Soloing question


Senior Member
Hey Drummerworld,

So I have a free-form solo I'm doing tomorrow for a gig. I have an overall idea of what I want to do which is as follows here:
-intro press roll starting soft and getting loud, and going back forth for a while building it with accents on snare and tom with samba kick and hi-hat pattern (boom-chick-boom boom-chick) underneath.
-flows into rock grooves with fills and builds up into...
-a soft jazz/latin time which starts getting busier and busier with toms and fills (RLL, RRL, quarter note triplets, etc.) until it gets really loud and chaotic
-and lastly big finale

Now I have a few questions. First what are some ways to spice up the intro accent-wise? I have been switching between on the beat feels and syncopated feels but besides that I don't know what to do.

And secondly, what are good ways to end each section besides the cliche loud crashes and so forth.?

And lastly, any other suggestions?

Thanks for your time and help,



Platinum Member
I suggest that you break down the artificial barrier distinguishing a 'solo' from a 'song'.

your role is to carry a 'tune'...maybe even a 'hook' through what you play.

Why do I want to listen to what you do?

When I am able will I have an emotional response?...will I care?

Treat what you play in this situation as no less than what it carrying the whole show for a period of time.

As far as specifics...If i were to give you composition ideas then your performance is me...not you..and implicit to being a listener is the fact that I trust you...and your role is to perform.

Isn't this the defining features of what seperates a project from worth paying attention to...or ignoring?

I further suggest using this experience to spur you to write far before the presenting performance need...with the same concientious soul rending passion of any dedicated song writer.

No web site will give you take it.

I would say good luck...but I dont think you need luck ; )
Last edited:


Pioneer Member
any other suggestions?
Check out some serious soloists like Thomas Lang. He seems to approach soloing conceptually like you're describing: have a bunch of themes/sections you want to move through. Check out how he moves from one section to another.

Keith Carlock is a guy who pretty much sticks to groove-oriented soloing, but he still does radical changes. Many times I've heard him play/solo on a particular feel and tempo and then, usually at the end of an 8-bar phrase, he'll shift into a completely different tempo and vibe. And it totally works.

Listen/watch a lot, and I'm sure you'll find some examples that will work for you.

Drummerworld's solos page:


Gold Member
I think I am about the most passionate drum-fan that I know, or that any of my friends know but drum solos bore me stupid.
So I can't imagine the impact (or lack thereof) they have on other people.
Instead of a solo, why don't you and your bassman do a really funky duet. That'd be far more entertaining IMHO.
Good luck nevertheless.


Silver Member
-intro press roll starting soft and getting loud, and going back forth for a while building...
Sure, it is good a way to start a solo. But every time a drummer does it, all I think is "Oh, it's another solo starting with a press roll.... next".


Senior Member
Check out some serious soloists ...
Go onto YouTube and view some clinic solos and sponsorship demos. Guys like Carter Beauford, and many others, have demonstration solos online and you can glean a lot from watching several different players do "their thing" and see what works for you.