Problem with Drum Solos

jeslin

Junior Member
Hi,

I am new to this forum as well as new to drumming - well sort of.... played when I was younger - now coming back 20 years later.

I have decent technique but have a problem putting together solos that sound like something more than just a bunch of rudiments thrown together.

I've listened to some of the solos on this website, but often have a problem figuring out exactly what the drummers are actually doing so that I can play what they're playing.

Any suggestions on becoming a good soloist?
 

BattleArmor

Silver Member
I think Neil Peart did a dvd called "Art of the drum solo" or something along thos elines. I haven't seen this video, but maybe it could help you out.

Good luck
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
If you cannot do it on your own then I would suggest a teacher they are worth having...good luck...and welcome to the Forum you can find a lot of insights here so stick around
 
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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The drum solo is a mysterious and elusive thing for me. It is all about feeling. I have never been a fan of a rehearsed solo. I can practice things to do during a solo until my arms fall off but when I get in front of a live audience things always change. What I have learned to do with the bands that I play with is not to place a solo into any one point during a gig. I simply fall into one when the vibes are right. I know that I'm going to take some crap from other drummers for this post, but that is what I do. When we are playing, all of a sudden I feel the time is right and I begin to riff into a solo. The members of the band know that I do this and they sense it. They stand down and they let me go. My best solos are always done this way. I can, and do play a solo on demand from time to time, but my best solos are always spontaneous! I feel the groove, or Vibes as I like to call them, and I simply run away with the show for a few moments. Spontaneous Drum Combustion works every time for me. I guess that it's the Grateful Dead loving Hippie in me that drives it. I feel it! I Play It! It works for me! Like I said, I know that many will disagree with me. Like all drummers, I have studied other drummers and taken many ideas from their solos. I do incorporate these learned riffs in my solos. I have had good results from that. I still insist that the best solos are the ones that I hadn't planned to do. They just happened! This phenomenon comes from many years of playing experience. You can however experiment with this spontaneous technique if you want to try it. Its up to you to give it a shot. The next time that you get an idea and feel like doing a solo while playing with your band, Try It!
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
Drum solos can be built from a series of grooves transitioning to each other, highlighted by complimentary fills.

Drum solos are not necessarily fast, so you don't have to be a speed or chops demon.

I don't want to assume you have seen it, but look on youtube for Godsmack/battalia de los tambores or sometimes called drum battle. They show that they can engage the audience with a flowing groove, and some familiar riffs.

Soloing for other drummers is almost never the same as soloing for the general public. The non-drumming public often remembers a solo that is well-phrased, and has meaningful transitions/grooves vs some self-indulgent flailing.

I would rather have a 5 minute solo that kept people engaged the whole time than a 10-15 minute solo that said nothing and had people heading to the bathroom every time.
 
The drum solo is a mysterious and elusive thing for me. It is all about feeling.
I still insist that the best solos are the ones that I hadn't planned to do. They just happened! This phenomenon comes from many years of playing experience.

Hi, Bob.

I second your comment. Drum solo's are also about creativity, originality, what you think and feel you put it into the drums, at the right time - right place. It comes by itself.

Cheers,
 

805Drummer

Gold Member
The drum solo is a mysterious and elusive thing for me. It is all about feeling. I have never been a fan of a rehearsed solo. I can practice things to do during a solo until my arms fall off but when I get in front of a live audience things always change. What I have learned to do with the bands that I play with is not to place a solo into any one point during a gig. I simply fall into one when the vibes are right. I know that I'm going to take some crap from other drummers for this post, but that is what I do. When we are playing, all of a sudden I feel the time is right and I begin to riff into a solo. The members of the band know that I do this and they sense it. They stand down and they let me go. My best solos are always done this way. I can, and do play a solo on demand from time to time, but my best solos are always spontaneous! I feel the groove, or Vibes as I like to call them, and I simply run away with the show for a few moments. Spontaneous Drum Combustion works every time for me. I guess that it's the Grateful Dead loving Hippie in me that drives it. I feel it! I Play It! It works for me! Like I said, I know that many will disagree with me. Like all drummers, I have studied other drummers and taken many ideas from their solos. I do incorporate these learned riffs in my solos. I have had good results from that. I still insist that the best solos are the ones that I hadn't planned to do. They just happened! This phenomenon comes from many years of playing experience. You can however experiment with this spontaneous technique if you want to try it. Its up to you to give it a shot. The next time that you get an idea and feel like doing a solo while playing with your band, Try It!

