What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
So the audience can go to the bathroom, and maybe go get another beer.

But on a serious note, guys like Krupa, Papa Joe Jones and Rich made some entertaining solos, and Terry Bozzio can still make me go wow during a solo. But for the most part, unaccompanied solos tend to be boring.

Now, if the solo is with in the music, or over a vamp, then it's pretty cool, because it's part of the song (much like a guitar solo), and shows how chops can be played with in an audible musical form. Jojo Mayer, among others, do this very well.

But even some of my favorite drummers in the word, I'd just rather they don't solo and let the band play another song.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think most solos are a bone that gets thrown our way. Hey, let's give the drummer some! I think it's a concession the other guys make because they are highlighted all night, and they are showing how charitable they can be. They think we need to show off like they do to be happy. I couldn't care less about 99% of the solos I hear, mine included, I'd be happy to never do another one. That said, I still work on being able to play an engaging foot tapping solo, because they aren't going away, so one must make the best of it after all. Some people do like them.
 

cnw60

Senior Member
What's the purpose of a guitar, saxophone or violin solo?

If it is integral to and develops the overall idea of the song, i.e - it is conceived and played musically, then it can serve any number of purposes within the performance.

If not - it serves mainly as a reflection of the player's ego.
 

yesdog

Silver Member
BECAUSE ITS FREAKIN FUN!!!!!
Guitar players get to blow there wad all night long. Why can't the drummer get to showboat a little bit. On the musical side drum solos do serve there purpose Take jazz for instance there are alot of drum solos but are played in context of the song. There are tons of different applications and reasons for drum solos. Drum solos are not always somone playing all of there chops as fast as they can. Thats what I think
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Drum solos are the place into which drummers put all those tricks they couldn't include in the set proper.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
This question gets asked frequently around here in one form or another.
Some drummers like solos, Some don't!
Some bands want you to play solos, Some don't!
Some audience members like solos, Some don't!
The purpose of the solo is to add diversity and entertainment value to a performance. It is just a creative diversion.
In my experience, when playing club type gigs, the drum solo should only be done when and if the mood is right.
If you sense that a solo won't fly at that venue, On that night, DON'T PLAY ONE!
If you don't like to solo and you are uncomfortable about playing one, DON'T PLAY ONE!
The audience will sense if you are truly sincere or not!
 

thtst

Senior Member
I think it's a concession the other guys make because they are highlighted all night, and they are showing how charitable they can be.
Not directed at you, just a comment in general.

That depends on the band/genera of music. i, for one, could never just be a 4/4 drummer hitting the beats. Bores the daylights out of me, would rather poke a stick in my eye(!). As an example, my fave 'warm up' song is The Flower King's "Driver's Seat" and sounds to me like the drummer is a bit busy :)

Guess what i am saying is we each choose the type of music/band/style we play and, as such...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Not directed at you, just a comment in general.

That depends on the band/genera of music. i, for one, could never just be a 4/4 drummer hitting the beats. Bores the daylights out of me, would rather poke a stick in my eye(!). As an example, my fave 'warm up' song is The Flower King's "Driver's Seat" and sounds to me like the drummer is a bit busy :)

Guess what i am saying is we each choose the type of music/band/style we play and, as such...
Well, I love prog, and Dream Theater is one my favorite bands.

If Portnoy does an unaccompanied solo where everyone else leaves the stage, oh please, make him stop. I'd rather hear the band do another song. He gets a chance in every song to play chops, I don't need to here it outside a song.
 

thtst

Senior Member
Well, color me a sucker for a good challenge so please allow me enough rope to 'hang' myself by answering the below.

And what's the purpose of music at all?
Music is the expression of emotion via creation™ (my ™ btw)


What's the purpose of art?
Do things always need to have a purpose?


What's the meaning of life?
Well, i could be a smart axe and copy/paste Wiki "life is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter."

Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans -- John Lennon


PS:
The more you know, the less you understand -- Tao Te Ching

The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye -- Antoine de Saint-Exepery

I did have a test today... It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European, I don't plan on being European, so who gives a cr@p if they're socialist? They could be fascist anarchists -- that still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any ism for that matter. Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism -- he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: "I don't believe in Beatles -- I just believe in me". A good point there. Of course, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus -- I'd still have to bum rides off of people.
-- Ferris Bueller
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Not directed at you, just a comment in general.

That depends on the band/genera of music. i, for one, could never just be a 4/4 drummer hitting the beats. Bores the daylights out of me, would rather poke a stick in my eye(!). As an example, my fave 'warm up' song is The Flower King's "Driver's Seat" and sounds to me like the drummer is a bit busy :)

Guess what i am saying is we each choose the type of music/band/style we play and, as such...
I'm the complete opposite. I thrive on creating deep grooves and backbeats, and even my fills are rarely more than two beats long, or even just a huge snare/floor tom flam. I enjoy some busy drumming from time to time, but I have a much larger appreciation for the monster groove drummers; guys who have the skill to do almost anything they want, but choose to put it into practice by creating massive pockets and letting the music flow.

I'm the same when it comes to drum solos too. I can't stand solos that are just constant streams of polyrhythmic figures that just sound like the drummer is in his basement practicing. In fact, one of the solos I've watched the most is Chad Smith's on the 2005 Modern Drummer DVD, where he just lays down a backbeat groove for five minutes, with some minimal variations and fills. The man is a human metronome, and has complete control of what he does.
 

bilkay

Senior Member
Folks, do three things for me.

1) Listen to Max Roach play a drum solo
2) Listen to Joe Morello play a drum solo
3) Listen to Bill Bruford play a drum solo

You can probably start with YouTube.
 

thtst

Senior Member
I'm the complete opposite.
And that is great, as we each have our preferences in life. You actually hit on something i have been debating recently in that perhaps i should basically groove more with small variations versus 'free-form' (which probably winds up being/sounding confusing to many people). This is one (of a few) reason i 'fear' my upcoming album release....


Bilkay, nice suggestions!
 
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