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  #1  
Old 01-02-2014, 03:15 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default The Drum Solo

I've never been one to play a solo at a gig, but the last gig I was playing a drum break in a classic rock song called Funk #49 and I went a few bars longer than normal playing the toms and doing some funky stuff with the beat before I came in with the signature snare roll that brings the band back into the song. Well, at the end of the night a couple people complimented me on my "drum solo". I never intended that to be a solo, but I guess it is now.

Now I feel the pressure to outdo myself on that piece, or at least make it just as interesting as the last time I played it and make it my solo time. It's just a few bars, but it's enough to shine a little. Do all of you play a solo during your gigs? I know a few of you jazz guys do, but what about you rock drummers?
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Back in my gigging days I can only recall playing a drum solo once. That is the type of solo when the band stops and goes to get a beer or something. I never liked the idea that a drummers solo wasn't supported by the rest of the band. So there were times when I would take a solo in the song, just like any other instrument would.
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I think it sounds great...Everyone in the band should have a proper introduction and an opportunity to be creative in a gig setting.

The bands I've been in as a guitarist, we have always made proper introductions for the drummer and given them a space in at least 1 song to stretch out...usually more than 1 song., and happily so.

You should develop a little framework for your new found solo spot and develop it
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I play solos every chance I get. Not those long ones where the other band members leave the stage.

Although I'd love to do a long solo, they usually only last the length of one chorus or one verse.

Guitar, bass players and keyboard players play solos on every song. I ask them to let me take solos all the time.
Usually they forget to give the drummer solos. The audience always likes short drum solos, so I don't understand why other musicians don't "allow" drummers to take solos.

Sometimes being a drummer sucks.


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  #5  
Old 01-02-2014, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I solo in most bands I play in. The only time I don't is during singer songwriter type gigs.

I'm learning to love solos again. I went through a faze of not liking doing them. I think I had watched to many Benny Greb solos and thought I should quit now.

I've recently been working on trying to treat my solos as a song in themselves. Rather than a load of cool licks which I use to improvise around. I've got a few different sections and themes and I'm working on making them link in a way that flows.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2014, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I like drum solos in Jazz music but not much in rock. Unless it is just a 2 bar drum fill or something. Or a kick, hat, snare groove solo. I'm not sure why I am not a fan of them. However in jazz I really like when a drummer plays a chorus and you can still hear the song in what they are playing.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2014, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

If I liked my solos I wouldn't mind doing them. I get them once every few gigs. I'd rather trade 4's or 8's so I have some support. I really don't like drums by themselves, I prefer solos as part of the song where they hit the chord changes at least.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2014, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Depends on the gig. It's interesting how some people, even drummers, hate drum solos. I always did them, extended ones, generally, and audiences seemed to enjoy, and still do, all ages.

With the advent of video and dvds and youtube and the world's finest at your fingertips it seems it would be pretty tough for us mudskippers to do a solo and voice a statement in audience minds.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I don't like drum solos. Have sat through many at gigs and hated every one. I am a drummer and can understand the skill involved in all the chops, but skill and chops don't entertain me.

I can stretch out in lots of the songs we do without a solo, and feel completely chop fulfilled.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
I don't like drum solos. Have sat through many at gigs and hated every one. I am a drummer and can understand the skill involved in all the chops, but skill and chops don't entertain me.

I can stretch out in lots of the songs we do without a solo, and feel completely chop fulfilled.
I'm with you. I don't like showcasing myself alone, at all. Don't like the whole "center of attention" thing. I get all my rocks off during the songs, I really have no need/desire to "show off" alone. A lot of drummers do it seems, which is great for them, but it's just not in my personality. Sometimes I wish I had more of the "hot dog" gene. I don't like hearing drums all by themselves for more than 5 seconds. The LDS was really hard to take. (Only 15 minutes out of every hour were you allowed to really play. It was a form of torture to my ears)
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'd rather trade 4's or 8's so I have some support.
I may not be a fan of doing drum solos but I sure love trading 4's. Especially in a Jam setting.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Yeah, that works great, too. Weckl has always done things with band background in his group. Always works.

Solos have been around for so long. It seemed the 80s might kill them, but they continue on.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2014, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I can't say I've ever done a drum solo.

And when going to see a band, I'd pretty much rather hear another song than a drum solo.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2014, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I think it's nice to let the engine rev a little in a song breakdown or something...I personally would not do it, but in cover bands we have always given the drummer an intro in a song or whatever...

That said, even I can't watch a full "The Professor" drum solo...and that's my boy right there. I do like the jazz bit he ends with, but the rest is a bit indulgent.

