Topic: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats  (Read 16008 times)

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Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

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Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« on: March 13, 2008, 03:40 PM »
On the gig the other night, I was engaging in my usual mental self-critique, and it occurred to me that out of shear laziness I have been overusing a very overused drum fill/phrase.  I’m not a schooled drummer, so I’ll do my best to describe this phrase:

Flam - bass - flam – bass.

It sounds like this:

Blacka-blacka

You know, you’re cruising along playing a straight-ahead rock beat – maybe playing quarter notes on the hi-hat or the crash cymbal, and when it’s time to transition into the chorus:

Blacka-blacka!

Okay, you’re laughing at my primitive description – and rightly so! 

But I hope you get my drift.

This fill is so overused, probably because it’s so easy to do, and it kinda feels good and tough.  But it seems to me that this is a pretty lame lick.

I should stop taking the easy way out and cut down on the blacka-blackas

Any one have any other hackneyed drum riffs that maybe should be sent out to pasture?

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 03:44 PM »
I don't know that anything is overused if it's appropriate for the song ... but here's a few common ones.

"Pat Boone, Debbie Boone"

"Bucket of Fish"


Offline Steve "Smitty" Smith

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 03:51 PM »
"Pat Boone, Debbie Boone"

"Bucket of Fish"

Oh, those are funny!!

"Pat Boone, Debbie Boone" instantly made me think of the Guns N' Roses tune "November Rain"  I think Matt Sorum played about 800 "Pat Boone, Debbie Boones" in that song! I think I remember reading that it was Axl Rose who insisted that he keep repeating that fill.

On edit:  It wasn't "Live and Let Die" as I originally thought -- though I think there are a few "Pat Boone, Debbie Boones" in that tune as well.

Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 03:52 PM »
Well down that same thought there is a flam, flam tap, drag....Just to name a few. That's just a start.  ;D
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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 10:19 PM »
here's a few common ones.

"Pat Boone, Debbie Boone"

"Bucket of Fish"


hehe... never heard that description, but it conveys the fill nicely  :D

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 10:25 PM »
I make it a habit to play overused and cliche drum fills.
They usually fit the song like a pair of old slippers.

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 10:26 PM »
hahahaha!  Matt Sorum totally did Pat Boone Debbie Boone in November Rain! 

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 10:38 PM »
The UK equivalent is 'Flats in Dagenham'.

There are lots of fills described by Indian food items. I think Gregg Bissonette often mentions them in his clinics.


Offline Brett Tanner

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 12:42 AM »
I've been recently thinking kinda similar thoughts this thread's talking about.  I'm a little uninitiated about these cliches so I'm trying to parse through them.  I get the "blacka-blacka".  I think I understand the pat boone debbie boone but I gotta ask about the bucket of fish & flats in dagenham. 

Is bucket of fish.....kick, snare, kick again, then snare and cymbal at the same time?  I know if I heard it, this could be a lot easier.

Anyway, my main band plays somewhat slower and it's heavy.  I'm usually using eighth notes on hh and ride.  I'm really wrestling with trying to be creative with fills and change overs and even slightly different beats or accents with, say, the same guitar riff...but a slightly different feel if that part of the song might call for it.  This includes playing softer or louder.

Presently, I've been moving some of these basic fills around the set and changing accents.  For instance, I'll flame on the rack tom & snare but accent the tom  stroke first.

I know this is hard to describe in words but is there a way that can be described or work on that can help with creativity?
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Offline Tkitna

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 03:08 AM »
All my fills are old and over used. Thats what happens when your not good enough to create new ones.  8)

Offline Eskil Sæter

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2008, 03:48 AM »
Oh, those are funny!!

"Pat Boone, Debbie Boone" instantly made me think of the Guns N' Roses tune "November Rain"  I think Matt Sorum played about 800 "Pat Boone, Debbie Boones" in that song! I think I remember reading that it was Axl Rose who insisted that he keep repeating that fill.

On edit:  It wasn't "Live and Let Die" as I originally thought -- though I think there are a few "Pat Boone, Debbie Boones" in that tune as well.

