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Making the Beat: Rock Drums

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Read Time: 30 mins

Welcome to the first in a series of drum based tutorials that will show you not just what the beats are, but how to make them sound good. In this tutorial we are going to cover most everything drums in the Rock genre. Rock music ranges from bombastic heavy hits to laid back straight ahead grooves. The drums are the undisputable backbone to most every genre and Rock is defiantly at the heart of that sentiment. Some of the most famous Rock songs start out with an equally famous drumbeat; Walk This Way, We Will Rock You, Hot for Teacher, and Rock n Roll just to name a few. Other times there are just as equally famous fills such the one in Phil Collins' In the Air Tonight. No matter which way you cut it, the drums are the most important element and need to be done right. So with that in mind, lets rock!

Also available in this series:

  1. Making the Beat: Rock Drums
  2. Making the Beat: Afro-Cuban Drums
  3. Making the Beat: Brazilian Drums
  4. Making the Beat: Jazz Drums
  5. Making the Beat: Drum N Bass Drums

Setting Up: What You Need

This tutorial is aimed to be predominantly DAW and plugin independent; you work with what you feel most comfortable using. However, some tools within the DAW or plugin are necessary to have in order to effectively complete this tutorial.

You will need either a step sequencer or a piano roll in order to place the rhythms.

A well rounded sample library for all drums and cymbals (you can use a drum synth if you so choose but make sure you can create a lot of different sounds with it).

The ability the change the volume of various hits throughout the drum pattern. Make some cymbal hits softer or louder than others, etc. Some may do it via MIDI, other might just change the actual volume of the hit.

Setting Up: What to Use

There can be features of a particular editor that make more advantageous over another when it comes to making drum beats on the computer; but it may have disadvantages as well. Here we will go over the different approaches to constructing drums on the computer and you can decided which methodology is works best for you.

Individual Sampler

This method involves loading samples into a sampler that can only play one sample at a time. Why use it? Usually these samplers have a lot of tools that allow you to manipulate the sample far beyond other samplers. Usually when using these samplers you either have piano roll access or a step sequencer. The disadvantage to this however is that most likely you will not be able to see the whole rhythm of the kit and will need to know exactly how the different instruments fit together.

Pre Constructed Kits

Some programs offer prebuilt kits and usually have the kit laid out across a piano roll so that you can see the whole kits rhythm. You usually will have finer control over the placement of each hit over a step sequencer. The disadvantage is that you may or may not be able to edit each individual sample to the fullest depending on the program.

Multi-Sample Sampler

These samplers are designed usually with drum sets in mind. They allow for multiple samples to be loaded in and sometimes multiple samples per instrument. Why would you want multiple samples per instrument? So that as you program volume changes the sampler will load different samples. This way you don't need 5 different hi-hats channels, 5 different rides, etc. You just program volume changes. Be careful though, sometimes these samplers can be very CPU intensive and can easily bog down your system if you're not careful. In regards to rhythm placement, some use piano rolls and others use step sequencers; it will depend on the plugin.

My Recommendations

I personally am an advocate of having the most versatility at my finger tips, but maintaining ease of use. I like the multi-sample drum samplers with piano roll access and mixer track access because I will have the most control over my sound without overloading myself with controls. If you are not looking for a lot of fine tuned control then try for a pre-constructed kit. If you are looking for glitch kit design or a lot of manipulation you might need the utmost intensive control and opt for the individual samplers. The choice is yours, and remember that these are general guidelines; there can easily be other approaches or different combinations of the above.

Rock Bottom Basics

Rock music is considered by some to be the simplest form of music you can play on a drum set. Granted, the beats can be very basic at times, but these basic beats are the foundation for all others in the genre. These beats are your fallbacks, your when-in-doubts, and your go-to rhythms when needing a starting rock beat. Let's start with the concepts of rock drums that permeate almost every beat.

