Thanks for asking. I play solos because the band stops and I have to. I would think less of myself if I admitted defeat and gave up attempting solos entirely, refusing to do them. I don't care what other people think nearly as much anymore. The bad solos bother me, because I know I'm capable of much better. I honestly don't know what people think of my solos. This could all be in my head.May I inquire, in a spirit of genuine curiosity, why you play solos if you're uncomfortable with them? Are you required to solo in a given performance scenario, or do you persist in soloing to confront and overcome what you perceive as a limitation? I ask because if you don't have to solo, you could always just stop doing it. I doubt anyone would think less of you as a drummer if you nixed solos entirely.
But I don't think so. I've yet to have anyone comment on a solo I've done. That's enough for me right there. If they were any good, someone would have said something after all these years.
This is not something I tell my bandmates, that I'm retarded at soloing. It's pretty much the same scenario every time, a bar or two of passable stuff followed by a disruption of flow in the form of a time hiccup, and then some not very engaging melodic phrasing ideas on my way to beating a quick exit. I've never asked for a solo. It's automatically assumed that drummers have to show off. I so don't. Since drummers don't get spots in every single song, like a guitar player it's thought that a bone needs to be thrown in my direction at least once a night. In my other bands sometimes I'll get asked if I want a solo in the song we're currently playing. 9 out of 10 times I'll pass when asked. Sometimes I will take it if I'm feeling up for a challenge. Most solos are thrown at me on the fly, with no prior warning. No time to plan anything, just launch into something and try to figure it out as I go. I never seem to figure it out anywhere close to my satisfaction.
When I solo, I think melodically. But I don't play a melodic instrument. I can't do melodies on drums. I'm not good enough to carry a solo with really compelling rhythms, I just don't have the vocabulary. So hearing a drum phrase in my head that depends more on melody than rhythm...I struggle with translating a melodic phrase on a rhythmic instrument. Melodic soloing on a rhythm instrument...I'm not good enough to pull that off. I pride myself on my accompanying ability. I am a damn fine accompanist. Solos however are way outside my wheelhouse.
I don't want my bands to think they have to give me special treatment. I don't want to be tip-toed around. I won't approach them and say, yea, don't give me any solos ever. I'd rather do the bad solo. It's something I do want to overcome. I'm not giving up on them. I might have to grow some balls and just go out of time for the next solo. One of my self-imposed rules is that a dancer should be able to dance during my solos. I may have to re-think that. It adds too much pressure. No one ever dances to a drum solo anyway. If they are they're probably wack-a-doo anyway.