Playing Drum Fills with Purpose

In a worship band, the drummer is the engine. That's why it's so important to play everything with intention.

Drum fills are a standard part of a drummer's vocabulary. Depending on the kind of music you like and what you grew up playing, you'll understand what drum fills are and how they should sound differently.

We often focus on the technical aspects. Learning patterns, longer fills, shorter fills different rhythms, and all that's great, it gives us a reference point. But more importantly, the thing that takes it to the next level is not just what you're playing but what the intention is behind what you're playing.

Drummers are the Engine

Our worship team is like a ship, we're all in the ship and we're going somewhere, we're carrying people with us. If the worship leader is the captain and makes a call like "I want to bring it down", or "I want to go here", whatever it is, unless the engine (the drums) agrees the ship isn't moving.

Wherever we decide to go is where things are going. If we stay up, the whole band's has to stay up or they can drop out but then our energy is where it is. If we come down and don't pick it up, it's really hard to get the energy back again. So as drummers, we really are the engine of this ship.

So when it comes to drum fills, it's not about if you should or shouldn't play it. It's really about how you should play the fill in the moment. Is it appropriate for the context of the song.

It's really not even about how loud the fill is but it's really about paying attention to what the captain of the ship is doing and if that fill is appropriate or not.

In this video Sidney, drum instructor at Worship Artistry, shows you how to think about your fill transitions, find what's most appropriate for the moment and land it right every time.

Kristina Kislyanka is the Marketing Manager, podcast co-host and sometimes vocalist at Worship Artistry. She is the Worship Pastor at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. 

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