The Kick

The kick drum is the heart and pulse of the rock drum set. It gives us a center (sometimes it throws us off center too!) and something that everyone listens for. 99% of the time the kick will land on beat one of a four beat measure. The second most common occurrence for the kick is on beat three of a four beat measure but a lot of variety of kick placement can happen around beat three as well. A lot of your beat variety will come from manipulating the placement of the kick for Rock music

The Snare

Undisputedly the second most important part to rock drums is the snare. It is the counter to the kick and fills in the beat both rhythmically and sonically. The snare usually falls on beats two and four to contrast against the kick but like the kick, it also can occur frequently between the big beats. The snare also fits between the kick and the cymbals in regards to the frequency spectrum.

The Cymbal

In rock music the cymbal, whether the ride or hi-hats, is the constant force in the background. It almost always is playing either a constant 1/4 note or 8th note pattern and that pattern fills in the gaps between the snare and bass. It is not the most forefront of the drum set sounds but is very essential to most every beat. The removal of the constant cymbal is usually done as an effect.

Rock Bottom Basics: Assembling the Basics

With these fundamental concepts we can now start constructing our basic rock beats. This first beat is bar none the most basic of drum set beats but time and time again it resurfaces.

The format throughout the rest of the tutorial for presenting the actual rhythms will list each instrument and which notes the instrument plays on in a 16 note measure. A 16 note pattern assumes that your smallest note subdivision is 16th notes in a four beat pattern. Each pattern will be listed from top to bottom so that cymbals are on the top and kick are on the bottom just as you would see if reading musical notation. Each will be accompanied with a picture to help visualize the pattern.

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1 and 9

Aside from changing the cymbals to quarter notes, the patterns cannot get any simpler than this but sometimes this is all you need; if you have very complex rhythms going on elsewhere in the music this pattern will give a solid backing without getting in the way.

Rock Bottom Basics: Shifting and Adding By Eighths

The easiest way to expand on this basic beat is to shift the current notes by eighth notes. This simple trick renders you more beats without any effort. For the purpose of this section however, we are only going to shift the second kick since shifting the other notes would induce syncopation and is not what one would call basic. Here are two more patterns...

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1 and 11

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1 and 15

To further the basic beats into something with a little more variety we can simply add more notes. We will simply add more kicks in the eighth note spacing. Here are a few more beats to illustrate the concept...

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,3 and 9

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,7 and 9

Rock Bottom Basics: Cymbal Me This

Another effective way to add some flavor and change to these basic beats is to add different cymbal patterns on top of the different kick variations. While obviously this would involve either dropping, adding, or shifting notes, one the best ways to approach cymbal variations is by thinking in one beat fragments. Instead of thinking in the typical four beat phrase, we create one beat variations in the cymbal and insert them into our four beat phrase. Since we only have four 16th notes to a beat we only have so many variations; these are those variations...

Variation 1

Variation 2

Variation 3

Variation 4

While these variations are very important, with the rock genre probably the second most used cymbal variant from your standard constant eighth note base is just using quarter notes or one cymbal hit per beat. Here are a few examples of cymbal variations that can be inserted into any beat to make something all together new.

Cymbals: 1,5,9,13

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,11,13,15

Cymbals: All 16

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,7,11,15

Cymbals: 1,3,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,7,9,11,15

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,10,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,3,9,11,15

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,9,15

Rock Bottom Basics: Review

Now with a better understanding of how rock drums work rhythmically we can move into more advanced beats and tricks to making killer beats. If you don't understand the previous concepts read them and test them out until you have a firm grasp over them. This tutorial builds upon itself and understanding the concepts as we go will render you the best results.

Advance Your Beat

With the rhythmic basics under our belts lets discuss some ways to create more advanced beats. Up until now we only utilized 16th notes when using the cymbal variations but now let's trying shifting and adding notes in the kick by 16ths. You have two primary options when doing this; you either set up a big beat on 1-4 or your accent the note immediately after a big beat. Let's look at some examples of how you can do this...

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,8,9

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,4,11

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,7,9,12

Remember, the most variety in your beats for a Rock based genre will come from your kick. Let your kick have a pulse that flows well with the rest of your instruments and melodies.

Advance Your Beat: Snare Expansion

For those of you who have patiently waited we will finally expand upon the snare drum. Lets maintain the 2 and 4 hits with the snare and add more notes for now (don't worry we'll move it eventually!)The additional snare hits usually serve as space fillers. They can make your beats sound more busy without really doing too much to the overall groove. Remember, unless you start doing very odd syncopated beats, the kick is probably the most listened to part of the kit in rock.

