One of the most impressive methods that drummers adopt in expressing themselves is playing a drum solo. As a drummer, you would want to daze your audience with a special drum solo.
However, achieving this goal starts with building a proper drum solo skill. When you do this, you won’t bore your audience with a drum solo that is rather lame or lengthy, as well as repetitive and lacks dynamics.
Whenever there is a drum solo, usually a large percentage of the audience gets up to go to the bathroom. But if you find that people stay and are sitting at the edge of their seat then you know you are on to something.
The Number One Mistake Beginner and Intermediate Drummers Make When Soloing!
Loud and fast! Many drummers believe that the core to a good drum solo is how fast and loud they play. But nothing could be farther from the truth. A desirable drum solo is usually not technical and fast. Regardless of your experience level or background as a drummer, you should be able to put a drum solo together to flaunt your talents as a drummer.
A good drum solo is not limited to the type of music you are playing. For example, some newbie drummers believe the best solos result from rock songs because they are loud, hard, rhythmic, and cool. But it is common to find drummers playing solos with jazz music, punk music, or Latin music. Well, before you start experimenting with solo drumming, ensure you are familiar with a drummer’s basic skills.
It is highly recommended that you see a drum solo as a song on its own. And, if you think it as a song of its own, you will know that it would begin with a little of intro, and subsequently starts to build slowly. It will continue building and would give off additional energy as you approach the end, so that the crowd remains interested and impressed.
As you know, it’s somewhat odd for a song to begin with a weighty bridge and terminates with a rather softer and slow feel. It also works that way when it comes to a drum solo, which is why you should perceive it as a song of its own, so that you can make the most of it in impressing your audience.
If you throw your very best rolls, chops and rudiments at the very instance, you will realize (when it is too late) there’s nothing left eventually to make a solid intro. You can make your choice when it comes to drumming solo, since it should be an expression of your talent as a drummer. The bottom line is, a drum solo should be both personal and unique, and as creative as it can be.
How to Build a Basic Drum Solo!
Let’s start by emphasizing how important it is to keep a solo in time. However, you can always alter the tempo in order to strike a certain feel as you drum solo. Using a metronome is a great way to keep time, as well as striking a solid quarter note beats with the base drum. Here’s a typical example below;
From the beginning to the end of the solo, try to keep this beat rolling going on your bass drum, which in return will help keep you in time, as well as keep your solo playing rolling smoothly. A great way to achieve the right sound dynamics is to start out the solo soft and bring up both the intensity and volume in a slow manner.
You can achieve this via different ways. You are not limited in any way. Remember, this is just a tip for you a (good one, though). You can experiment with adding a number of toms to your bass drum pattern. For instance, you can choose to add a sixteenth note roll on the toms in this manner:
Now, add a number of cymbals, and develop the bit slightly. You can go as long as you are able to, provided that your crowd remains intrigued. If you make unnecessary repetition of the same roll, you will bore the crowd quicker than you imagine. So, continue to add varieties of feels and techniques, while making sure there’s harmony in it all.
You should ensure that the entire elements of the drum solo you’re playing feature a similar type of feel.
Ending a Drum Solo.
When it comes to finishing a drum solo, you have tons of techniques at your disposal. One instance is to bring the solo down to a subtle end or stop. To achieve this, you can bring the dynamics down, and slow down the beat slightly.
Another technique is to deploy a bang as you end. This method is particularly great when you want to terminate a song, or a show. In this case, crash at your cymbals as you deploy a triplets or thirty second notes on your times and snare drum, as an example. You will surely daze your audience with fast drum rudiments around your toms. Then, apply a final blow to the crash. Remember, making a drum solo very technical is not necessary.
After you feel confident with the single bass drum time keeping pattern advance to using doubles instead of singles on the bass drum. This is an advanced technique and gives your solo a latin feel. Once you are comfortable with doubles try different bass drum patterns along with your toms and snare drum, and incorporate triplets. This will provide a dynamic range of grooves and patterns that will both challenge you as a drummer and at the same time keep your audience interested.