Easy Triplet Fills On Drums

Sometimes, coming up with great fills on drums may seem more complicated than it really is. If you’re learning Jazz drumming, I’ve got an easy and fun triplet drum fill you can play across the drum set.

In this article I’ll share why it’s important to be able to play drum fills like this and exactly how to play it. Let’s get going.

Learn great fills on drums in the Secrets of Jazz Drumming course.
Learn cool drum patterns in my Secrets of Jazz Drumming course

Different Styles Of Fills On Drums

Different styles of drumming have different types of fills on drums. For example Rock drumming uses many eighth notes and sixteenth notes in drum fills. Jazz drumming uses many triplets.

Having trouble reading musical notation like eighth notes and sixteenth notes? Read my article Easily Learn To Read Drummer Sheet Music.

Now let’s stick with playing Jazz on drums (pun absolutely intended 😜). At Jazz Drum School, one of my courses is called The Secrets Of Jazz Drumming. In this course, I share an easy triplet drum fill that can be played tons of ways across the drum set.

Jazz Swing drumming feel is based on the triplet note. Any kind of triplet drum fill that you play in Jazz Swing is going to fit the groove like a glove. Check out the video excerpt below from the Secrets of Jazz Drumming course to learn the triplet drum fill I’m talking about.

Simple Drum Fills Lead To Cool Drum Fills

As you can see in the video, I basically take a single-stroke triplet pattern and work it around the drums. This simple way of creating fills on drums will open your mind to new creative ways to play cool drum fills.

Most of the time, when we start off trying to play complicated drum fills, we run out of ideas pretty fast. This is because what we want to play and what we can actually play are two different things.

Single-stroke triplet drum fills are a great way to ease your way into fills on drums that will be both useful and musical. Try starting them on the last eighth note triplet of count 3 or any count too.

This will make them more adaptable to the music and sound very cool. Being flexible with your drum fills will let you respond to the music rather than being stuck in a drum lick box.

Drum licks are very limiting fills on drums.

The Drum Lick Box

So what is the difference between a drum lick and a drum pattern? A drum lick is always played the same way across the drums at the same time in the music. A drum pattern can be used in any way at any time across the drum set.

I see many drummers and even myself when I was young, getting stuck in what I call the “drum lick box.” What this means is, drummers always play their fills on drums, the same way. They hit the same combination of drums and cymbals at mostly the same timing in the music.

These drum licks are also often used across many styles of drumming. You tend to notice the drum lick approach with Rock, Pop and Funk drummers mostly.

This way of playing fills on drums limits our creativity and causes us to play mostly from muscle memory. Kind of like driving on auto-pilot.

Learn about using Paradiddles on drums to create cool drum fills too. Check out my article, Paradiddles On Drums, The Secret Sauce Of Drumming.

Break The Muscle Memory

One of the great things about learning Jazz on drums, is you can break free of the drum lick box. Jazz drumming requires us to be responsive to the music. We have to continuously shape and mold our drum part to the respond to the way the other musicians are playing.

No Jazz song is every played the same way twice. It is spontaneously arranged by the band from the first to the last note of each song. Not using drum licks in our fills on drums lets us be a part of the music in a much deeper way.

Musical and flexible fills on drums are always our goal as drummers.

My Secrets of Jazz Drumming course will teach you how to play some really musical drum patterns in cool ways on your drum kit. Just like in the video above.

Learn Jazz Drumming For Better Fills On Drums

The think I often tell beginning drummers is, “Learn Jazz drumming first. Every other style you want to play will be so much easier.” This is also true for playing great fills on drums.

I have a great article about this too. Check out, 5 Reasons Beginner Drummers Should Learn Jazz Drums. By the end of the article you’ll clearly understand the benefits of learning Jazz for your own drumming.

If you’re a beginner drummer, I recommend my Jazz Drumming Basics – Beginner Drummer Lessons Package. It’s exactly what you need to get up and swinging with some basic coordination, drum fill patterns and Jazz drum soloing practice.

Beginner drummers will love this online drum lessons package.

If you’re already playing with other musicians, take a look at my Drum Lessons Power Pack. This a great package of drum lessons that will push your drumming abilities to a much higher level in a short period of time. The Secrets of Jazz Drumming course is also included in this package.

Drum Lessons Power Pack has great ideas for fills on drums.


So playing great fills on drums doesn’t have to be hard. Start with simple single-stroke triplets and see what kind of magic you can create. Follow my This approach will open your creativity and lead you to drum fills that you never thought you could play.

If you haven’t already, start learning Jazz drumming as soon as you can. It will do amazing things for your drumming including help you play better drum fills.

The goal with all of our drumming is to be flexible so we can adapt creatively to the music being played around us. When we can do this, we will not only play cooler fills on drums, we’ll have a whole lot more fun playing them! Keep swinging my friend!

Do you have a favorite triplet hand pattern you like to play?

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