The whole fill - 1e a2 +a e+a4e+a = RL LR RL LRLRLRL.

That same pattern can be played with other stickings. This one is based on an alternating sticking with some notes omitted.


Junior Member
I've always played it with single strokes RL-RL-RL-RLRLRL-, but it's slow enough that you can do it however you like. I've also played it with both hands flaming some times.
In this video you can see Joey Kramer doing it as I've written it below:


Junior Member
By the way, you get lost with the counting because he's doing groups of 3 notes but the song goes in 4:
Count: 1---2---3---4---
Group: 1231231231234567
3+3+3+7=16 16th notes

The sticking in the video you saw it's probably that way because it uses a long single stroke roll and just omits the hand that doesn't play:


Silver Member
Dynamics is be a big reason for me. Play a sticking which best facilitates where you want to place accents and grace notes in the fill.
And of course the obvious fact that various sticking options allow you to move around the kit efficiently.

But that fill in "Dream On" at 3:22 is flam L R L R L flam.
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