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Filling in the Holes

by Virgil Donati

Hello Everyone

The following lesson material is a method of reading rhythmic phrases with the hands and filling in the
holes between the phrases with the feet. It's a great way to catch phrases with a band and still be able to
blow underneath the phrasing. It will also have a significant effect on your double bass control.

Here's how you get started! You'll play the musical phrases that I've included in this lesson on the snare
while the feet fill in the holes between the written notes in one of three ways: eighth notes (two-part counting-
1&2&, etc.), sixteenth notes (four-part counting-1e&a, 2e&a, etc.) and triplets (three-part counting-1 tah tah,
2 tah tah, etc). In addition, the hands should always alternate against themselves, as should the feet. In other
words you will never play two right hands or two right feet in a row. This will give you a better understanding
of starting a phrase with either hand or foot which of course will improve your control and balance behind the
kit.

Lets take a look at number one utilizing two-part counting just in case you're confused. In this rhythmic phrase
there are three quarter notes and one quarter rest. The hands will play-right on beat one, left on beat two, right
on beat three, then upon repeating the bar will play left on beat one, right on beat two, left on beat three and so
on. The feet will now fill in any note that is not being played by the hands. The and of one is played by the
right foot, the and of two is played by the left foot, and of three is played by the right foot, beat four is left and
beat and of four is right. Now when you repeat your first bass drum note (the and of one) will now be with the
left foot. Why? Because, before the repeat, the last foot you played was right. Remember you always alternate.
The feet alternate against the feet and the hands alternate against the hands.

Once you've completed the four examples that I have written out for you you should apply this same method
to the 24 bar rhythmic melody that I've included with this lesson.

Cheers, Mate!!
1. > > >
44 .. ..
R L R

A > > >


.. ..
L L
R R L R R R

B > > >


.. ..

R R L R L L R L R R L R L R L R

C > 3 > 3 > 3 3

.. ..

R R L L R L R R L R L R
Filling in the Holes Cont...
by Virgil Donati

2. > > > >j


4
4 .. ..
> > > >
R L R L
A

.. ..

> > > >
R R L L R R L L
B

..
..

R R L R L L R L R R L R L R L L

C > 3
> 3
> 3 3
>
.. ..

R R L L R L R R L R L L

3. > >j >j >j


.. ..
> > > >
R L R L
A
.. ..

> > > >
R R L L R R L L

B
.. ..

R R L R L R L L R L R R L R L R

C > 3 3
> 3
> 3
>
.. ..

R R L R L L R L R R L L

http://www.learn2drum.com 2 http://www.virgildonati.com
Filling in the Holes Cont...
by Virgil Donati

4. > > > >


44 .. ..
> > > >
R L R L
A
.. ..

> > >
R R L R L R L L
B >
..

..

R R L R L L R R L R L R L L R L

C > 3 > 3
> 3
> 3

.. ..

R R L L R R L R L L R L

Rhythmic Melody
j
44

j j

j j j

http://www.learn2drum.com 3 http://www.virgildonati.com