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I was discussing “hook fills” with a student the other day.  The term “hook” refers to a melody or part that really grabs the listener, in a way that the melody/part becomes the song’s identity.  It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a particular song, and it’s the thing you hum to yourself to remind yourself of the song.  That’s what a hook is… and it’s a big part of the pop music world.  Like I said, hooks are mostly found in the melodic side of things, but a fill can be hooky too.  In fact, it’s not a bad idea to try and be hooky with every fill you play, because it will help you avoid drummer disease.

Anyway, I always immediately think of Dave Grohl when I think about hooky drum parts.  The guy just knows how to grab a listener with a fill (and grooves in general).  Nirvana’s stuff is obviously a great example of this… like the intro fill for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  Everybody recognizes that fill, regardless of whether they’re musicians or not.  Another great example in the Nirvana catalog is that tune “In Bloom.”  That’s the example that came to my mind in the lesson the other day, so I quick looked up the song on Youtube so the student and I could listen to the fill in the lesson.  I had never seen the official video for that track, and it’s pretty funny…

Do you hear what I mean about Grohl’s fills being super catchy and “singable”?  So great.  Long live Dave Grohl.


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