That sounds awesome. Do you have a video of you doing that? And to the original poster, the best thing to do is watch other people solo, either in real life or on Youtube (or even Drummerworld) for inspiration. Not only will it give you ideas, but an interesting, creative drum solo will motivate you to go play.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Here is an unplanned drum solo with me and a conga player witch led to an unplanned song at a live festival this past summer. It is in the lowest form of MP3 format because of file size The bands name is The String Band
 

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Togg

Senior Member
I don't really do the solo thing, more a selection of extended fills during certain parts of the set list.

I always feel a solo needs to tell a story somehow, they need to go somewhere, either in terms of the pattern building or sonically so that you just get almost a song coming out of it.

Ginger Baker does some truely great stuff, as do many of the greats, I am a huge Roger Taylor fan, and he has never done too many solo's however on the recent tour he has, starting on the Bass players upright bass with sticks, moving to a bass drum tehn snare then a full kit was built around him

This was a very visual type of solo, which is another way to look at it.

For me, however you do it, it should have a beginning, middle and end rather than just a bunch of excercises you can play.
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
I always feel a solo needs to tell a story somehow, they need to go somewhere, either in terms of the pattern building or sonically so that you just get almost a song coming out of it...For me, however you do it, it should have a beginning, middle and end rather than just a bunch of excercises you can play.

This is the thrust of it, really. If you want to do a good drum solo, think of it as a little composition all its own, with all of the flow, drama and suspense of a well written song. In essence, you have to think like a songwriter. Technique really doesn't have to be all that flash. Most of the audience doesn't give a rip about quintuple fluffadiddles on three bass drums (or whatever) anyway, they want entertainment. Make it fun for even the non-drummers and you'll probably get the rest on board with you.

I hope that's not too idiosyncratic.
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
Most of the audience doesn't give a rip about quintuple fluffadiddles on three bass drums (or whatever) anyway, they want entertainment.

...but the sad part is, motivic development and "musical" playing isn't entertaining to the general public. Check out any drum video out there: the crowd doesn't start to cheer until the drummer whips out his double pedal and goes brrrrrrrrrrrrrptkoshhhhh brrrrrrrrptkoshshshshh...
 

Korompay

Senior Member
Hi,

I am new to this forum as well as new to drumming - well sort of.... played when I was younger - now coming back 20 years later.

I have decent technique but have a problem putting together solos that sound like something more than just a bunch of rudiments thrown together.

I've listened to some of the solos on this website, but often have a problem figuring out exactly what the drummers are actually doing so that I can play what they're playing.

Any suggestions on becoming a good soloist?

There are several ways of developing solos, and I think the easiest is to improvising accents in 16th notes or triplets then to move the accents to the toms and cymbals.
It's important to study the masters and try to use some of their vocabulary and to personalize it.
Try this thread hopefully it helps: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23405
 

intheruff

Senior Member
"motivic development and "musical" playing isn't entertaining to the general public"

I'm not so sure I'd put my money on that. But I hear ya', a bombastic double bass finale is always welcomed by the audience and can be very effective. The solo might be best when presented like a good mystery novel, dark, tense, antisapatory (is that a word?), plot twists and unexpected complications. Try Joe Morello's solo in Take Five as an example of what I'm trying to say. Even check out Wavelengths rythmic ventures somewhere in this site... very hot.
 
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