Neil Peart's Top 10-Plus Fills

One of the reasons Neil Peart is so popular with other drummers is his creativity and how he approaches his fills. He never wastes an opportunity to make a transition in a song with some style. Here are a few of my favorites. Feel free to send me your favorites.

Click a link to hear a fill.

  1. Tom Sawyer. Who can forget this drum-solo-within a song? The first fill is trickier than it seems (if you watch the Archives studio video, Neil actually skips a tom on the way down). The second is the famous "quadruplet" with a triplet feel.

  2. YYZ. The first fill from the solo section is what I like to call "the fill to end all fills." Even if you understand how to play it (a four-stroke ruff for drummers), it's hard to get the right feel. The last fill shows Neil's creativity in landing on the "off" beat, and then he does one of his roundhouse fills.

  3. The Spirit of Radio. The fill that brings the song into second section seems even more amazing with Geddy Lee's bass line following along underneath.

  4. Limelight. The fill that ends this song is what I'd call a masterpiece. It combines all the best elements of Neil's fills to date.

  5. The Enemy Within. This fill is deceptive. It sounds like Neil is playing a lot more notes than he actually is. It's actually the same rhythm as the second fill on Time Stand Still.

  6. The Digital Man. The fill that begins the song is the same as the first YYZ fill, but it's in a swing rhythm.

  7. Between the Wheels. This fill is the last in the solo section and is a great example of precision and controlled chaos on the drums

  8. Freewill. There are so many great fills in Freewill, but this one is especially interesting. The fill takes Neil from the hi-hat to the ride cymbal.

  9. Vital Signs. Like Limelight, this fill at the end of the song seems to throw in just about everything except the kitchen sink. I especially like the sixteenth note roll between the snare and the bass drum.

  10. Leave That Thing Alone. Another masterpiece fill.

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