With moon, the whole concert is a solo...
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I think I'm gonna like this drum solo business.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

A drum solo section was written into a song I played with my last band, it was maybe 8 bars and had accents with guitar and bass and I had to fill the gaps.. it was sort of like that solo part in Rope by Foo Fighters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...qZT_56Ns#t=166

I liked it.

I think I definitely prefer that type of solo to an open one.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Not a big fan of them, but if we're playing a song and the band decides they want to stop for a bit, I'm not going to just sit there like an idiot (soloing like an idiot is on the table). Actually, I like to use it as an exercise in restraining myself while still adding a bit more interest since only drums are being heard in the room. My goal is never to drop chins... I want everyone's head to keep bobbing to the same groove as the song. Huge hero 32nds round the kit can take people's head out of the flow.

If for some dumb reason there's dead stage time or something, I'll only mess around on the kit alone if literally nothing else on stage is working, otherwise, all the working instruments better be right there with me.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2014, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I am on the same camp with the ones who don't like drum solos - playing or hearing/watching. After listening to Moby Dick and The Mule for about the 18 millionth time, I got really sick of solos. However, I am asked to do some soloing during two songs (original instrumentals). The one I don't mind is trading fours with everybody doing stabs on the first beats. I actually enjoy it. But the other one is trading 16 bars and each player gets two turns of 16 bars during the song. It really exposes my lack of training and chops. I resort to mixing it up with percussion tidbits like cowbell, blocks, tambourine and sometimes bongos that I set up like roto toms.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by Taye-Dyed View Post
I am on the same camp with the ones who don't like drum solos - playing or hearing/watching. After listening to Moby Dick and The Mule for about the 18 millionth time, I got really sick of solos. However, I am asked to do some soloing during two songs (original instrumentals). The one I don't mind is trading fours with everybody doing stabs on the first beats. I actually enjoy it. But the other one is trading 16 bars and each player gets two turns of 16 bars during the song. It really exposes my lack of training and chops. I resort to mixing it up with percussion tidbits like cowbell, blocks, tambourine and sometimes bongos that I set up like roto toms.
It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one in this camp... I never really understood the idea that a drum solo HAS to be all by itself while the other guys walk off stage or stand around watching... Maybe like Larry said, you need the "hot dog" gene, but that's just not me...

The sheer fear that I have of the word "solo" combined with my own insecurities with my drumming ability tend to have me run screaming towards the nearest exit (cape flapping behind me?)...

I'd love to be able to pull off some form of soloing in the middle of a song, trading 4's or something similar, but I just don't have the confidence for it... Everytime I even try practicing something on my own, I start fumbling around and just get discouraged and quit... I tend to just focus on my strengths, even tho I know I should be pushing myself into uncomfortable waters...

What do you guys do to make yourselves more comfortable? I feel like a total newbie when I even attempt it...
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by keepitgreen View Post
It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one in this camp... I never really understood the idea that a drum solo HAS to be all by itself while the other guys walk off stage or stand around watching... Maybe like Larry said, you need the "hot dog" gene, but that's just not me...

The sheer fear that I have of the word "solo" combined with my own insecurities with my drumming ability tend to have me run screaming towards the nearest exit (cape flapping behind me?)...

I'd love to be able to pull off some form of soloing in the middle of a song, trading 4's or something similar, but I just don't have the confidence for it... Everytime I even try practicing something on my own, I start fumbling around and just get discouraged and quit... I tend to just focus on my strengths, even tho I know I should be pushing myself into uncomfortable waters...

What do you guys do to make yourselves more comfortable? I feel like a total newbie when I even attempt it...
I can totally relate to how you feel. Others with more training and experience will hopefully chime in, but what I do is start out with keeping the groove of the song going for the first couple of bars and then adding variations to it. I don't have fancy chops to show off, so my solo bits are groove based, musical rather than technical.
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  #21  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I'm not the most technical drummer and every time I hear a solo getting played it is always down to the technique. I like to riff on the drums a little bit when I'm playing to music because that's where I get the inspriation from, but for a while I was jamming with some musicians who would have a solo for each guitarist (a bass guitarist, a rhythm and a lead) as well as a long silent section for the vocals and they just wanted me to play very select and scrutinized drum beat that only lasted for a few seconds up until the "guitar solo" or "silent vocal part". This happened on each song. I couldn't even jam with them because they wouldn't even allow the drums to do that. They said that they were looking for "sensitivity" (I know how to be silent on a drum kit and follow when to come in on certain bits), but they just got annoying with it after a while and it got boring.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by Taye-Dyed View Post
I can totally relate to how you feel. Others with more training and experience will hopefully chime in, but what I do is start out with keeping the groove of the song going for the first couple of bars and then adding variations to it. I don't have fancy chops to show off, so my solo bits are groove based, musical rather than technical.
After watching lots of online drummer videos, I have found that I'm sitting there waiting for the cool groove. It might be a good thread to start here...."what groove do you like for a solo"

I start to glaze over when a solo turns into a chops fest....because it's so obvious what the intent is and it's really self indulgent, and, by the way, it's been done so many times...bring something different.

