your opinions on drum solos?

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m
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:42 am

just curious about how other people feel about solos-
I know there's probably a pretty wide spectrum of opinion, would like to hear what you think.

If you approve of them, what factors do you personally look for or enjoy?

If you perform them, what aspects do you feel are most important?
thanks in advance
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:56 am

I love drum solos. I think chops and musicality are very important, just as they are with any other instrument. I like a solo to make sense and be appropriate and fit into its surrounding. I enjoy a journey through a solo and I like it to end when it should. Not go on and on and on past its use by date.
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:17 pm

you're ability to solo doesnt mean you're gonna get hired though.... just cos you can play impressive solo stuff doesnt mean you'll pass an audition!!!! having said that though, you watch steve gadd, and weckl and they fit it in somehow.... jealous? i think so
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:35 pm

Drum solos own. I haven't written one yet. I'm not comfortable enough with the rudiments and putting them together differently...along with other stuff.

I think a solo should show that you can play many different rudiments, music styles and time signatures all at different speeds (don't need everything in a solo, but just change it up).
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:38 pm

I guess part of my curiosity comes from worrying about entertaining other drummers while soloing, and maybe that shouldn't really be a major concern. I mean, how many fellow drummers are typically at a given show anyway...

I've listened to a LOT of solos over the past few months; as many as I could get my hands (or ears) on. To me, the vast majority are just reiterating the same things over and over- maybe in different permutations, but pretty much the same ideas. I suppose it's tough to come up with something totally original though.

I'd like to compose solos that contain all the elements I look for/enjoy when hearing a solo, but I'd want it to have some entertainment value for everyone else also.

Seems to me that a crowd in general goes nuts over the athletic/grandstanding type stuff. That's not really what I want to pursue anymore. Stick tricks add a visual element, but everyone is doing those too. Are these 'required' in a solo?

I'd like to see a solo that is a 'song.' People say guitar solos should be little mini-songs, I guess that's how I feel about drum solos.
Something that flows, not just bursts of unrelated techniques or a 3 minute clinic.
I dunno, maybe it's just me...


thanks for sharing your input so far!
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:24 pm

Well most of them are pretty boring. But then so are a lot of bass solos. So, unless you can pull off a solo like Terry Bozzio plays in the film, "Baby Snakes".... then just do a short one, instead of those where you start fast, stop... and then hit one tom at a time very... slow...

A few of the more interesting drum solos: Elvin Jones, not really playing solos, but just his playing overall - he was one I would have gladly endured for a drum solo; Brent Harknett - whatever happened to him? Drummer in the band Matriarch that used to play around Los Angeles in the '90s - those drum solos left the drummers in the club packing up their gear. Currently in the clubs -- Michelle Mangione, a drummer/singer/songwriter/guitarist - does a hand drum/box drum solo; Terry Bozzio in "Baby Snakes" - his whole performance throughout the film is amazing.

Santana, love his music, but the guy lets every one of those musicians solo...and that's where he always tends to lose the audience. Love the conga players, but those solos go on forever. Sometimes it's just better to be part of the ensemble, but then I figure it's because the other musicians need to take a break. :roll:
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:50 pm

m wrote:I'd like to compose solos that contain all the elements I look for/enjoy when hearing a solo, but I'd want it to have some entertainment value for everyone else also.


I agree completely! whenever i look to listen/watch a drum solo, i have two perspectives: Is it entertaining sounding, and is he/she doing something technically interesting/challenging. I've seen countless drum solos that were really technical and rudimently sound, but the crowd was sort of like"...um...yay...i think." And with that, i've seen "drum solos," that were just simple yet funky head bangin beats and the crowd went nuts because they enjoyed the sound and felt the pulse! Whenever i do get around to creating a drum solo, i think that i would want to have a definate pulse that everyone, both drummers and the musically declined, can feel. But i would also like to add demensions that would make other musicians appreciate it as well.
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:58 pm

I think a drum solo is the same as a guitar solo... in this fashion:

As long as the crowd is digging it, go for it. If yer boring them, it`s a good sign to stop and try something different.

