Playing Solos

ingvald

Member
Hey Guys! Today i came home fra a practice - weekend with my wind band! And we got sheets for this really funky song. And i am supposed to play and 8 bar solo...

When we rehearsed it i felt that my solo became like... :S Don´t know really how to explain it... I feel that when i´m playing i put in a lot of ideas very unorganized, it´s not very dynamic and i don´t feel the solo has a red thread. I also feel that i start a new prase on every 1... :S

How can i give my solo more Solo and MEANING? I´ve been playing for almost 10 years so i know i have the technical ability but i feel my solos don´t make any sense.

Greetings Ingvald
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A structure helps. Think beginning middle and end.

Here's a standard model that works.

The beginning, is basically the rhythm that preceded your solo, letting it simmer, perhaps slightly embellished. The middle is when you start really ramping it up and saying what you want....which you steer towards some sort of peak, (important) which is basically the ending. I like ending solos on beat 1, which leaves 3 counts of silence (for cheering) before the rest of the song falls back in.
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
think in melodies and don't be afraid to play over the bar line

solo the way a sax player would

don't worry about licks and chops or counting .....be melodic and your problem will be solved

a solo within a tune should be in cohesion with the tune....so sing the melody of the tune in your head while soloing and play off of it

never fails

I love Larrys idea of ending on the 1 of the 8th measure
 

richkenyon

Silver Member
Good advice here already... For me the big thing is tempo: that will affect a lot of the choices I would make in terms of ideas.

Certainly the feel that leads in to the solo and the feel that the solos exits into will inform a lot of these decisions too.

I will say this: it's tough. I don't care how long you've been playing, it's not easy to really make the drums musical when soloing.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Eight measures isn't long enough to do much in the way of development, or to stray very far from the feel of the tune. For a first approach I would probably just keep playing variations on the time feel, with fills in the 4th and 8th measures— in the 4th would be your big solo fill, and in the 8th you'll be giving the band a nice, clear set up for coming back in.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Todd, could you clear something up for me? A bar and a measure. Same thing? For some reason I think of measures as 16 beats (1234,2234,3234,4234). Bars are 1/4 of a measure in my mind. Am I off?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Eight measures isn't long enough to do much in the way of development, or to stray very far from the feel of the tune. For a first approach I would probably just keep playing variations on the time feel, with fills in the 4th and 8th measures— in the 4th would be your big solo fill, and in the 8th you'll be giving the band a nice, clear set up for coming back in.
I like this. I had a 8-bar break once and what really worked was a slight variation on the time I was already playing, and maybe making it a little funkier. The idea to stop on the 1 of the 8th bar is something I hadn't considered. That's a great idea too.

I recall one of my teachers telling me to not play so many notes ;)
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Todd, could you clear something up for me? A bar and a measure. Same thing? For some reason I think of measures as 16 beats (1234,2234,3234,4234). Bars are 1/4 of a measure in my mind. Am I off?
I'm not Todd but I can tell you there's no difference between bar and measure. They refer to the same thing.

In jazz, a chorus usually refers to one cycle through the entire form of a tune.
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Todd, could you clear something up for me? A bar and a measure. Same thing? For some reason I think of measures as 16 beats (1234,2234,3234,4234). Bars are 1/4 of a measure in my mind. Am I off?
What you are describing here is a 4 measure/bar phrase in 4/4 time. 3 of these phrases together equate to a 12 bar blues tune (or sometimes AAB song form, etc...). A 16 Bar song is sometimes referred to AABA song form (each section being 4 bars), could also be AABB, etc....

Measure & bar is like saying car & automobile.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Todd, could you clear something up for me? A bar and a measure. Same thing? For some reason I think of measures as 16 beats (1234,2234,3234,4234). Bars are 1/4 of a measure in my mind. Am I off?
You can go in a bar and ask for a double measure of whisky, and Glenfiddish is the best whisky bar none and by a good measure, that's where the meaning is different Larry : )
 

NUTHA JASON

Senior Administrator
i've always thought of bars as the space where the time signature fits into (ie 4/4 = 4 quarter notes must equal one bar). measures are multiples of bars usually but not always divisable by 4. so an 8 bar solo may be thought of as two measures. in which case i would develop a tom melody that follows the basic melody of the tune but has added complexity in the last half of the measure and a one bar fill at the end of the measure ... all x2.

my standard solo usually follws the direct drop into a long roll where i explore some dynamics, building the accents that i come up with and then throwing them out onto the toms, then inverting the orchestration, then a big fill into a drop down onto the rims only, where i think like a tap dancer, then onto the cymbals and then building back into a a big all-kit orchestration with some chops and fills to the big countoff to bring the band back in. though something like that isn't measured in bars - just as long as i think the audiences atention span is and - as is usually the case in my band - how long it takes to replace and tune a broken string.
j
 

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
many good ideas upinhyuh. i would just play something simple and tasty. you'll no doubt be dissatisfied, and develop something more sophisticated. don't over think, and just play something. it will be good. not too much you can do with 8 measures (same as 8 bars, btw). or do what i did in college: play absolutely as many notes as you can possibly fit in 8 measures, leaving the audience wondering what in hell just happened.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
One approach is to play a 'song' on your drums.

Think of the rhythm to a vocal part to a really catchy song and play it, keep quarter notes on the hi-hat pedal or something to keep a flow.

Or play baba blacksheep, except dress it up nicely with ghost notes, playing different parts on drums, bass drum, cymbals etc, or as a beat between all limbs.

Or use a motif (one simple fill or idea) and repeat the idea in different forms. Start the fill at different points in the bar, just remember how to play it with your hands and delay its beginning, drag out certain notes or speed them up and play it over a couple of times.

And don't forget to show off your chops a little bit.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Yup, as everyone else said, measures and bars are the same thing— they're what's indicated by the time signature, and they're demarcated by bar lines:

 
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