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  #1  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:29 PM
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Default What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

In your opinion, what do you see as the reasoning behind a drum solo?
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

1) Show off
2) Give the rest of the band a break
3) Show off
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by livelovedrum1 View Post
In your opinion, what do you see as the reasoning behind a drum solo?
Give the band a break between/within songs. Hopefully there is also a song (non-drum) that allows you to take a break too.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

There isn't any.

A drum and bass duo now that's something worth listening to.

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  #9  
Old 10-08-2009, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Drum solos are the place into which drummers put all those tricks they couldn't include in the set proper.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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!
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2009, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
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...
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thtst View Post
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.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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Originally Posted by cnw60 View Post
What's the purpose of a guitar, saxophone or violin solo?
And what's the purpose of music at all? What's the purpose of art? What's the meaning of life?
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2009, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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And what's the purpose of music at all? What's the purpose of art? What's the meaning of life?
Heavy Man! Heavy! Truly Heavy!
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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And what's the purpose of music at all? What's the purpose of art? What's the meaning of life?
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2009, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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And what's the purpose of music at all? What's the purpose of art? What's the meaning of life?
42.

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  #17  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos View Post
And what's the purpose of music at all?
Music is the expression of emotion via creation™ (my ™ btw)


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


Quote:
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


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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.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thtst View Post
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.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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.
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
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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  #21  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
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.
Ooooh, you may just be my kind of drummer. I occasionally do fills longer than 2 beats though. How exhibitionist of me!
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2009, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I like a drum solo that is played in a song like eight bar phrases off of a shuffle groove.
Or somthing tasty short and sweet! No moby dick for this lad. As far as my other post on this thread its mainly sarcasim.
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2009, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

To show my complete mastery of my instrument, and to make all other drummers feel small and insignifigant in my presence!!


I've never actually taken a solo, but do enjoy listening to an occasional solo as long
as it's not too long. 30 seconds or so.
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  #24  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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Originally Posted by yesdog View Post
I like a drum solo that is played in a song like eight bar phrases off of a shuffle groove.
Or somthing tasty short and sweet! No moby dick for this lad. As far as my other post on this thread its mainly sarcasim.
Ha! You had me fooled. I thought that earlier post seemed out of character for you. Doh!

I quite like the studio Moby Dick solo but that's probably nostaligia, although I liked the sound of his kit with snares turned off. Lots of nice, round sounds and not much clatter.

I've played two solos. In the 80s I had a simple 16-bar break that was tightly integrated in the song.

My first solo was when I'd been playing for 18 months and a friend wanted to record some of his original songs. He couldn't find anyone to play drums so he asked me (ie. scraped the bottom of the barrel). He gave me a solo spot and it's hilariously bad. When I dumped my tapes to MP3 I went berserk adding effects to it so it was a litle less grotesque :)

Did anyone else play a terrible, overblown solo in their early days?

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Old 10-09-2009, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

About six months ago I was playing at a private German ethnic club. It was a nasty rainy night! There weren't a lot of people there that eve. There was a wonderful friendly married couple there that I conversed with me on a break after the first set. They said that they liked the Blues band and they liked my drumming. I got them both a shot of whatever on my free bar tab and we began our second set. Toward the end of the set it was time for my solo. I began to play, I was so inspired upon noticing that they appreciated my performance that all of the stops came out. I couldn't believe what I was playing! Because of the vibe that I got from that wonderful couple, I could play anything that came into my head! It was an experience that I had never had before or since!
We ended the set and they came up to me and shook my hand and we hugged! It was a mystical, magical night because of these two people!
I hope that this happens to all of you at least once in your lifetime!
It is the audience that makes or breaks a performance!!!
They, and They only can bring out the best in all of us!
I feel that I have lived my whole life for an experience like that!
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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About six months ago I was playing at a private German ethnic club. It was a nasty rainy night! There weren't a lot of people there that eve. There was a wonderful friendly married couple there that I conversed with me on a break after the first set. They said that they liked the Blues band and they liked my drumming. I got them both a shot of whatever on my free bar tab and we began our second set. Toward the end of the set it was time for my solo. I began to play, I was so inspired upon noticing that they appreciated my performance that all of the stops came out. I couldn't believe what I was playing! Because of the vibe that I got from that wonderful couple, I could play anything that came into my head! It was an experience that I had never had before or since!
We ended the set and they came up to me and shook my hand and we hugged! It was a mystical, magical night because of these two people!
I hope that this happens to all of you at least once in your lifetime!
It is the audience that makes or breaks a performance!!!
They, and They only can bring out the best in all of us!
I feel that I have lived my whole life for an experience like that!
Great story.....and soooooo true Bob. If THEY ain't diggin' it, we all may as well stay at home.
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

The purpose of drum solos is to make me feel really insecure. Anyway that's all I've been able to come up with after all these years.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I think there are two types of solos:

1) The kind of solo that shows a player's technical chops ( the kind that Carl Palmer would play that made my jaw drop ).

2) The kind of solo that shows a player's musical ability with phrasing and dynamics. I can't imagine the Pink Floyd song 'Time' without the roto-tom solo !
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

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The purpose of drum solos is to make me feel really insecure. Anyway that's all I've been able to come up with after all these years.
You're humor is always appreciated. This is great.
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  #30  
Old 10-09-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

It's not done often, but there are songs that are nothing but drums. Sandy Nelson did it. Cozy Cole and Topsy Turvy parts 1 and 2 and my favorite, Bonzo's Montreaux.
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  #31  
Old 10-09-2009, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
I think there are two types of solos:

1) The kind of solo that shows a player's technical chops ( the kind that Carl Palmer would play that made my jaw drop ).

