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Old 11-07-2018, 05:36 PM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines
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Default Re: Jazz drummers: How do you work on soloing?

When learning musical styles and forms which have a long history, I agree with most here who recommend first listening to and emulating established practices, then developing a personal vocabulary. But one statement from the original post bothers me. So pardon the nitpicking.

Originally Posted by n1ck View Post
But how are you supposed to develop your soloing when you're alone in the practice room with none of the actual things that make up a real musical situation?
A jazz drum solo IS a real musical situation. Playing alone does not make it any less musical. I ran the gamut from trading fours to being left alone on stage for ten minutes when I was still playing jazz. Jo Jones' solos were one of the high points of Basie Band shows. Antonio Sanchez composed scored practically a whole movie with a drum set. It's all real music.

How do you practice for solos? You do what all other jazz musicians do, you practice improvising. Improvising is essentially composing on the spot. Develop motifs then combine them. Play around with varying rhythmic densities. Determine which sounds are better alone and which are better combined with others. Learn which things you do creates tension or relaxation. Record yourself then listen for which things work and which don't. Then in subsequent practices try to develop structures which combine the stuff that works. So by the time you get to the gig and the band leaves you alone on stage for that solo spot, you'll have not only a vocabulary of motifs, rhythms, timbres, and techniques, but the ability to compose a solo on the spot.
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