One thing that occurs to me, if you find yourself in a soloist sort of position, is to maybe start with a fat half time feel and move the buildings foundation and then go to std time, spice up a transition with double time and then hit that signature groove you have created for yourself...something that makes people move with you....and then maybe some ornamentation and then close it up.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I have two solos with my current band. Both are integrated into the arrangement with accompaniment like the other players. I don't do cadenza type solos because you need chops.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

One time we were having problems with an amp or guitar pedal or something, so I just started fooling around and people got really into it. I was just doing kinda funny stop-start stuff and little fills. I don't think drum solos should be taken too seriously by the drummer. Just make it fun for the audience.
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  #25  
Old 01-03-2014, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by keepitgreen View Post
What do you guys do to make yourselves more comfortable? I feel like a total newbie when I even attempt it...

It's probably easiest to start with something simple like trading fours. I realize that may not sound simple, but it's easier than trying to fill up a whole chorus with noodling.

Or just try a 1 measure fill at first...I'm not sure of your current level.

You have to do this to a metronome so you know you're in time as it's easy to speed up or slow down over 4 measures. Choose a nice moderate tempo, one that feels easy and relaxed to play.

Pick something simple like 8th notes or triplets. Play 4 bars of swing (I'm obviously thinking in a jazz context here), then play 4 bars of whatever you have chosen for the solo. It's okay if it's stupidly simple at this point, as long as you're in time. Play them on the snare then move around the kit as you feel more comfortable.

Syncopation has some nice ready made 4 bar fills if you use the triplet accent studies. As a starting point, play the accents as written, then move the accents to the toms. There are many intepretations of that book. Once you get more advanced you can turn pretty much anything in that book into a 4 bar solo or groove.
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2014, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

[quote=Midnite Zephyr;1214651] Now I feel the pressure to outdo myself on that piece, or at least make it just as interesting as the last time I played it and make it my solo time. It's just a few bars, but it's enough to shine a little. QUOTE]

we play Bad Reputation by Thin Lizzy and there are 4 bars of "solos" in that song and I feel the same pressure. our lead guy always calls out my name before the song to crowd which makes it worse for me. I just adlib it each time and I never feel like I do well on it.
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2014, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

I do like the un accompanied fills in "Black Night" by Mr Paice from Purple, but that is not really a solo, as such, but that's as far as I would go.
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  #28  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Have not gigged, yet since switching back to drums. At practice, though, when the lead breaks turn into 5 minute guitar masturbation sessions, the drum fills get more energetic and closer together. They get mad if I bring in a closing drum line before they are "ready", but they don't seem to mind lots of fills, so I'm working that up to be fitting and on beat, but a bit over the top. I respect the requisite lead solos that are part of the song, but if they are going to go off, then so am I.

To be honest, I do fear the solo drum solo. One of the reasons I switched from lead guitar was I didn't like being out front. I prefer to just be back there, doing my thing.
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  #29  
Old 01-03-2014, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Soloing depends on the genre, really. Chops solos - jazz, fusion, prog. Tempo/beat solos - almost any genre. Then you have the Innagaddadavida solos; the the tribal kind of thing.

You can solo to an internal vibe you pick yourself, like a bass line.

You can solo to a mind picture: anything from a weather event to an animal of some kind. You just attempt to create the picture with the drums.

You can solo to a riff you create yourself and play in and around it.

You can solo to an entire piece of music, without the music, like the William Tell Overture or something. I did that in a church one time. The service was over and everyone went to lunch. I came back, sat at the drums, and some people began sitting down and someone said, Play the William Tell Overture." Not sure if they were trying to stump me but I played it as best as I could remember it and place it around the kit. Came out better than I expected, I guess. A mini-standing "o". LOL

You can solo to anything your mind comes up with really. If we leave behind the idea of rudiments and speed and stick tricks and all, the drums can tell all kinds of stories, and be entertaining to an audience, even an audience of drummers.