2) The kind of solo that shows a player's musical ability with phrasing and dynamics. I can't imagine the Pink Floyd song 'Time' without the roto-tom solo !
Just want to add one more.

3) A solo where a drummer has great technique and uses it to make wonderful music. Two examples of different styles of doing this: Benny Greb, Steve Smith

I know, Jeremy, that your 2 really do imply this as well, so not meaning to step on your toes; just personally wanted to highlight it a little more..!
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I've got to say I really enjoy a 'good' musical drum solo.

I personally love the sound of the unaccompanied drum kit.

I find it exciting (in the right hands)! I suppose that was the initial reason I became a drummer as a kid.

Cozy Powell when I was a child; Peart and Bonham in my teens; and Weckl, Smith Benny Greb in the 2000s have all knocked me out with their solo drumming.

Of course, though, the drums are first and foremost an accompanying instrument...
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I have never liked drum solos, but my girlfriend checked Neil Peart's "Anatomy of a Drum Solo" DVD out from the library for me on a whim. I don't like drum solos, and although I like Rush, I was especially never into Peart's drum solos. But his justification of drum solos as a tool for developing himself, and the way he broke down the solo in that DVD, completely changed my point of view. I probably still would never play one, at least not anything resembling what he does (although it's better than his imitators...), but I have to recommend that anyone the least bit curious watch that DVD at least once. Peart comes across as very genuine, and having strong reasons for playing drum solos.

As for the other kind of drum solos that people have been mentioning, can I recommend Ari Hoenig's Time Travels? Nothing but a four-piece kit, no overdubs, totally amazing. Songs, not solos.

Besides, wasn't Take Five originally supposed to be a just a setup for a Joe Morello drum solo or something?
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  #34  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I really think drums are a very difficult solo instrument, to do really well that is. There is nowhere to hide, no other musicians to accompany you, and your timing, technique, musical ideas and your goofy faces are in the white hot spotlight, and there's no net.

Generally speaking, you really can't play a melody per se, forget harmony, counterpoint, and lots of other musical concepts, so what's left? Rhythm right? To me, the only solo I have a use for is one which people can dance to, quite a tall order in my book, but definitely doable.

You're left to make do with far less than half of what all the other instruments have, and a guy bashing aimlessly is just kinda sad I think. It's got to be musical and rhythmic, with a pulse that never falters, and you have to make it up right there on the spot. I'd rather speak in public ha ha.

I've sort of found a way through it, after struggling with feeling stifled just sticking to the song structure, what I do now is, after sorta playing the song structure I'm jumping off from for just a few measures, I go to a simple ostinato of 8th notes on my hi hat, (played with my foot) just hi hat for a measure or 2 and then I come in with my other 3 limbs.

That way there's a steady 8th note pulse to tap your foot to, and I can cut loose with my phrasing with my other 3 limbs instead of being tied to the song structure. End it with a flam on the 1 and it's in and out nobody gets hurt.
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  #35  
Old 10-10-2009, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Narcissism: an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.

I think that sums up solos in general. But there's nothing wrong with having an ego.. as long as it's tasteful and doesn't distress others

Last edited by Stoney; 10-10-2009 at 01:17 AM.
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  #36  
Old 10-10-2009, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I think a certain amount of ego is necessary in order to entertain easily. As with everything though, balance is the rule. You don't want too much ego, and alienate the crowd, but on the other end of the spectrum shyness doesn't go over real well either.

It's really more of a confidence, not an ego thing to shoot for. You do have to own the stage, but be aware that you're not the only one there. I'm referring more to front men.

But when it's drum solo time, we really have to pull our weight, like it or not, so I just keep the attitude like, they're depending on me to carry this portion of the set, I want to make sure it's done with the desired results (People engaged in the solo, and entertained in a good way by it, hopefully cheering when it's over...)
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:42 PM
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mrmike mrmike is offline
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I just think of it as artistic expression the same as a guitar or piano solo. Some people don't like guitar solos (my sister for one) and some people don't like Picasso. To each his own.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:33 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmike View Post
I just think of it as artistic expression the same as a guitar or piano solo. Some people don't like guitar solos (my sister for one) and some people don't like Picasso. To each his own.
... and also a matter of degree. People who don't like guitar solos will seldom have an issue with a 8- or 16-bar solo. Ditto with drums.

It's excess that can turn people off. They don't like solos that go long enough to disrupt the flow of a composition. Often they won't enjoy long solos per se because most long solos are noodle-fests. Very few long solos are played with an artistic vision clear enough to communicate with those other than noodle-fest connoisseurs.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:28 AM
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Fur drummer Fur drummer is offline
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

I think the drum solo, or soloing in general started in jazz were each player gets a chance to express his or her self individually. It's a chance to improvise and be creative. The drum solo carried over into rock to give the rest of the band a break and to ad excitement to a live performance.

The 70's was the last great decade of drum solos. They started to fall out of favor in the 80's and 90's. Now even some drummers don't like to hear or play them which is surprising.

There are other reasons for listening to or playing a drum solo that I can't mention here. LOL
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:04 PM
Dedworx Dedworx is offline
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Default Re: What Is The Purpose Of Drum Solos?

i think solos based on feel, or within the form of a tune can be interesting.

i think they're good for just practising improvising too, to sort of absorb and be able to apply things you've worked on however you like. so you have a feeling of freedom when you play knowing you've tried so many ideas which then gives you more comfort playing just for the song.

i think its helped me a lot when learning something to try to be able to apply a concept rather than pulling out an exact phrase, or groove.

i've only performed a solo twice, but use them to practise things all the time.

is there a different opinion on soloing on your own in practise compared to soloing as performance? - i know the topic is more on the performance version. - do you guys solo much in practise?
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