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How I play drums solos part 4
Posted On: 01/17/2012 20:38:34
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a new kid appeared (in my soloing world), and that was Joe Morello. Joe had been around, but the spotlight wasn't turned on him until the immortal "Take Five" suddenly exploded into the universe. Wow!

If things weren't difficult enough, Joe suddenly appears playing in some weird alien time signature which turned out to be 5/4. I'm mean, what the hell was that. At that time, you were considered awesome if you could play 3/4 time and swing. A fantastic example of 3/4 drumming with a drum solo would be by Danny Richmond on "Better Get it in Your Soul" off the Mingus Ah Um cd. Danny shows what "cooking" is all about in 3/4.

But, back to Joe. Now the gauntlet was thrown down, and anybody who wanted to be a real master of the drums had to come up to Joe's level at least in playing in different time signatures. Here was a guy who played with finesse, taste, perfection, and monster chops that hadn't been seen before especially in wierd time signatures. I'm mean, here is a guy who could swing and solo in 3 and a half/4 time while everyone else was trying to figure out how to count it.

So, I just put that stuff on the back burner for a long time and just satisfied myself with being able to stumble through "Take Five". When "Far More Drums" came out I had a mixture of elation and depression at the same time. That became the HOLY GRAIL of dum soloing for me. But, it hasn't been until recently that I've seriously devoted time to try to master 5/4 soloing. That's what I'm working on now.

I haven't hear anyone else actually play a good 5/4 solo. Of course that doesn't mean there aren't any, I just haven't heard them yet if there are. I mean really "good". Ginger Baker made the attempt in his "Do What You Like" that first appeared on the "Ginger Baker's Air Force" album, but after taking off in the solo, he lapses into 4/4 for all of the solo.

So, getting back to how I play solos. Another strong influence was Philly Joe Jones. His creative ability always amazes me. And, his hi-hat is like some kind of monster metronome that just keeps chugging away during his solos. Many drummers drop off the hi-hat or play on all fours (Tony Willliams), but Philly just keeps that 2 and 4 going relentlessly. Check out "Salt Peanuts" off Philly Joe's Beat. Of course Art Blakey keeps it going too, but Philly's seems more like some kind of whip pushing the solo along rather than just keeping the time.

So, these drummers along with others such as Sandy Nelson, Cozy Cole, Louie Bellson, Jack Dejohnette, Art Taylor, Roy Haynes, Kenny Clarke, Ed Thigpen, Pete La Roca, Jo Jones, Mel Lewis, and on and on and on......that have influence me in how I play drum solos. End of part 4.

Tags: Drum Solos



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