4 Advanced Drum Fills

JJ Jones  /  Articles  /  Mar 19, 2020

What makes a drum fill ‘advanced’? Many drummers consider limb independence and playing with time as some of the tougher skills to develop.

If you learn a concept as a groove or solo, you can still pull sections to use for fills and transitions.

Here are a few tricky fills for the drummers who are looking for something a bit more challenging.

Combination Fill

This Marco Minnemann lick is great for challenging your four-way independence, as well as your speed and fluidity.

Herta Fill

Adam Tuminaro incorporates hertas to give fills more drive:


Turn this Anika Niles quintuplet groove into an interesting backbeat fill. Quintuplets are less common in popular music, which can make it difficult to find songs to reference:

Left Foot Ostinato

Here’s an example of a Thomas Lang pattern with left hand accents. It may look like an intermediate lick:

…until you add in the left foot ostinato to test your independence:

What did you think of these patterns as drum fills? Too easy? Too difficult?

JJ Jones is an internationally-touring drummer, educator and writer currently based in Boulder, CO. She's played with folk-pop darlings Girlyman, comedian Margaret Cho, Egyptian revolutionary Ramy Essam, and alt-pop sensation Heather Mae, among many others. JJ is the Tech and Gear Editor of Tom Tom Magazine, and the founder of, a drumming education company for women.

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