Bag o’ Short Fills

This lesson focuses on a few short fill ideas. Short fills generally take up a half measure or less, hence the name.


Short fills #1 and #2 are based on the paradiddle rudiment. Number 1 begins the paradiddle on beat 3, playing it as sixteenth notes. Each right stick on the snare is accompanied with a bass drum stroke. The bass drum pattern created gives the fill a syncopated, funky feel.

The following two short fills are based on the more advanced rudiment, the Swiss Army Triplet. Traditionally, the Swiss Army Triplet is played as triplets, but this fill applies the rudiment as sixteenth notes to give it a more syncopated, funky feel.

Numbers 5 and 6 leave the fancy rudiments and sixteenth notes behind and instead introduces some syncopated sixteenth-note triplets. Two counting methods are referenced below the notation. Follow the counting method that you’re most comfortable with.

Publisher of, Alfred Publishing author and Drum! Magazine Groove Analysis video instructor, Nate holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH with graduate coursework in Education and Instructional Design and Technology.