Matt Sorum didn't really use any other fill throughout the entire two Use Your Illusion albums. He sometimes cut it down to just "Debbie Boone", but he really did completely overuse that fill back then.
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Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2008, 07:58 AM »
Is bucket of fish.....kick, snare, kick again, then snare and cymbal at the same time?  I know if I heard it, this could be a lot easier.

It's around the drums ... Snare, Tom 1, Tom 2, Kick (or Floor Tom) ... triplet + 1.

Traditionally speaking that is.  ;)

Offline Todd Knapp

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2008, 08:32 AM »
Gadd's made a career out of the ol' Bucket-Of-Fish...

And couple other things too, I suppose...   ;)

I don't really worry about overplaying a fill -- UNLESS -- I'm using it out of habit or laziness in places where another fill would work better..

Basically, my concern is not sounding rote, but falling asleep at the wheel and letting my own limitations dictate the music rather than the needs of the music itself.

To paraphrase an old saying (and Chrisso above), "If the fill fits, blare it..."

I also think it's beneficial to take those old, overplayed, everyone's heard 'em fills, and change them just a little to make them your own. Perhaps the voicing, or the sticking or some other slight change can give the familiar effect of the old fill, while adding a little personal flair and signature to the sound.

As an example - take the familiar "Boooom-bidap-boom" lead-in fill that the Motown drummers used to play (though each of them had their own way of doing it if you listen carefully). Dave Garibaldi ripped that fill off for the start of What Is Hip? but he plays it as a 6-stroke roll between the tom, snare and floor tom. The tradition and familiarity is there and the fill absolutely works in the situation, but Garibaldi made it his own.

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2008, 08:55 AM »
My playing is one big cliche.

 :)
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Offline SteveR

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2008, 09:41 AM »
Yeah, I'm one of those that thinks there's no such thing as an "overused" fill as long as it fits the song. I use the "bla-ka, bla-ka, bla-ka, bla-ka" (4 times instead of 2) fill in a lot of funk tunes we do, and it never fails to get me a look of approval from my bass player - which is what it's all about IMO. It really sets up the next phrase and always adds to the groove.

As an example - take the familiar "Boooom-bidap-boom" lead-in fill that the Motown drummers used to play (though each of them had their own way of doing it if you listen carefully). Dave Garibaldi ripped that fill off for the start of What Is Hip? but he plays it as a 6-stroke roll between the tom, snare and floor tom. The tradition and familiarity is there and the fill absolutely works in the situation, but Garibaldi made it his own.
I like that fill as well. I use it all the time. Unless it's late in the night and/or I've had a few drinks - in which case I'll substitute the 6-stroke roll with a buzz-roll.  ;)

Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure most of my fills are "cliched" but, like Stuart Smally would say, that's.........OK. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone-it....my bandmates like my playing.
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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2008, 10:44 AM »
The book from Fred Dinkin's "It's about Time" has a section entitled "Money Fills"- some of them are really good and require left hand lead to make them groove and come into the one comfortably.

Cliche' fills always sound great when grooving and perhaps revoiced like boomka suggested.

It's hard to make tuned drums sound bad when they are mixed well with the band and grooving.  Just my 2 cents.   :)

diddle

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2008, 11:01 AM »
The UK equivalent is 'Flats in Dagenham'.

There are lots of fills described by Indian food items. I think Gregg Bissonette often mentions them in his clinics.

ooh, I love Indian food... how 'bout this for a fill?

Murg Sag-walla

Chi-Ken Tikki

aloo gobi masala

 ;D

Offline Jim R.

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2008, 02:08 AM »
If you can say it, you can play it.

Or, if you can eat it while playing it....


I'm still laughing everytime I read Pat Boone, Debbie Boone!!!!
So much to do, so little mind.

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2008, 10:51 AM »
 http://www.keithcronin.com/grooves/rosanna.mp3]This groove  starts out with a nice "bucket of fish."  :)

Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Overused or Clichéd Drum Fills and Beats
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2008, 10:54 AM »
http://www.keithcronin.com/grooves/rosanna.mp3]This groove  starts out with a nice "bucket of fish."  :)

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