St Thomas (latin jazz standard) and drum solo

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Right! Somewhat reluctantly posting this... as this was my first ever completely improvised solo in public (from about 2:20).

https://youtu.be/-lSEuXfNOI4

Feel reasonably OK about it, considering this is after 4 years of drumming -

Probably could have done more with accents and dynamics and trying to structure the solo (instead of start playing and see what happens).... but...

Any constructive feedback welcome :)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Reminds me of a jazz quartet I was in- really enjoyed this. I like your playing on this song, and the solo was fine for keeping the time and rhythm going but it isn't really dynamics you need (IMHO the caveat I'm terrible with solos) but I think more spaces and textures to break it up as a solo. But I'm pretty terrible with solos and I'm sure some can give great advice. Enjoyed this so thanks for posting it. I could sense your nervousness and apprehension for the solo it seemed???
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
This is a difficult tune to solo, although it might not be evident.

Obviously you are starting out.

So main thing you need is more chops. That from the vocabulary side.

The other thing is, besides listening to the original with Max Roach listen to other versions (example: another famous solo is with Steve Gadd - faster ´though), plus listen to drummers playing Calypso Grooves with Jazz Orientation (example Al Foster), the last specially to see if you can find a basic rhythm that might feel more at home (I don´t think you have to change the one you are playing, sounds fine to me, I want to say if you are looking for INSPIRATION to play something else ONLY).

Now, when you listen to the solo (which is exactly the way you did it, with no support from others) analize how to get "in and out" avoiding playing the rhythm and back to it, that´s also very important reason to have a basic rhythm not even a hurricane could make you stumble when you come back to it.
See how much you can get out without loosing not only YOUR sense of the tune/rhythm/melody but also the sense you think A LISTENER would have of it, I would say also keep the 16 bar frame of the form too (perhaps sometimes "quoting" the four quarters of bar 15 as reference?).

Your solo went like this 1 Form (16 bars), 8 Bars (you looked to the saxophone player - you ended your solo there or at least just kept time only untill the end), 8 more bars (end of second REAL form), saxophone player waited 8 extra bars to get in (???).

Have a look to my page http://www.alexsanguinetti.com , there is an English section in it, watch the videos, please.

Best regards!
 
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Stroker

Platinum Member
Right! Somewhat reluctantly posting this... as this was my first ever completely improvised solo in public (from about 2:20).

https://youtu.be/-lSEuXfNOI4

Feel reasonably OK about it, considering this is after 4 years of drumming -

Probably could have done more with accents and dynamics and trying to structure the solo (instead of start playing and see what happens).... but...

Any constructive feedback welcome :)
Loved it! As you play more you'll learn to adjust to the music and harmoniously connect with the beat, helping you relax and feel at ease behind your kit. I say keep up the great playing and enjoy!

To help add a little spice to this piece, add in a few bars of rim-clicks, a few flams on the floor tom in place of the double tom beat, and don't be afraid to attack the drums a little more. You're doing great!
 

Stroker

Platinum Member
Probably could have done more with accents and dynamics and trying to structure the solo (instead of start playing and see what happens)
Try not to be overly critical of yourself. Sometimes just letting it unfold as it happens makes for an interesting composition. In fact, overthinking a piece (at times) can weigh it down.
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Thank you all for your comments and listening!

Lots of really good learning points here to take on board! Agree with your points about more more spaces and textures needed, more attack, sticking to the 16 bar form, more rim clicks, - also more chops - all a work in progress!

I'll spend some time going through tyour comments properly and absorbing and listening to links.

Thanks again!
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Nicely done-- a few things you could do to immediately improve on that-- and I'm talking mainly about the groove and the body of the song here, not the solo:

-- Work out some variations on the left hand part-- just simple rhythmic variations on what you're doing already.
-- Practice starting your groove from any note in the pattern.
-- Experiment with revoicing the groove on different parts of the set-- starting with it playing both hands on the snare drum with the snares off. Try some different timbres including rim shots and rim clicks. You want to move around a little more so the groove isn't completely static, and you can also change sounds for different sections/soloists.
-- Your right hand isn't doing much. Look for some ways to use it more effectively. You can: Look for easy variations on what you're doing already; use your RH to embellish your LH part (including the LH variations you're learning) with unisons on another drum, flams, or ruffs; make up a quasi-Latin/Calypso bell pattern that fits with the rest of the groove as you've learned it.

Sounds like a lot, but you can do all that in a 2-3 weeks of fooling around with the groove 15-30 minutes every day. The solo will take care of itself after that. And the tune will come up again, and it will improve on other areas of your playing. Working up just a generic "Latin" feel will also give you some places to go with this thing.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Well done Kate!! I felt your apprehension, but also your bravery for having a go. I think you carried that off really well, keeping things moving along. That, in itself, is not easy on such a song. Some great advice here from those who obviously have strong facility in this style, so good to take that on board. I'm not sufficiently qualified to add anything, other than to say I'm proud of you, & I continue to really enjoy your progression :)
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Many thanks, Todd and Andy for really excellent insights and encouragement!

It's very much appreciated.:)

At this stage, I'm just glad to have been able to get into and out of the solo part OK, kept the groove and time going throughout without major hiccups or unpleasant overplaying, but I know the next stage will be taking Todd's, Alex's and Stroker's and and GetAGrippa's advice and building in more interesting elements, rhythms, sounds and textures – more spice!

So much to learn!

Thanks, all.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
I remember playing a big band arrangement of this my senior year of high school, even featured an awesome 4 bar solo where I just went nuts. I really loved this song, the melody is a bit of Caribbean fun!

Don't have much to say that others haven't already said. A bit more variety in your groove is about the only thing that I can see with my substandard jazz ears. Nice work!

Really dug how the bass came in at the end of your solo.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Again great progress Kate!

I bet that was nerve racking and it's all a learning curve but you did good. Some good tips/pointers on this thread already so all I will say is well done to you.

Let me know when your band is next playing in Reading as it's just down the road.
 
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