John Stanier: Emergency Fills

Recently I’ve been deejaying several nights a week around New York City. As with any job there are certain tricks that apply. One such trick is the “emergency record.” I usually drop the needle on this particular record when there’s: 1) a fight, 2) no one is dancing, or 3) if I can’t match the next song. It’s always within an arm’s reach in case something goes wrong.

This also applies to drumming, where, in a split second, you could pull out your emergency fill. In most cases (especially fast rock) my fill would be the crowd-pleasing single-stroke roll mutation. If the song you’re playing is at a frantic 204 BPM, nothing is more satisfying than pulling off machine gun—like single strokes. It makes you feel like Billy Cobham. Here are a few of my favorites:

DRUM! Notation Guide

John Stanier