I mean, the guys who sit there with their arms crossed and the look on their face - Go ahead. Impress me - I don't even think about them. Bad attitudes ruin good music.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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I don't do cadenza type solos because you need chops.
Not everything's about cars and meat, I'm sure you can solo Grea :)
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  #31  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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You must be a graphic artist by profession right?
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  #32  
Old 01-03-2014, 06:35 PM
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You must be a graphic artist by profession right?
Nope... just a home hobbyist ... it's just for fun and pleasure...
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:48 PM
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I play solos every chance I get. Not those long ones where the other band members leave the stage.

Although I'd love to do a long solo, they usually only last the length of one chorus or one verse.

Guitar, bass players and keyboard players play solos on every song. I ask them to let me take solos all the time.
Usually they forget to give the drummer solos. The audience always likes short drum solos, so I don't understand why other musicians don't "allow" drummers to take solos.

Sometimes being a drummer sucks.


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  #34  
Old 01-03-2014, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm with you. I don't like showcasing myself alone, at all. Don't like the whole "center of attention" thing. I get all my rocks off during the songs, I really have no need/desire to "show off" alone. A lot of drummers do it seems, which is great for them, but it's just not in my personality. Sometimes I wish I had more of the "hot dog" gene. I don't like hearing drums all by themselves for more than 5 seconds. The LDS was really hard to take. (Only 15 minutes out of every hour were you allowed to really play. It was a form of torture to my ears)
Yep, I'm one of you guys that likes the support role. I love just playing with the band. I told my group, upfront, that I'm all about making THEM look and sound good.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Are there any drummers who DO like solos?

Lol. It's pretty ironic that most drummers it seems would rather take a pass at the lone solo. All alone. The kind where your bandmates just ABANDON you to twist in the wind. Sink or swim, fool, no skin off their backs lol. THANKS a lot guys....
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

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Are there any drummers who DO like solos?

Lol. It's pretty ironic that most drummers it seems would rather take a pass at the lone solo. All alone. The kind where your bandmates just ABANDON you to twist in the wind. Sink or swim, fool, no skin off their backs lol. THANKS a lot guys....
Travis Barker and Tommy Lee?
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  #37  
Old 01-04-2014, 04:57 AM
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Are there any drummers who DO like solos?
One of my old drum teachers. He thought he was Buddy Rich...only more arrogant.
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  #38  
Old 01-04-2014, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

In this country the Big Solo is a signal for everyone to head for the bar or outside for a smoke.
Solos are just not well liked. Unless you happen to be Ginger Baker of course...
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  #39  
Old 01-05-2014, 12:13 AM
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BobC BobC is offline
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I've never been one to play a solo at a gig, but the last gig I was playing a drum break in a classic rock song called Funk #49 and I went a few bars longer than normal playing the toms and doing some funky stuff with the beat before I came in with the signature snare roll that brings the band back into the song. Well, at the end of the night a couple people complimented me on my "drum solo". I never intended that to be a solo, but I guess it is now.

Now I feel the pressure to outdo myself on that piece, or at least make it just as interesting as the last time I played it and make it my solo time. It's just a few bars, but it's enough to shine a little. Do all of you play a solo during your gigs? I know a few of you jazz guys do, but what about you rock drummers?
Just do what you do in that one song the way you want and keep it short. I very rarely solo, because I don't particularly like rock drum solos, and I don't think I'm that good at soloing. I get a lot more satisfaction in laying down a solid groove for the band, playing for the song, and putting fills where they belong. That's my strength.

However, last night, we had a sparse turnout at one of our regular gigs due to the extreme cold, so we took more chances and played some obscurities. We broke into "Do What You Like" by Blind Faith. When the time for the drum solo came up, I really didn't know what to do, so instead of just messing around with and embellishing the basic groove, I started flailing away. It wasn't very good, and I cut it short and went back into the basic beat, which further reinforced my desire not to play solos.
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  #40  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:10 AM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: The Drum Solo

To all of you who don't like those long drum solos where your band mates leave the stage, I agree with you.
However if it is at a large venue concert and a famous band is playing where the audience might expect the BIG drum solo, then it is appropriate.

To those of you who don't like short drum solos or you are afraid to do one, I completely disagree with you !
Drums solos where the other players stop or drum solos while the other band members are holding the vamp should be encouraged and promoted.
We need to play our drums like other musical instruments are played.
If you want to sound like a drum machine fine. Just don't be surprised when you are replaced by one.

Imagine if I played the guitar or piano; and I said, "I don't like playing solos". How dumb would that be?


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