How to Make Drum Fills – Music Theory Hacks for Programming MIDI Drums

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


In this Hack Music Theory lesson, you’ll learn how to spice up your songs’ transitions by using tasty drum fills. But first… Tea!
►Free eBook:
►Apprenticeship Course:
►Songwriting & Producing PDF:


1:13 – HACK 1 – The End
2:46 – HACK 2 – The Beginning

Drum fills create vital rhythmic variation and excitement, which kicks up the energy of your music like nothing else! But even more important than that, drum fills build anticipation for what’s coming up next.

The example in this video is the pre-chorus section from of our upcoming single “Down with the Drama”, which features the amazing Sarah Serene on vocals.

If you wanna learn more about writing and programming great drums, we suggest our video “3 Hacks for Better Drum Beats”:

Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music. Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series “Hack Music Theory”, and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more. Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who’s been trained by Ray to teach his Hack Music Theory method! While these Hack Music Theory YouTube lessons teach music theory for producers and DAW users, they are designed to accommodate all music makers (songwriters, guitarists, etc.) and all genres, from Electronic Music to R&B, Pop to Hip-Hop, Reggae to Rock, EDM/Dance to Metal (and yes, we djefinitely Djent!).

►Ray Harmony’s music:
►Kate Harmony’s music:

Music by Revolution Harmony
(c) 2018 Revolution Harmony


Mark Rose says:

Big up the cheeky twosome 🙂

Josué Melgarejo says:

Maybe a lot of people already asked this but… Wich program you use to compose your music? I really want to try it

Cytasis says:

Love all your videos!!! Thank you, really!

DJ Neko Sensei says:

Ahh yes, drum transitions. I like what you did with it. Here is an example of coming off of a drop (around 1:04 the drums kick back in off of the drop).

Meep says:

Thanks Hack Music Theory
peoples, clap clap clap 🙂

bodi says:

Nice video! Personally, I've learned that the sweet spot (for most genres, but it varies) Is 8 measures, cause its not too long and not too short. Also, what DAW is that? says:

Great work. Love your tutorials.

Karaoke Apocalypse says:

Awesome as always

Liam Static says:

you two have such wonderful smiles!


Get Yo coffee:-)

Died Of Society says:

what is good software to programm drums?

fresh espresso says:

fantastic video

Insane Pro says:

Thanku so much i learn alot from uh
i m a beginner i don't have money to go music school.
i made some beats which are good but can't able to make music for my written songs
help me plz

djdrwatson says:

EDM and future bass tracks have overused 'machine gun' snare drum roll build ups so much they've become boring and very predictable. I've noticed that dance music song verses nowadays are sometimes very short as they're in a huge rush to get to the build up, the drop and the chorus. It never used to be like this. A lot of thought and imagination is needed to avoid these cliches and not sound corny.

If I do snare rolls I try to alternate snares panned left then right with some center placed kick drums. This sounds like a mad drummer and sounds good in headphones. For even extra spice add a carefully placed reversed snare in there too (but don't over do 'glitch' effects like this too much). Low to high toms that go from left to right in the stereo field is another good tip. It sounds big and like we're bashing the toms in front of us from left to right.

Kevin Plessen says:

thank you so much for all the content that both create.
Greetings from Argentina!

Kento Nishi says:

Here's my fill for this video.

TheOrangepeak says:

Hey ! I'm in holidays in Spain 🙂 it's a real pleasure to watch you here 🙂 🙂 🙂 I love you guys !! Cheers <3 <3 <3 😀

PacketSmasher says:

Do you guys have BKM or suggestions on how to setup my DAW which is Reaper like yours? Like the various plugins, for piano, bass, guitar, and drums?

Brandon der Blätter says:

I want the soooooooooong! Can we listen to the whole thing yet?

Lachlan Morrison says:

great videos guys! You're fantastic teachers

Maz B says:

you guys are both beautiful – not sure who to love most! 😀 But first – TEA!

PhilouGanJa DuB-SelecToR says:

How ? with a drum machine and imagination… lol I'm joking.great video;
Big uPP . A rumor says that tea drinker are great drummer .. Is it true 😉
Hello from France 😉

Tre' Ossmann says:

Very cool. Drum fills are so great when done right. Can you give an example of a drum fill that ends "late" like you mentioned in the video? It sounds like an interesting concept, but I've never written a drum fill like that and I'm not sure what it's supposed to look like. Thanks for the amazing content!


So awesome, thanks!

Write a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.