Soloing; are you into it?

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
The band I'm in demands one and trying to develop one is revealing.

I wonder why some movements and passages die off in energy at a show that didn't appear that way at home when I'm just working on a solo?
The volume of a band all playing Rock must be sucking away some sonic impact due to decreased volume when I do the solo moves? Nothing but my kick is mic'ed. The clubs and marinas aren't very large gatherings so I'm not filling sound for big audiences.
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
Very much. Telling a story is beyond my ability but fitting a begining middle and end ( based on the begining but with different feel ) is good fun. I like hitting the Tom's hard early on to to tick the melody box, have a snare and cymbal section for texture and drop bombs if I'm feeling aggressive

Structure has never been my strong point so I make it up as I go along
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I wish I could solo but I can't. Not really. I can play funky little grooves by myself but they fall apart if I start moving them around the drum kit.

I think even the most casual fan appreciates a little 15-20 second solo. Definitely a useful skill to have.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
Definately one of my weaker skills. Not necessarily to "solo" more, but I'm concentrating on this more in the near future as I believe the skill would benefit my overall playing.
 

doggyd69b

Silver Member
The band I'm in demands one and trying to develop one is revealing.

I wonder why some movements and passages die off in energy at a show that didn't appear that way at home when I'm just working on a solo?
The volume of a band all playing Rock must be sucking away some sonic impact due to decreased volume when I do the solo moves? Nothing but my kick is mic'ed. The clubs and marinas aren't very large gatherings so I'm not filling sound for big audiences.
As long as the solo is not longer than 1 minute and even that is a little long.
 

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Yeah, the guitar player tries to make me solo longer than I want to. He saw me ham something once and now wants me to do it everytime. He won't pick the song back up if I don't do it.
 

BobC

Member
I can solo, but it's not my forte. I get short solos in a couple of the band's cover tunes, like "One Way Out."

Most rock drum solos are pointless displays of gymnastics and corny "showmanship." I'd rather make the band sound good.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
I really dislike open-ended drum solos. I refuse to do them at all. What I will do is trade 4's and 8's in a jazz setting, but otherwise...meh

What I really like are solos over an ostinato or vamp. Unlike open-ended solos, they have some kind of tonal/chordal foundation that everyone can relate to.
Here are two examples from my favorite drummer who usually solos over ostinatos, Dave Weckl. He's an absolute master at this.

This solo starts @ 7:23

This solo starts @ 4:15

If I absolutely have to solo, I insist on plating over an ostinato. That does one of two things:
a) The band decides against it because they can't come up with an ostinato
or
b) The rest of the band gets to feel my pain.:eek:

I'm not really sure this would work in your setting...but it's worth a shot.
 

calan

Silver Member
I really dislike open-ended drum solos. I refuse to do them at all. What I will do is trade 4's and 8's in a jazz setting, but otherwise...meh

What I really like are solos over an ostinato or vamp. Unlike open-ended solos, they have some kind of tonal/chordal foundation that everyone can relate to.
Here are two examples from my favorite drummer who usually solos over ostinatos, Dave Weckl. He's an absolute master at this.

This solo starts @ 7:23

This solo starts @ 4:15

If I absolutely have to solo, I insist on plating over an ostinato. That does one of two things:
a) The band decides against it because they can't come up with an ostinato
or
b) The rest of the band gets to feel my pain.:eek:

I'm not really sure this would work in your setting...but it's worth a shot.
I'm with this the whole sentiment. It's always struck me as odd that the drums are the only instrument expected to take a true solo in contemporary music.

The whole band doesn't tend to drop out for a minute or a two while guitar or keys players just wail away. Probably because most people can recognize it tends to drag the momentum and suck the air right out of the room. Of course there exceptions to this, but most of us aren't having transcendental moments on stage regularly.

I absolutely do enjoy trading bars, playing 'lead drums' over a vamp or riff, or noodling around while the rest of the band does some stabs... But the whole 'just do the thing by yourself for a while' doesn't do it for me regardless which side of the stage I'm on.

It's kind of like just giving a soliloquy versus having a conversation. I don't tend to enjoy speaking just for the sake of doing so.
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
Have a listen to to Rob Schuh's 'the drums flight'


Certainly not everyone's cup of tea but a great love song to drums. I love the recording
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
It’s not my strong suit, but over years of being yelled at by the band leader to take a impromptu solo, I’ve learned a couple of things - don’t mess with the time of the tune you’re playing, and stay with the essence of what the song is. For instance, if I’m playing in a Dixieland jazz band, when I get a solo, it’s not going to sound like Carl Palmer broke loose - it’s gonna sound like Zutty Singleton. So when you say you’re working on stuff to play, what you play is really determined by the music you were playing going into it. If I’m playing “Mustang Sally” when it’s time to take a solo, I will not be pulling out my “Moby Dick” licks.

But I’m also super-happy if I never do a drum solo - I’m more about the songs for the audience to dig.
 

GretschedHive

Silver Member
on Jimmy Cobb's kit
Excuse Me Reaction GIF by Mashable
 

moodman

Well-known Member
It really helps to have the 'band ostinato,' even if it's only one player chucking deadened strings in time.
I have short solos in funk, Nola, 5/4 etc that can be expanded if needed.
The best solos are in the moment, letting the music 'play you', but sometimes, if inspiration isn't present, it's good to have something prepared.
Trading 4's, you can do 'call and response' or soloing over one chord progression, try to play the melody (somehow)
Or find a beat you really like, play it over and over until you find some 'artistic debris' you can throw in, it will grow from there.
Watch other drummers' solos, steal stuff you might use.
Never worry if you make a mistake, the audience doesn't know what you intended and if you keep on keepin' on, probably won't notice.
These drummers make mistakes you would notice but aren't daunted





 
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Arkansmay

Active Member
Sounds lame. If you aren't some kinda hotshot that knows damn well you are going to murder it and make the crowd go wild, you shouldn't do it or be made to do it. Unless you want to. In that case do whatever but a half assed drum solo just to have one is a yawner at best.
 
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BobC

Member
I sat in with a good jazz group in San Francisco in 2007 on "Cherokee," played brushes, and traded fours with the guitarist. It was a gas, totally. I wish I had opportunities to play small group jazz around here, but there is literally nowhere to play.
 
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