Lesson 8: Tom-Toms & Fills

What are Tom-Tom Drums?

Tom-toms (or simply ‘toms’) are drums with varying pitch, primarily used for drum rolls, solos and fills. Drum kits have varying amounts of tom-tom drums (usually 3 or 4), with smaller tom-toms creating higher pitched sounds and larger tom-toms creating lower pitched sounds.

An example of a ‘hi tom’:

An example of a ‘mid tom’:

An example of a ‘low tom’ (aka ‘floor tom’):

We recommend placing your toms on the second row from the top, on pads 9, 10 and 11 in your drum kit:

What are Drum Fills?

Drum fills or simply ‘fills’ are different from drum beats and are generally played to fill a transition to a new section of a track (either towards the end of a bar, or for a full bar).

Here’s an example of 1 and a half bars of a standard drum beat, followed by a half bar drum fill:

Not all drum fills use the tom-toms. Here’s a drum fill which only uses kicks and snares:

Here’s one more fill which features a drum roll across the hi, mid and low toms:

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