What do you do when...

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
the leader of your jazz band tells you 5 minutes before a parade that he expects you to solo in between songs while in the parade? And the parade lasts a good 45 minutes, so for at least a few minutes between songs I'll have to solo.

Yikes!!!! My first thought when I heard this was "I WISH YOU WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THIS BEFORE HAND SO THAT I COULD HAVE PRACTICED FOR IT!!!!"

This happened to me. The jazz band I sometimes play with at another church was playing an extended version of "When the Saints go Marching In" at a parade. I barely had enough room for my 4 piece jazz kit and hats. The ride cymbal was mounted on the bass drum, which was about 2 inches from the piano player's left arm/shoulder.

So in between songs, I had to come up with about a three minute to four minute solo - Jazz solo to fit the song.

My question is this: should the leader have told me before hand - like a week or so before the parade - that he wanted me to do solos? Particularly since they don't rehearse on a regular basis - only when they have a gig and only once to run through the songs maybe once or twice.

It seems a bit unfair to lay all this on me right before we are to play. But that's just my humble opinion.

Is this considered "normal" and should I expect this, or is this sort of unusual and the leader should have said something?

Thanks!!
 

Spectron

Silver Member
maybe he just thinks you're so good it would be easy for you?

I would try to see it as a compliment and have fun with it.

my version of having fun with it would be to break out a double kick style solo for one of the breaks LOL go all metal on them just for kicks haha..

then when the band leader has that "what are you doing?!" look on his face
just shrug your shoulders and wink:)
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
That is one way to look at it I guess, but man...there are other ways to compliment someone Haha! After he told me that, I wanted to run back to my car and take a few nips of firewater to calm my nerves. And have some alone time to work up something decent. Oh well...I can chalk this up to experience.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I wouldn't say a word, just do it. Good skill honing opportunity. You want him to have complete confidence in you, even if your insides are jelly. I really dislike soloing too, I really prefer to play to others, but sometimes you just have to charge ahead and try your best.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Yeah, you should have had a heads-up, but at the same time there's a reason why they asked you to do it. Things happen, and sometimes we are put in a pinch as musicians, such as this. All you can do is do the best you can, and if you don't feel comfortable you simply decline.
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
You roll with it (pun intended) and have fun. You're in a Jazz band, so you should always be prepared to solo.
 

maddrummr

Platinum Member
Since you are in a parade....think about just playing a cadence in between the songs. Something rhythmically simple and effective. It doesn't have to be a wailing solo but just something to fill the extra space.
 

Rick H.

Senior Member
Maybe he thought if you were just improvising it would sound a lot cooler and more unique
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Whenever I've done parades, I have always assumed that I would be playing the entire time, whether a cadence or something like what you described. It kind of goes with the tradition of marching bands in parades, though there are certainly plenty of acts that don't do that nowadays. Just play, man. And realize that your solos don't have to be that impressive...audiences still flip out for Wipe Out.
 
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