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How I Play Drums Solos 7
Posted On 03/23/2012 00:19:47 by Carthage
There is one kind of drum solo I haven't commented on, and this is probably the one that needs to be gone over the most. That is the "drum solo song". Everyone who plays drums solos at one time or another has had "The Drum Solo Song".

Everyone or almost everyone knows "Wipe Out" and has probably had to play it at one time or another. There isn't much to it, but for those who want to get creative, it can be turned into more than just the same pattern played over and over. But, if you get too "way out", you lose the song and what it's all about - a simple surf song with solid repititious drums. So, you are actually restricted in how far you can go and keep the feeling and drive going. Result: Everytime someone crys out "Play Wipeout", you want to throw a beer bottle at them (an empty one of course" and you wish you never heard of the song. Of course, that's after you've had to play it over a hundred times.

The same goes with other great popular and famous rock and jazz solo songs like: Let There Be Drums and Teen Beat by Sandy Nelson, Topsy by Cozy Cole, and Caravan composed by Duke" Ellington, Juan Tizol, Irving Mills. A million renditions of it have been done . Somewhere along the line it got turned into a drum solo song. That's another song that people used to request a lot. In fact, so much so that The Mothers of Invention on their 2nd album "Absolutely Free" on the song "America Drinks and Goes Home" tell some drunk (as they're winding up their last set) they'll play "Caravan with a drum solo" tomorrow night. If you have ever played clubs a lot, especially back in the days of dinosaurs, there alway used to be some dude who wanted to hear that, and maybe there still are some people out there who still request it. Hilarious to hear Frank Zappa say it.

In the late 60s a major change burst on the scene with the advent of "Cream". They broke all the rules of rock and started playing like jazz musicians except it was rock. Ginger Baker had his drum solo song "Toad", and on "Wheels of Fire" you can hear the first long rock drum solo. Soon after that, all the bands where imitating Cream and the drummers doing long drum solos. Long drum solos got to be par for the course. If you played in any band that that actually got up ther and "kicked ass", you had to do "THE DRUM SOLO".

Gone where the good ole days of Wipe Out, Let There Be Drums and so on. Now you had to start playing complicted "real" drums solos. And with Ginger Baker adding in the double bass, suddenly everything changed and went to some other level that took us by surprise. Here was someone that not only had two bass drums but could actually play them. It was scary. It took time for the rest of us to adjust to it. Yes, Blue Cheer's drummer had two bass drums, but that was mostly window dressing. And yes of course Loui Bellson was the first drummer to have double bass drums, but honestly, he really didn't ever do much with them (I have tons of Louie Bellson cds).

After Cream, you had an assorted number of bands trying to emulate them with their grandiose style, power playing, soloing, improvising, and so on. To name a few (which by the way were all great) you had: Led Zeppelin, James Gang, Vanilla Fudge (with Carmen Appice using double basses), Grand Funk, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, and even Chicago before Terry Kath died (people today don't know that at one time Chacago was a mother of a band). Those are just some of the bands that broke out and started doing the super performance shows that Cream started.

From the drummers position, the one thing they all had in common was "THE BIG DRUM SOLO". So, you had to start thinking big drum solo all the time. And as a result, you had to start practicing a lot since every time you played a solo someone was out there comparing you to John Bonham or someone else as equally masterful on the drums. It got to be stressful but fun.

So, in this kind of situation, it's a good idea to have something worked out ahead of time instead of just shooting from the hip. So, if you're going to have to play a drum solo song, you need to work out some ideas of what you're actually going to do in advance. You have to sit down and think for example: OK, first I'll do some rolls asround the drum, and next I'll play some intricate double bass patterns, and then I'll do my African beats, and finally I'll top it off with a double bass shuffle with triplets on top of it and drive it to the end with lots of cymbal crashes.

So, you have this general road map worked out. You're going to go from A to B to C to D and then end it´╝ÄSince you'll be playing that same drum solo song each time, you don't have to vary the sequence. But, you can play different things in each section of your solo (that way it doesn't become boring each time you do it (for you and the people who hear you play it again and again).

Again, I repeat, that you have to practice as much as possible, listen to and watch as many different good drummers as possible, try to copy from them as much as possible, and keep playing drum solos. The more you do it, the better you will get.

Tags: Drum Solos


Viewing 1 - 1 out of 1 Comments

From: KenSanders
10/05/2013 12:00:28
Great insigts.

I used to perform "Toad". That brought back some memories.

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