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5,8,11,13

Kick: 1,11

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5,12,13

Kick: 1,8,9

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5,13,15,16

Kick: 1,4,7,9,12

Now that we have wet our feet with these snare ideas lets really start to throw ourselves into the depths of the snare placement. The best way to give an unstable feel to a Rock beat is to either take the kick off one or to not put a snare on beats 2 or 4, but instead offset the snare from those centers. Be careful with over doing it though, if you do it too much you might accidently create a another beat but offset by a eighth note or two and give the listener a false center. Lets look at a few different ways you can do this...

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 2 and 16

Kick: 1,4,5,7,9,12,13

Cymbals: 1,5,9,13

Snare: 2 and 11

Kick: 1,7,9,13

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 4,11,16

Kick: 1,8,9,13

Before we move on, keep in mind that you can offset the snare for more than just unstability purposes. You might have a very syncopated lick or melody that you want accented and the best way to do it may be using these odd grooves.

Advance Your Beat: Open Your Hats, and Close Your Eyes

One of the simplest but effective tricks drummers will use in rock is to open the hi-hat for usually an 8th note during the beat. This adds a little length to the cymbals and a nice change timbrally to the beat. Sometimes it is the focal point of a beat such with a disco beat (which by the way is still used in Rock music, especially today) and other times its just to add some taste. Generally this trick only works on 8th notes and usually sounds awkward if placed between on the 16th so I recommend avoiding that. Here are some examples to stir your brains...

Open Hat: 11

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,13,15

Snare: 5,8,10,13

Kick: 1,11

Open Hat: 3,7,11,16

Cymbals: 1,5,9,13

Snare: 5,13

Kick: 1,9

Open Hat: 1,7

Cymbals: 3,5,9,11,13,15

Snare: 4,6,13,14,16

Kick: 1,7,11

Some of you may have noticed that one some of the beats I used the open hat to emphasize certain kick notes. Placing the open hat on focal points in the kick pattern can really draw attention to that particular note in the beat. Doing this gives your beat movement and a slightly clearer sense of direction. If you have a very complicated passage melodically I would not recommend doing this unless you are trying to draw attention to that note throughout the whole mix.

Advance Your Beat: Clap While You Ride

While not the most advanced tactic in Rock drums, using the hi-hat as a pulse while using the ride cymbal can add some nice motion to your beats. While having the ride cymbal play the constant 8th notes, you have your hi-hat hit the big beats. When you do this make sure you have a sound that matches what a real drummer would do. In reality the only way to do this is for the drummer to use his foot to get the pulse and making the hi-hats clap together. You only have a few options for this enhancement if you want to keep it in the Rock genre. You either have the hi-hat on all four beats, all off beats, or on beats 2 and 4 with the snare drum. While there are other hi-hat variations, they are usually reserved for Latin beats (don't worry we will get to Latin beats in other tutorials!) The following are some beats that work nicely with the ride and hi-hat combination...

Closing Hat: 1,5,9,13

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,9,11

Closing Hat: 3,7,11,15

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,4,7,9,12

Closing Hat: 5 and 13

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,8,11

Advance Your Beat: Rock with Threes

Up until now we have been using a base of 2 in our rhythms. If you look at each beat within a groove you generally have it subdivided into 2 (which would be your 8th notes) You can however have a base in three to give a different feel. Generally we refer to this in musical terms as a 6/8 measure. Why 6/8 and not say 3/8 or some other division? It is easier to count in 6s than constant 3s or some longer division like 9s or 12s. However, Rock music tends to treat it closer to 12/8. To make is easier to understand for Rock purposes think of 3/8, or one set of 3, as a single beat within a four beat groove. If each beat in a 4/4 bar is essentially a 3/8 bar, then your 4 beat groove with a 3 base is actually 12/8. The beats I will show you are technically in 12/8 but just think of them as a four beat measure with a three base. Make sure you adjust your step sequencer or piano roll for threes!