I play for me but I enjoy it more when I`m getting the crowd off at the same time. I don`t mind changing it up a bit, I enjoy playing for the love of playing, a happy crowd is the icing on the cake.


that`s my two cents!
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:39 pm

I generally don't like to solo, but when I do, I make it as melodic as I can. And I don't like the other musicians "deciding" when it should end...lol. I try to make the solo make sense with smooth transitions form one idea to the next.
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Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:48 pm

When I solo, I just improv it and it usually turns out good. That way, when I feel it's over it's over. There's a time and place for a solo as well. My band does a song where we all take our round of soloing. I tend to groove out a solo.
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:54 am

I think the real talent behind a drum solo, isn't the chops. It's how well the drummer can mold his fills and making the music sound good. Like, For guitar solos, if a guitarist just played really fast and loud, no one would think he's a good guitaris if he wasn't in key or fit the style of the song. Same with drummers. I'm not saying chops don't matter, of course they do, but I think the true art is how musical a player can make his instrument sound.
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Post Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:23 pm

White_stripe772 wrote:I think the real talent behind a drum solo, isn't the chops. It's how well the drummer can mold his fills and making the music sound good... the true art is how musical a player can make his instrument sound.


very well put~ Unfortunately I don't see this aspect stressed very often, but you summed it up nicely.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:29 pm

[quote="White_stripe772"]I think the real talent behind a drum solo, isn't the chops. It's how well the drummer can mold his fills and making the music sound good.

How right you are, the abilty to solo is definately a must as it shows you are comfortable with your insturment. But in the end your there for the people listening and the ability to add to the music overall is a much more useful skill. After all how often do you solo fo a room full of drummers? Most people dont realize how difficult or easy the chops and patterns you are playing really are, they just know if it sounds right?
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Post Sat Oct 14, 2006 1:08 pm

Simple.... Crowds love drum solos. especially drunk bar crowds. and they dont care if you're spliting parradiddles between your toms and snare while keeping a 5/4 ostinato on your kick and a 3:2 clave on a cowbell with your left foot. Unless your playing for a room full of drummers you have to stick with the "crowd pleasers". Double kick- even just straight sixteenth notes, non-drummers love it for some reason. stick twirls- i know. cheesey 80's trick but your drum solo is the place to let it fly! the one handed roll where you bounce the stick off the rim- you know, the one that takes 4 seconds to learn. amazing to the average person. Play something other than your drums- go to the bar and start hitting bottles and chairs. become part of the crowd for it. you will be remembered! and to finish it up.... the big ending- just play as loud and fast as you can hitting everything in sight. once again, to someone who doesnt play drums this is impressive. so remember, when your playing a drum solo is a club or bar setting, you're not playing for a room full of drummers. so relax!! they wont notice if you crush a roll or miss the ride dome and hit the felt.
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Post Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:38 am

drummert2k wrote:Simple.... Crowds love drum solos. especially drunk bar crowds. and they dont care if you're spliting parradiddles between your toms and snare while keeping a 5/4 ostinato on your kick and a 3:2 clave on a cowbell with your left foot. Unless your playing for a room full of drummers you have to stick with the "crowd pleasers". Double kick- even just straight sixteenth notes, non-drummers love it for some reason. stick twirls- i know. cheesey 80's trick but your drum solo is the place to let it fly! the one handed roll where you bounce the stick off the rim- you know, the one that takes 4 seconds to learn. amazing to the average person. Play something other than your drums- go to the bar and start hitting bottles and chairs. become part of the crowd for it. you will be remembered! and to finish it up.... the big ending- just play as loud and fast as you can hitting everything in sight. once again, to someone who doesnt play drums this is impressive. so remember, when your playing a drum solo is a club or bar setting, you're not playing for a room full of drummers. so relax!! they wont notice if you crush a roll or miss the ride dome and hit the felt.


Man, I like yer thinking. You`ve just inspired some ideas in me!
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