Church Talent Show Drum Solo

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
So, I've entered into my church's talent show with a drum solo as my act. What better way to spread the word of awesomeness?

Do something awesome, I say.

Anyway, I'm going in with only a fairly good idea of what I'm going to do, and I'm having trouble pulling everything together well enough. I currently have about two weeks, so I'm sure I can work things out by then, but...

I'd still like to have some certified help on this.

Anyone have advice on how to make a drum solo for a crowd that's not too into heavy music but can appreciate good drumming?
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Don't make the often made mistake of just playing a bunch of tricky stuff as fast as you can.
I would find the beat that you want to work with and then just build off of that. If you don't want it to be too heavy, keep it light using great dynamics. But, most importantly, keep the core beat constant throughout.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
if you want to keep it light i'd focus on being rhythmically interesting rather than crazy fast or thunderously loud. i'd avoid any kind of jungle toms thing, or fast bass drum blasts. try to pick a rhythmic theme and expand on it. you could try playing on the closed hats, cymbal bells, rims, shells, stands, other percussion thingys like tamborines, and other unusual things. check out solos by benny greb for inspiration along these lines. he's a master of that type of solo.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
+1 on Dairyairmans contribution. Spotlight on the "rhythmically interesting" angle. Do anti impressive stuff. You don't HAVE to play loud. The beauty part is that it's still impressive, but in a more musical and mature way rather than strictly in a physical mind boggling way.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
yeah! people go nuts when you stand up and start banging on stands, rims, cats, other stuff lying around. that's a good way to put together a fun solo that isn't loud or technically difficult.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You have cats lying around onstage?
What kind of sounds do they make? Is there any breed that's better sonically?
 

arthurk1

Senior Member
Don't make the often made mistake of just playing a bunch of tricky stuff as fast as you can.
I would find the beat that you want to work with and then just build off of that. If you don't want it to be too heavy, keep it light using great dynamics. But, most importantly, keep the core beat constant throughout.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Almost always I would agree with you on that but it seems like the church/gospel drummers I have seen that become big say that all they did was play every chop they knew and fills on every bar. Seems crazy but maybe half and half?
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Yeah, I really wasn't keeping gospel in mind when I replied. I was just thinking "drum solo for talent show" that happened to be at a church. I would have to agree with you on the gospel drummer thing. Those guys go nuts!
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
To be quite honest(and not to focus on religion) I'm kind of a liberal in a conservative world- I go to a more traditional and, I suppose, "orthodox" church that has a lot of middle-aged and up members. The praise band is kind of still a fledgling, after a lot of changing line-ups and things that overall ruined the stability of it. I was the drummer, and during the services we played, the style I played in was very well received, so that at least showed that people did appreciate the change of pace. But I'm not going to be doing blast beats and non-stop double-bass, that'd be tasteless.

I've read through your comments and decided to make it a mix- use musicality and then, to screw around, do some faster fills. I oddly hadn't taken into account the constant rhythm aspect, and now that I think about it, that's very important.

My mother, who is the director of the whole thing, suggested I mix in some simpler, basic things to start and throw in some "flashy stuff" for frills.
 

Sopranos

Senior Member
Half time shuffles and more cowbell (simple agogo beats using a cowbell... the church scene loves that)!
 

drumr0

Silver Member
Being a church drummer for the last 15 or so years, I agree with fixxxer. Give them a good core rhythm to get the crowd clapping and keep that core rhythm going. A good simple "4 on the floor" and build around that.
 

analog-dave

Junior Member
When I solo, I start out with a theme or motif -- a fat groove or something -- that's only a few measures long, not more than 4. I repeat it a few times, and embellish it a little -- something you'd have to really be paying attention to notice. As I go on, I embellish more and more, keeping it simple at first, and eventually change to a whole different feel for maybe a measure, then return to the groove. As it goes on, I go longer and crazier without going back to the groove, and it eventually gets a little nuts. Right when I think it's about to go too far, I cut it off, and return to the theme, except make it slightly different. I end it with some big hits or crazy fills.

This isn't a formula I follow spot on every time, but I keep to the structure very generally, and I find it really impresses. The key, though, is to make sure there's a base rhythm or groove, something to fall back on.
 
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