Should I memorize each solo as I go through Wilcoxon's All American book?

Joffry

Active member
I've heard many people emphasize memorizing the wilcoxon solos (in the all American book and in the swing solos book).
I know both books are fairly popular, so I thought I'd ask if there is anyone here who took that approach, and if so, did you feel like you benefited from it?

Taking the time to memorize each solo rather than just learning to play it at a goal tempo would greatly increase the time it takes me to get through the book, but obviously there are benefits to memorizing, so I guess I'm just trying to determine whether its worth doing it that way.
 

MG1127

Well-known member
I don't think complete memorization is necessary although sometimes it just happens naturally with the shorter ones by working on them for an amount of time ... but some of those in that book are very long

I recommend the Wilcoxon 150 solos book

the solos are all very short and easily memorized if you are trying to work on that aspect of things

Glad to see you are working on some Wilcoxon

Some of the best available material

Listen to some Philly Joe and you will hear some straight up Wilcoxon material
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
Swing Solos has been a constant in my learning. Both with teachers, and self-directed.

There are a few solos that I can play on demand. However the majority go through a blowing off of the cobwebs stage when I revisit the book.
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
I don’t really see the point of playing the solos by memory, there so many others things to work on and do little time. But I guess if you have some favorites it wouldn’t hurt.

Philly Joe Jones definitely Incorporated sections into his playing, but as far as I know he never played entire Wilcoxson solo note for note in his improvisations.
 

MG1127

Well-known member
I don’t really see the point of playing the solos by memory, there so many others things to work on and do little time. But I guess if you have some favorites it wouldn’t hurt.

Philly Joe Jones definitely Incorporated sections into his playing, but as far as I know he never played entire Wilcoxson solo note for note in his improvisations.

why would anyone ever assume that Philly Joe played Wilcoxon solos note for note ?

Joe's soloing style was heavily influenced by Wilcoxon material ... as were many of the old time jazz players

but Philly Joe is the one you can most hear the influence in very blatantly
 

vtran711

Well-known member
I just started this book myself and really enjoy it for developing my hands. I'm definitely not trying to memorize solos. I'm starting to take interesting phrases that I like and trying it on the kit. That last part is still very tough for me.
 

ToneT

Well-known member
Memorization isn't really a must.
When I go through Stick Control I can tell what the next exercise will be as I view it. That applies to Swing Solos, too.
You may memorize certain exercises / patterns more than others. That's fine.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I've played them so much that I know a lot of the by heart and the rest wouldn't take much, but I don't really see value except being able to practice them when you don't have the book with you.

These etudes, to me, aren't someting I just pay through, though. I loop things and use parts to make up my own exercises and phrasing ideas.

We all have different ideas of how we want to sound and I really doubt you can hear any rubatum Wilcoxon in my soloing. It's all a mix of working on Wilcoxon and Chafee stuff on the Xymox and Moongel pad. When I get on the kit I just play and develop thing based on what I come up with o the spot and repeat and build on phrases that don't flow as well as I'd like.

Though I use things as the LTWU with students I try to avoid that stuff for the most part as I feel it's not good for my creative flow. I like to mostly stick to going through etudes and just accpting that some days they're great and some days not so good and combine that with mostly over the barline stuff. It keeps things moving.

I do some static accent sheet stuff in there sometimes and an etude may inspire a new way to do that.

I don't enjoy listening to musicians that sound like they're playing exercises and I don't want to sound like that either. I practice in a way based on how I want to sound and feel behind the kit and the Wilcoxon etudes definetly have a place in my routine. AAD is the main constant that's always on the music stand next to my pad. I have 5-6 copies and they're everywhere. If I can't come up with something else to do, I just start playing through that thing.

I came up with something that works for me. Your way may be different and that's totally fine.
 

jazzerooty

Junior Member
I've heard many people emphasize memorizing the wilcoxon solos (in the all American book and in the swing solos book).
I know both books are fairly popular, so I thought I'd ask if there is anyone here who took that approach, and if so, did you feel like you benefited from it?

Taking the time to memorize each solo rather than just learning to play it at a goal tempo would greatly increase the time it takes me to get through the book, but obviously there are benefits to memorizing, so I guess I'm just trying to determine whether its worth doing it that way.
No. Memorize songs.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
yeah...I think being able to play through them is good, but not memorizing.

what you want to do is memorize the concepts presented or developed by doing the solos, and then those concepts wil lcome ot in tyour playing

I have been through his "150" book jillions of times, but have never played a lick from it verbatim...however, my speed around the toms, and my reading of music has definitely been influenced by those solos; I get some groove/ghosting ideas from the paradiddle-rudiment passages

but it has always been "odd" and awkward to me to have my drum set fills be "marching rudimental" in nature - even though i live in that world A LOT in my daily life - it just feels awkward to force that into drum set playing
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah, you're not just playing without thought or repeating single rudiments together, but stringing them together in a way that's been decided by someone else.

Weakness will be exposed and your general command and flow expands.

Once I knew them pretty well I started playing them left hand lead also.

I also do them on the Moongel pad, with brushes etc... Not a complete "one stop shop," but it's been and continues to be very valuable.

I change things up sometimes, put it away and work on some other etude book. My focus isn't to becoe a rudimental drummer, though. It's just to vary things when I feel the need. Add some extra stuff for accents and various groupings etc.. and most of what I'm after is in there.
 
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