Cymbals: All 12

Snare: 4 and 10

Kick: 1 and 7

Cymbals: All 12

Snare: 4,10,12

Kick: 1,3,5,6,7,9

These are just some basic ideas of how to approach 6/8. Similar to the cymbal patterns from earlier, if you think in single beats (one 3/8) you can start mixing and matching those single groups. Just apply the shifting and adding concepts from earlier and should start to see some cool new beats form before your eyes.

Before we draw the rhythms to a close let's look at another base three concept. In very recent years this particular beat has become very popular amongst the alternative mainstream rock bands. I personally think it is over played but I will show you the basic concept so you have it at your disposal. The premise of this beat is that while you still only have eight 8th notes in your four beat groove, you divide it up differently than in 2s. You essentially divide the 8ths into 3+3+2 which will give you 8; this means it is still a 4/4 measure. Analyze the beat and take a listen and it will become clear...

Cymbals: 1,5,9,13

Snare: 1,7,13

Kick: 3,5,9,11,15

Advance Your Beat: Review

We have covered most every aspect of how Rock beats are formed and how make your own. While you can add toms and other drums to the mix, they are usually for effect. Try switching drums around and see if you like what you hear (try making the ride or hi-hat a floor tom for example). The possibilities will extend as far as your imagination will stretch. What's next then? Making it sound good!

Up and Down, Tone all Around

Up until now we have focused on creating the beats, but now we need to make them sonically sound good. Some people are on a perpetual quest for the perfect drum sound. If you are one of these people let me tell you that it does not exist. While there might be a perfect sound for what you are looking for, there is not one all encompassing drum sound. When dealing with programmed drums trying to sound real, you need to have the best samples you can get a hold of; end of story. Process all you want, but good samples are key to good drum sound. Now, you still will need some processing regardless so do not count yourself out yet if your samples are not godly. What we will focus on is making the kit as a whole sound more live and real and what you need to do in order to achieve that end. As I said in the beginning of this tutorial, you will need a lot of samples in order to get a good feel out of your programmed kit. Now we will go in depth on how to use them.

Up and Down, Tone all Around: The Kick

A good kick is key to the creation of a quality drum sound regardless of genre. In the Rock domain you have a few choices to pick from when working with the kick. You generally have kicks that sound natural, booming, punching, or cushioned; sometimes crossbreeds between two of them (particularly booming and punching). How do you decide which to use? Think of the style of Rock your trying to replicate.

  • A classic rock oriented sound will usually be more natural or cushioned, possibly a little punchy

  • A metal, punk, or alternative sound is generally more punching or booming, maybe some natural elements thrown in depending on the artist or group.

  • A electronic rock sound is almost always very thick and punching

These of course are just guidelines but it hopefully gives you a sense of direction when trying to figure out your kick sound.

In regards to actual programming of the kick you should probably have two, but definitely no more than three kick sounds. Why so few? Because the kick tonally generally stays the same most of the time when being acoustically played. Generally, kick patterns that are based around 8th notes can have the same kick sound. Then why the additional samples? For when you have multiple kicks in a row based on 16ths.

So if you have two or more 16th kick hits in a row, the first one should sound like your primary kick, but every subsequent should be the new kick until you have at least a 16th note break. This new kick should sound slightly less powerful than your primary and have a hair less attack; additionally it should be slightly lesser in volume but not a lot. Essentially your listener should not readily notice that there is a change, but unconsciously does; at this point we are starting to play into psychoacoustics. We do this in order to replicate a drummer's foot. With most drummers it is harder to get a consistent tone when you have that many notes in a row. There are exceptions of course.

Electronic rock usually is resampled after it is played and is suppose to have a very even tone and metal drummers who use blast beats (essentially a constant beating of the kick; don't harass me for that general statement) usually are very even in tone since the style calls for it. Here are some examples to look at. Keep in mind I am showing you how to do it as if you were using a different sample on each piano roll note because it is easier to understand visually. Those of you using the volume change method to switch samples just adjust your volume where the corresponding sample would go; notice you will benefit from a cleaner looking piano roll than the others.

