This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the December 2016 issue, which is available here.

Basics

Fundamental Fills

Part 5: Six-Stroke Fills

by Donny Gruendler

During the 1960s, Motown drummers such as Benny Benjamin, Richard “Pistol” Allen, and Uriel Jones introduced the six-stroke roll to the masses with their signature opening fills. In the following decade, session ace Steve Gadd expanded these ideas in the fusion arena. Today these fundamental yet sophisticated fills continue to be put to use by funk and R&B drummers such as Stanton Moore and Homer Steinweiss.This month’s lesson will help you master 16th-note-triplet six-stroke fills. We’ll start working with these figures on the snare before orchestrating them on the kit. As we move these figures fluidly around the toms and cymbals, many creative doors to additional ideas should open up.

For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the December 2016 issue, which is available here.

Ralph Peterson on the December 2016 Issue of Modern Drummer magazine

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