How often are you called upon to solo?

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Almost never in a live show situation. At jams it comes up more often, usually through the unspoken nods followed by silence from all the other instruments.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Sometimes when a guest singer sits in, many times they give solos to everyone. Many times I decline it. I don't like taking solos in a shuffle song, and I certainly don't want to take a solo in Otis Redding's "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".

I pick my battles.
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
Never. I would rather just play a funky beat and a couple of cool fills during a 4 or 8 bar break during a song.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Sometimes when a guest singer sits in, many times they give solos to everyone. Many times I decline it. I don't like taking solos in a shuffle song, and I certainly don't want to take a solo in Otis Redding's "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".

I pick my battles.
That song does not lend to drum solos. You'd have to do some type of jazz style melodic solo or something.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Never, unless there's a specific drum solo in the song, in which case I play it as close as possible. If I'm made to do a solo at a jam, I talk to that person afterwards so that it never happens again.

Bermuda
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Not often enough.

I think drummers should solo at least once every gig.
I'm not talking about a five minute solo. I'm talking about one or two verses.
Who cares if the drummers and the other musicians don't like it.
The audience needs drum solos and they like them!

If you went to see one of your favorite drummers and they did not solo, you would be very disappointed.


.
 

calan

Silver Member
I rarely get asked. At the jams I frequent, most of the regulars know better. Partly because I'm predisposed to not want to, and often I'm a lefty playing on a righty kit or maybe with a couple of pieces moved and I'm just not in any kind of comfort zone to do so.

In my own bands, I've never had a moment where I thought it was appropriate. Maybe a drum break where I'm hammering out an ostinato or playing a groove for several bars, but never really a full on solo.

Never, I don't solo. I find it boring to listen to so I don't inflict it on anyone else.
This is my basic philosophy. There are certainly exceptions.

Sometimes when a guest singer sits in, many times they give solos to everyone. Many times I decline it. I don't like taking solos in a shuffle song, and I certainly don't want to take a solo in Otis Redding's "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".
This happens to me most of the time. I appreciate that they're being egalitarian about it, but c'mon man, use your ears; drum solos aren't appropriate for that stuff.

There's some guys around here who like doing Watermelon Man or Chameleon by Herbie Hancock, and I don't mind doing a few bars over that stuff, as long as the band is playing the stabs for me to work around. I've done that over Shaky Ground and Circles, too. I really don't like when the whole band drops out for a drum solo. Does the whole band just drop when a guitar player hits a solo? Why is it par for the course to do so for drums?

Also trading 4s with a good bass player can be fun.

Not often enough.

I think drummers should solo at least once every gig.
I'm not talking about a five minute solo. I'm talking about one or two verses.
Who cares if the drummers and the other musicians don't like it.
The audience needs drum solos and they like them!

If you went to see one of your favorite drummers and they did not solo, you would be very disappointed.
There's precious few bands I enjoy where it would be musically appropriate for a full on drum solo. I'm more likely to be very disappointed if the overall experience suffers to break the vibe for a drum solo.
 

Thunder 42

Silver Member
Often, I've played with bands that want more than I want to give, but agree with Hollywood's thoughts/approach.
 

evilg99

Platinum Member
Ixnay the Olosay.

I get asked a few times a year to solo and I always decline. I dislike drum solos unless you are a world class dude, and even then - I'll listen to a heavy groove for 5 minutes with just as much (or more) interest.

Don't get me wrong, I love chops and technique and showmanship , all in check.

When people give me hard time about not wanting to play solos - I always revert to asking "You like Jeff Porcaro" ? (always answered with an enthusiastic "yes !!" ) - then proceed to explain that Jeff absolutely HATED drum solos and never played them...ever. Not sayin' that I'm as good as Jeff or will ever be - but not playing a solo or not wanting to doesn't diminish me as a musician/performer/entertainer/sideman/whateveryouwannacallit

Finally - truth be told - I'm just not that good at it. I have chops and groove and can play. Soloing is my kryptonite. I don't work at making it better either - and that's totally fine. I can play guitar better than most drummers. So there. :p
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I am a Jazz drummer so I solo several times per session.
If I play other forms of music i solo once per performance.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I am a Jazz drummer so I solo several times per session.

Your first sentence reminded me of that scene in Sting's Bring On The Night where Branford Marsalis is being interviewed and he declares, "I am a jazz musician - I know what it's like to play $hi& nobody wants to hear".

Every time I played jazz after that I discovered how true that was ;)
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Mostly I get the request at jams. Maybe that's another reason I don't really love jams! I'll be playing with someone who figures out I know what I'm doing behind the kit and they want a solo.

I don't like soloing and am not very good at it, so if they ASK me, I decline. Once in a while, though, they'll just stop and I have to solo... usually during some song that isn't at all conducive to anything I'd remotely want to express.

Ah well. As a guitarist friend of mine says at the end of a rough night, nobody died.

(Someone else said they can't solo well to a shuffle. I have a trick for that. I was 11 or 12 when Kiss Alive came out, and I learned the solo in 100,000 Years. Whenever anyone dumps me into a solo in any kind of shuffle, I pull out my 1975 Peter Criss licks, lol. They aren't hard, but people seem to enjoy them, and I learned them at a time in life when things actually stuck in my brain. Go figure!)
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Mostly I get the request at jams. Maybe that's another reason I don't really love jams! I'll be playing with someone who figures out I know what I'm doing behind the kit and they want a solo.

I don't like soloing and am not very good at it, so if they ASK me, I decline. Once in a while, though, they'll just stop and I have to solo... usually during some song that isn't at all conducive to anything I'd remotely want to express.

Ah well. As a guitarist friend of mine says at the end of a rough night, nobody died.

(Someone else said they can't solo well to a shuffle. I have a trick for that. I was 11 or 12 when Kiss Alive came out, and I learned the solo in 100,000 Years. Whenever anyone dumps me into a solo in any kind of shuffle, I pull out my 1975 Peter Criss licks, lol. They aren't hard, but people seem to enjoy them, and I learned them at a time in life when things actually stuck in my brain. Go figure!)
I sorta commend Peter Criss on that performance. It was a great solo based in 12/8 and you don't hear a lot of that, so even though it doesn't sound difficult, to hold an audience that long with what he played is not something you can laugh at. I've always loved that about that track. Same thing with Detroit Rock City - that song is a shuffle too! Who knew KISS was best as a shuffle band?
 
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