This month, we’ll explore another type of drum fill—one that incorporates syncopation. Syncopation is displacing the regular metric accent and emphasizing the weak beat. In this context, that means resting on the downbeat. With one or more of the strong beats in the bar being absent, we need to feel the pulse and count more than ever to insure we are executing these figures correctly. There are plenty of ways we can mix and blend this concept and get creative with fill rhythms and orchestrations on the kit. This lesson is the tip of the iceberg!

We strive to have options besides the stereotypical rock-drum fill at our disposal as we progress as drummers. Our goal is to continue to increase our vocabulary on the kit, so that we have a variety of beats and fills to draw from when we’re playing music. We’ll start with some examples of syncopation in fills from songs for context, and then work on increasing our range through exercises. Hopefully, this will help get your creative ideas flowing so that you can create your own syncopated fills.

Like the last month’s lesson on using crashes in your fills, the following examples and exercises are from my book, Chart-Topping Drum Fills (onlinedrummer.com).

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