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How I play drums solos part 2.
Posted On: 01/07/2012 21:48:50
Drum solos today come in a about as many different forms as there are different kinds of people. But, it hasn't always been that way. The drum solo has evolved just like any other instrument.

I suppose you could go all the way back to the days of cavemen and reconstruct some kind of archeological history of people hitting sticks on logs and stuff like that, but I'm just a simple dude, so I'll just go back to the 1940s and into the 50s to start with. This all has a connection to my playing.

Using people that can be recognized by most drummers, you find people like Sid Catlet, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Barret Deems, and others all playing similar solos. Usually playing the bass drum with four beats and playing syncopated rim shots and so on. They all played the same style keeping a steady driving beat.

There are a lot of examples. I personally like Gene Krupa's Drum Boogie off "The Drum Battle-Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich at JATP". The first time I heard that I cried because Gene kept those triplets going for so long. I didn't think it was humanly possible and almost felt like quitting the drums. Of course, today I don't feel that way. It was also the first time I ever heard a band with no bass player. It was all an amazing surprise.

There are two things you can do when confronted with a situation like that and that is to either quit or get inspsired and determine to do better. I decided not to quit.

Soon a new breed of music and drummer emerged. With the advent of Bop and BeBop came drummers like Max Roach, Art Blakey, Arthur Taylor, Kenny Clarke, and others. They alternated at first between playing all fours on the bass drum and occasionlly dropping "bombs" (single bass drum accents here and there). They finally got off the four on the floor altogether. If you listen to early Max Roach, you can hear that kind of playing.

Art Blakey brought another big change. He went to Africa in 1949 and spent a couple of years there learning African drumming. He brought that back to America and started using African drumming in his solos. He made several albums with that kind of drumming. "Ritual" is the classic. Also "Holiday For Skins Vol. 1 & 2, Orgy in Rhythm, and Night in Tunisia are good examples. End of part 2.

Tags: Drum Solos



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