In this section I am going to show you a previous beat that we made and then the changes I made to it so you can hear the difference

Cymbals: 1,2,4,5,7,9,11,13,15

Snare: 2 and 16

Kick: 1,4,7,9,12

Kick 2: 5 and 13

Up and Down, Tone all Around: The Snare

Just like the kick, you need a good snare sound for a good overall kit. The snare has a lot more timbrel choices when it comes to Rock music. A Rock snare comes in many flavors and many crossbreeds there in; you generally have fat, crisp, full, dry, resonant, or punching snares. While the words can be changed around, the general meaning is the same. A fat resonant snare would generally be deeper in tone and have an after ring in it where as a dry crisp snare would be higher in tone with a more dead quality since it has no ring.

I recommend picking a snare that compliments the kick and the style of Rock your going for. It should contrast the kick while complimenting it and not conflict with the hi-hat. Whenever you do pick your snare tone, make sure you start with your primary snare sample and build off that. If you have a harmonically rich snare you sometimes can EQ off other parts to create your additional snare sounds instead of sample hunting. Generally the softer hits are slightly higher in pitch/tone than the heavier hits. You should however have more contrast in your snare samples than your kick samples.

While we had rules of thumb for the kick in regards to where to place our additional samples, the snare is not so simple. Drummers have a lot more control over their hands and have a much easier time controlling the tone of a snare drum. Then why is their variation? To make it sound more interesting! Think of your primary snare as part of the "drum melody". It the flow of the kit follows these louder more accentuated hits and the softer hits are ornamentation; light touches that add character to the beat. Here are some examples to help show you this concept...

Open Hat: 11

Cymbals: 1,3,5,7,9,13,15

Snare: 5 and 13

Snare 2: 8 and 10

Kick: 1 and 11

Up and Down, Tone all Around: The Cymbals

While I will admit I am somewhat predictable, the next section is of course the cymbal samples. Cymbals tend to fall into two categories when it comes to the cymbals actual timbre; dark or bright. Dark cymbals tend to have a rounder, warmer, and heavy tone to them while the bright cymbals are cutting, sharper, and higher toned than their darker counter parts. Also, you can have a combination of both dark and bright cymbals and get what some call a rich cymbal. This applies not just hi-hats and rides, but crashes as well. While these might be the way we categorize the actual cymbals, we also have to consider how the cymbal is played.

If the drummer adjusts his or her foot to loosen the tension on the hi-hat stand the cymbals loosen their tension on one another. This creates that sizzling trashy sound we often associate with hard Rock or Metal music. That being said, you can have a tight bright cymbal, a loose dark, or the inverted of those combinations (keep in mind we also have the clapping hi-hat sound from earlier as well).

How do we use cymbal samples? This will by far be the biggest pain in the entire tutorial but one of the most essential. Your cymbal samples should be fairly similar, closer to the way we did the kick. Why? Because most people do not actually sit there and intently listen on the tone of the cymbals. There is always variety but it is usually subtle and so to should your samples. You usually have to randomly assign your cymbal samples to get that psychoacoustic effect of knowing it is there but not noticing it. However, if you are lucky enough to be using a multi-sample sampler, then see if your plug-in can randomly playback your samples for you in your cymbal channel. (See what I mean when I said I love multi-sample samplers?) You generally will need about 3-4 samples to get the effect. Have a listen...

Cymbal: 1,5,13

Cymbal 2: 2,4,11

Cymbal 3: 9 and 15

Snare: 5 and 13

Kick: 1,9,15

Before we wrap this section up let me say one more trick to cymbals. Sometimes drummers will accent the beats of a grove (1,2,3, and 4) to give the groove more feeling. You can use this too by putting samples that have a heavier attack (not necessarily louder) on the down beats. Some drummers really accentuate (a lot louder) it while others make it more felt than heard. Here is an example of how it sounds a little more subtly...

Cymbals: 2,4,7,11,15

Cymbal 2: 1,5,9,13

Snare: 5,13,15,16

Kick: 1,4,7,9,12

Up and Down, Tone all Around: Review (Plus Comments on Toms)

As you can see the general premise for using the different samples is the same. However, each part of the kit has its own niche way of approaching it. Remember, you need continuity with contrast so the kit still flows. Seeing as our next section is based on fills, I thought I would take a minute to explain tom-tom samples.

