Here’s a lesson on the popular idea of Fill Displacement.
In essence, the word ‘displacement’ in the drum word means to ‘shift’ the groove or the fill you’re playing so that it starts and finishes on a different part of the bar. Another word for this is ‘permutation’.
This lesson will be looking at a simple fill idea (RR LL RR FF R) starting on beat 1 of the bar. Then we are going to displace the fill by one 8th note each time. So the first displacement will be on 1+, then 2, then 2+ and so on. You’ll notice however, that as you displace the fill, the end of the fill comes back around and onto the start of the bar. So, this means that even though you’re
‘starting’ your fill on another part of the beat, the rest of it has to move too and as such, it’ll feel like you’re ‘starting’ on the end of your fill! Complicated huh?! In reality, when you look at the music, it’s not a complicated concept but it can be rather off putting when trying to put it into context.
You can use this concept in a few ways. For a challenge, try permutating by a 16th note instead of an 8th note. Or even a 32nd note if you want! You can also use the concept with grooves. Master drummer David Garabaldi of Tower of Power is awesome at this as is the legendary Dave Weckl. Definitely check them out. Garabaldi’s book Future Sounds is highly recommended – and highly challenging! I’ve barely scratched the surface!!!
Check out the PDF and you’ll clearly see the fill moving. If you like, try this concept with a fill you know really well. If you’re new to this, try to write your fill down so you can see how to start moving it. It’s a great learning exercise.
Enjoy the vid.