Bonham-esque Style Drum Fill
Any drummer who has studied the great rock drummers of the past will have undoubtedly heard this fill or similar variations countless times. But, I distinctly remember the first time I heard this in a way that really stood out, and that was on the song 'Guilty' from Jason Bonham's debut release 'The Disregard of Timekeeping' in 1989.
These days, a lick like this is pretty easy to pick up, you just load up a YouTube video of the song and slow it down to 75% or even 50%. But 'back in the day' we didn't have that option. I didn't even have the CD yet, I picked this up watching the video on MTV. (Yes, children - a long time ago in a universe far, far away MTV stood for "Music TeleVision" and actually played music videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week!) Watching the video, it looks like he's playing this lick all with the hands — snare, rack tom and floor tom. But, to me it sounds like a bass drum instead of a floor tom, so that's how I went about trying to replicate it. It was fairly easy to pick up the basic pattern of the triplet phrase - snare, rack tom and 2 bass drum notes, but the specific rhythm eluded me. I tried various combinations that sounded close, but not perfect. I initially thought the bass drum notes were 16ths starting on the 3rd beat of the triplet. It wasn't until I slowed it down and really counted it out while practicing that I figured out that the 16th notes are actually the rack tom and first bass drum, with the second bass drum landing squarely on the 3rd beat of the triplet.
Here's a clip where I use this fill in a break in TGL's Led Zepplin medley combined with my version of the John Bonham 'Whole Lotta Love' lick.
Regardless of whether you play this with a floor tom or bass drum, this is an awesome sounding fill. And, just in case you haven't seen the official, classic 80's video for this song in a while, enjoy! (The fill is around the 22 second mark.)