Preparing to play drum solos

phil-drummer

New member
When i do a gig , my fellow band buddys and sometimes the crowd demand / ask for me to do a drum solo. i have various cool chops that i can play just for a warm up n most of the time i just string a few chops together n improvise until i either run out of things to play or feel ive play long enuff.

I was wondering how do YOU go about preparing for drum solos, should i keep it improvised for a more original sound or should i slave over my drums for hours learning and perfecting a bad ass solo for shows ?

im sure the latter is a much better option but how do i go about starting a killer solo , what would you do dudes ?
 

break the prism

New member
i decide on one groove to start with, maybe something easily accessible by the crowd, try to get them into it, then build fof of that. i throw in a lot of meter changes, but i make them distinguishable enough so people don't get lost. i focus way more on groove and crowd response than i do on showing off all of my chops.
 

mlumpkin13

New member
I think you should write a "skeleton" solo, with all of the basic ideas(groove, changes, etc.) that you would like to incorporate and then improvise around the basics so that when people see you more than once you're not playing the same solo over and over, unless you just want to write/memorize several different solos. In the end it all comes down to what you're comfortable with. If you like to wing it, then wing it. If not, write it.
 

phoenix7289

New member
mlumpkin13":272xile0 said:
I think you should write a "skeleton" solo, with all of the basic ideas(groove, changes, etc.) that you would like to incorporate and then improvise around the basics so that when people see you more than once you're not playing the same solo over and over, unless you just want to write/memorize several different solos. In the end it all comes down to what you're comfortable with. If you like to wing it, then wing it. If not, write it.
Right on brother! Yah, this guy said it, writing it can help! And also, having more items on your drumset helps you expand the solo, that is why punk drummers never really have had good solos, because they have hardly any sounds to throw in! COWBELL! ICE BELL! TIMBALE! ROTO-TOMS! JAM BLOCKS! YOU GET THE IDEA!!!
 

skitch

New member
mlumpkin13":2omhvzfz said:
I think you should write a "skeleton" solo, with all of the basic ideas(groove, changes, etc.) that you would like to incorporate and then improvise around the basics so that when people see you more than once you're not playing the same solo over and over, unless you just want to write/memorize several different solos. In the end it all comes down to what you're comfortable with. If you like to wing it, then wing it. If not, write it.
Your question made me think of the solo Neil Peart has played over the decades, and while there are new wrinkles thorwn in here and there, he still uses the same phrases. If you listen to All the World's a Stage, then Exit Stage Left and then A Show of Hands, you can pick out the similarities of these solos and yet, Neil is contantly developing his solo. So the concept of having a "Skeleton" if you will is a valid concept.
 

loosesticks

New member
ok i think every thing i do is a solo, well that is every time i play i'm alone doe's that count.. guess i need a band huh, lol.. i'm lookin, actullaly my girls jam with me from time to time
 

brutalsouth

New member
me personally, i start with the fundamental beat/groove to get their attention, i look at it in a matter of progression to my top speed, if this makes any sense, i do the fundamental skills i first learned but with the talent of the years of practice, work your way up to your apex, doesnt really have to be all flashy and cliche, just good fills with solid technique but there has to be something facemelting involved, insane speed fills with a solid "god damn" finish. thats me personally
 

stump

New member
I am not a big fan of playing drum solo's unless I am really feeling the groove. As for me, I just improvise. If I ever become some big time rockstar then I will concentrate alittle more on the whole "look at me!" drum solo thing.
 

arbitrary

New member
Right on brother! Yah, this guy said it, writing it can help! And also, having more items on your drumset helps you expand the solo, that is why punk drummers never really have had good solos, because they have hardly any sounds to throw in! COWBELL! ICE BELL! TIMBALE! ROTO-TOMS! JAM BLOCKS! YOU GET THE IDEA!!![/quote]

I have to disagree with the whole toys thing, just find a groove and stick with that basic groove. i like to follow the basic grove of the song but move through different time and also have pleanty of dynamics in the solo. most important have fun and dont try to muchand look like an ass
 

Beej

New member
While I agree that you should have something scripted, I do like a variety as far as how the solo is presented. We all know the concept of "the more you practice it(a song or solo) the better it will sound." If you want to keep an audience's attentiveness, you have to work on phrases to keep them involved. Also, sweet transitions from phrase to phrase can also make someone sit back and say, "That was cool!" So piecing them together is just as important as the different phrases you travel to and fro. The variety factor comes in as the "keep yourself fresh" factor. After you've done a certain amount of shows or a particular time frame with the same solo, change it up a little. Go into it during a different song. This applies I think more directly to the drummers/percussionists like myself that play alot of the same venues within a six month span. There are a couple of places that want us back at least once a month and usually it draws alot of the same crowd nearly every time. I would treat drum solos just like the music I play. Whether it's cover tunes or our original music, change it and mix it up to keep giving the crowd that comes back time and time again a fresh show. Work on new material as much as possible so they don't get board to death with your (mini) show. Thats my take on it. Sorry so lengthy.
 

dkmfan

New member
i can't really practice a solo. I've tried but, it just doesn't work. I just start hitting the drums and making beats that can be easily changed to something totally different. Alot of times i will start with a basic groove and then just start makeing the groove smaller and smaller adding fills in between.
 

m

New member
Beej":1jwo1zgo said:
Also, sweet transitions from phrase to phrase can also make someone sit back and say, "That was cool!" So piecing them together is just as important as the different phrases you travel to and fro.
this is an excellent point; I agree 100%. Bad (or no) transitions can kill an otherwise good solo.
 

screamkevin

New member
I watch as many drum solos as I can on YouTube and at other band's shows, and add to my "drumming toolbox" from there. You can always pick up a lick or riff everywhere you look.

I also enjoy playing solos that were originally done by established drummers. I'll do them for a show or two, then move on. Currently, I've worked in a new solo to my band's version of "Radar Love" (Golden Earring/White Lion). I saw Daniel Erlandsson of Arch Enemy and fell in love with the solo. I incorporate most of it into my own stuff now at the same tempo, and it works well, but I'm already looking ahead for something else. It's just fun for me, and the crowd loves it.

Here's the solo that I'm using as a base, I don't have the samples or triggers, but it's pretty cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QumA1nvlbpk
 
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