Glenn Kotche has been the drummer/percussionist for Wilco since 2001, and is known for being an eclectic performer with plenty of taste, technique and creativity. In this lesson I'd like to showcase some of Glenn's musical creativity by discussing and notating several drum fills that appear at the beginning of the second chorus in the tune "Hate It Here", from Wilco's Sky Blue Sky CD.

This first fill, which appears in the second bar of the second chorus, is a great example of versatile fill idea or concept that can be applied in many different ways.

Glenn Kotche - Fill 1

The sticking I've notated in the first two beats (RLL RLL RLL RLL) is probably the sticking that Glenn uses. It allows the right hand to play all of the accents while flowing from drum to drum. It's uncertain what sticking Glenn uses throughout the rest of the measure. My sticking choice (RLR LLR LLR L) is based on maintaining the phrasing and attitude, but one could easily use all single strokes too. Bottom line, use what works for you, but it would be prudent to be able to play this fill in a varity of ways.

Here's another great, versatile, drum fill which occurs just two measures later; in the fourth bar of the second chorus.

Glenn Kotche - Fill 2

I chose to not provide the stickings for this fill because it's really straight forward. If you are using a standard 5-piece drumkit, keep your left hand on the first Mounted Tom (assuming you are right-handed and play the kit accordingly). Your right hand will lead, moving between the Snare, second Tom and Floor Tom; the Kick drum is always playing the last note of the sixteenth-note-triplet(s).

Be sure to listen to Glenn perform these fills so you can hear his feel and note placement ... then take it and add your own approach, feel and style. I highly recommend that you purchase the CD, Sky Blue Sky. I'm confident that you'll enjoy Glenn's playing in general, taking note of his creativity and great feel throughout the entire album.