In this lesson, we’ll embellish some basic fills for song intros in order to create something a bit more interesting. Adding notes before or after the fill, experimenting with orchestration, and using rudiments such as rolls, flams, and ruffs are just a few ways to make an intro figure more dynamic. Keep in mind that sometimes the simplest ideas work best, but occasionally you may want to spice things up.

Let’s start with a basic fill.

Here are some variations.

Here’s another basic intro fill.

Let’s add some variations.

You can also try these ideas within a groove. Here’s an example. Experiment, and have fun.

Powell Randolph is a drum teacher at Alpha Music in Virginia Beach and plays rock shows with orchestras around North America for Windborne Music Productions. Randolph, a tongue cancer survivor, can be reached through