Mike Dolbear - Lesson 1

Six Stroke Roll Fill-in - Motown Fill

One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘how do I come up with better fill-ins’ or ‘more fill-in ideas’. So in this series I will be showing you the sort of fills that I show my students and that I use myself.

This month I’m continuing with the 6 stroke roll rudiment from the last 2 lessons and I’ll show you how to play the classic Motown intro fill-in.

This is a 2 beat fill-in starting on the 3rd beat of the bar. The 6 stroke roll is played on beat 3 and 2 eighth notes are played on beat 4. The first note of the 6 stroke roll is played on Tom 1, while the second eighth note of beat 4 is played on the floor tom.

The sticking for this is (reverse the sticking if you’re left handed):


Remember, the 6 stroke roll is played as 6 even notes i.e. all 6 notes have the same value. Start slowly and make sure you maintain the evenness in each group of 6 notes.

Ok, if you watch the attached video you will see that I’ve played this fill-in at slow and medium tempos and then up to speed with a groove.

Have a go at following my examples and then try and come up with some of your own!

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Notation from lesson 1