Drummer's Guide to Fills

Drummers everywhere can take their fills to the next level with the help of a brand-new book from Alfred: Drummer’s Guide to Fills.

Pete Sweeney’s Drummer’s Guide to Fills is designed to expand drumming vocabulary by teaching drummers not just how to play fills, but when and where to play them. The book offers a step-by-step approach to playing fills of varying lengths, as well as different approaches to resolving fills and returning to the groove. Drummer’s Guide to Fills features fills all drummers can use to add excitement to different sections of a song and even use as the building blocks of a solo. Drummers can learn fills in many styles, from rock to funk to jazz, plus a “melodic” approach to fills that allows further embellishment on basics. The included CD accents the book by demonstrating all of the musical examples.

Master the art of drum fills by learning:

  • Melodic ideas for creating memorable fills
  • Tips for improving your creative process
  • Fundamental stickings and hand patterns
  • Fills for a variety of styles, including Rock, Funk, Jazz and more.



I think a lot of drummers will find this book useful simply because of it's topic. There's not that many books written on the subject of drum fills, probably because the possibilities are so vast which makes it difficult to cover in just one book.

The book opens by answering such questions as: What is a drum fill? What’s the difference between a fill and a solo? How do I develop better fills on the drumset? The author, Pete Sweeney, does a nice job of answering these questions then proceeds to help the drummer play musical fills and solos via the challenging examples found throughout this book.

Chapter One deals with basic music terminology and note values. If you currently don’t read music, don’t worry, this book will help you with that as well as show you visually how each drum fill looks when it’s written out in standard music notation. The supplemental CD will also aid with you learning to read by being able to hear what you are seeing on the page.

Chapter Two starts with the basics of developing the sticking patterns necessary to properly execute the fills that appear later in the book. Accented and unaccented stickings are applied to eighth-notes, sixteenth-notes and eighth-note triplets. Chapter Three covers basic hand to foot coordination by taking some of the previous stickings and applying them accordingly.

Chapter Four starts laying the structure down for developing the fill by covering music form and structure, then gets into fills within a groove and using the Kick drum in the fill.

Chapter Five is all about sixteenth-note drum fills, covering one-beat, two-beat, three-beat and full measure (in 4/4 time) drum fills, plus short fills used as a pick-up and that resolve or end on an upbeat. Chapter Six is basically the same approach as the previous chapter but applies everything to eighth-note triplet drum fills. The final chapter (Advanced Drum Fills) uses sixteenth-note triplets (aka sextuplets) and thirty-second notes, building the fill on accented and unaccented stickings as well as several “standard rudiments” such as the Four-Stroke Ruff, Six-Stroke Roll and Double-Stroke Rolls. As an added bonus there are a few fills in odd note groupings and several 2-bar fills.

Regardless of your playing level, Drummer's Guide To Fills is valuable tool for anyone struggling with creating their own drum fills, or simply wants to further expand their drum fill vocabulary.