Toms generally are just full board loud in Rock music but not always. If your using toms just as fills then generally you will not want to add any sample variety unless you are having the volume of the toms change throughout the fill. The only time you will probably want to use changing samples is when you are using the toms as part of a groove; like replacing the cymbal. But like the kick and cymbals, you will most likely not want a whole lot of readily perceivable variety.

The timbre of a tom changes as the volume changes and is readily perceivable. A loud strike at a tom will render a clear attack, full sound, and is much richer harmonically. A softer attack is usually rounder, darker, and has fewer harmonics. Keep this in mind and you'll be golden with tom timbre.

Fill Me In

Welcome to our final section of the tutorial, fills! Some of you may be wondering why I put this after the section about making your grooves sound good. Truth be told there is not much to do with fills in Rock. As a drummer I can tell you that fills are your chance to be expressive, and that the possibilities are beyond what you could write in words. Therefore, to me it is probably least most important section for programming drums; also in my experience most people don't want to be bothered to write out a drum fill so I won't flood you with long winded fills that you would have to painstakingly rewrite. Instead, I believe there are three kinds of general fill types and that by showing you how to utilize them you will have an easier time coming up with fills.

Fill Me In: And Build Me Up

These sort of fills are the easiest to understand since they relate closely to beats. A build up is when the drummer mimics the rest of the band or ensemble with a driving beat that starts off quiet and roars to a climax. In Rock, this is usually done with straight 8th notes on both the snare drum and the floor tom. You can also add a kick drum either as constant 8ths along with them, or on every downbeat, every other beat, etc.

The most important aspect of this type of fill is the dynamic change from soft to loud. However if you want to add more tension and build, try adding 16th note runs across the kit while your kick stay constant. By adding more movement in the toms and snare you then add more drive to your build. Here is an example that starts off with the basic build and then starts to add more notes and tension...

This fill is simple enough to look at where you don't need the rhythms written out, but here is something you may not have known. You may have noticed that the fill had the nice round soft tone in the beginning but heavy hits by the end. How did I do this without more samples? I automated a low pass filter to let more and more frequencies through as the fill went on. Simple trick for you.

Fill Me In: And Lead Me In

Not all fills are long intricate ideas, some are simple a few notes long. These short quick fills usually lead into a big hit by the rest of the band. Most of the time they are not flashy and usually are played on their own without any moving notes from the rest of the band. Essentially the band plays, cuts out, the quick fill is played, and everyone comes back in full board on the last note of the fill. There isn?t much more to say about these fills other than look at what I have come up with and get some ideas. You will hear one bar of groove and the last 2 beats of the second measure are the lead in fill...

Fill Me In: And Rock On

Your last primary form of a fill is just that, a fill. These are what people normally associate with a drum fill or solo; normally one or more measures following the phrasing of the song. If your song has four measure phrases, then you fills will most likely be all four measures, the last two, or the last one. While you can have threes, they are not nearly common enough to consider. There is no real trick to creating these other than experimenting. The only methodology you really have is to take one beat fragments and patch work them together until you get a fill you like. Take the cymbal variations from earlier but rearrange the notes amongst different toms and other parts of the kit. If you study a fill long enough you'll see most Rock fills rhythmically will fall into one of those categories just displaced among various drums.

Another trick is to mimic the melody of the song but in the amongst the tone of the drum set. If you go this route, try adding various rhythmic flourishes to the melody and interject sections that are not the melody and are strictly just drum fill. Here is a fill the rhythmic fragmant methodology in mind...

Fill Me In: Review

There is not much to say about Rock fills other than be creative. If you are a more methodical person then try going the melodic mimic route. Either way should expand your mind and be creative; think like a musician!

Rock Drums in Review

Phew! You made it! Congratulations! That is an awful lot of material to cover I will admit. There is a reason a lot of people opt to just use premade loops or what not because learning everything it takes to program a good drum sound takes a long time to learn and a long time to implement. The only parting words I can say are to be adaptable, creative, and critical. You have come this far and should not settle for just average in yourself. Build up your own library of loops, sounds, and ideas so that they are always at your disposal. Until next time, good luck and keep Rocking!

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