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How to handle the DRUM SOLO!

Posted by imtblog in Guest Drum Posts

12.5.11: (Drum Education):

  • START OFF GENTLE, EASE INTO IT and TAKE YOUR TIME: “That’s what she said”! (crowd laughs) So now that we got the inappropriate humor out of the way and I’ve addressed the play on words in the title, I will attempt to provide my humble opinion on the subject “How to handle the “DRUM SOLO”. Seen as the equivalent to public speaking, drum solo’s have a tendency to intimidate the unsuspecting drummer and rightfully so, but drum solo’s are just as much about technical simplicity as they are about flash and “chops”. If you don’t play like Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl or Steve Smith or solo like Steve Gadd or Thomas Lang, don’t worry, here are some simple things you can do to improve your solos:

  • 1) LEAP: Learn, Experiment, Add and Practice your rudiments daily. A simple paradiddle, once understood, can be manipulated and placed around the kit to resemble intricate ethnic patterns or funky fusion grooves; depending on the placement and tempo. If you’re not sure what a paradiddle is, here’s a few: Single Paradiddle: RLRR LRLL, Double Paradiddle: RLRLRR LRLRLL, Triple Paradiddle: RLRLRLRR LRLRLRLL.

    2) LAY: Listen, Adapt and Yield: Sometimes when playing in a band or choir the musicians/or singers will open up room and quote “Give the Drummer some”! But that doesn’t always mean that you’ll be playing alone, they just might quiet down or have a bass guitar accompany your solo. If that’s the case, here’s what you do: Listen to the groove and fall into the pocket. Let the groove play at least 4 bars before you ADAPT and begin to add to chops and fills, then lastly YIELD into the groove and have fun; don’t take it to seriously just play what you feel and keep the time.

  • 3)STROKE: Study, Train, Research, Outreach and KICK EARS!: Being the best doesn’t happen overnight. But here’s the good news, it does happen; it happens for those who STUDY, TRAIN and RESEARCH their craft. Furthermore, you can’t be, neither should you try to be, successful alone; you need to OUTREACH to other drummers who have similar goals as far increasing their skills and form coalitions, trade ideas and support each other. Lastly, KICK EARS! Play loud, play fast and HAVE FUN!

  • It is not necessary to understand music; it is only necessary that one enjoy it. – Leopold Stokowski

  • Check out Flood the Drummer Soloing on Youtube!

  • Source: Flood the Drummer®
    Follow Flood the Drummer® on Twitter @floodthedrummer
    WATCH Flood the Drummer® on YouTube @
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    2 Responses

    • Nice! I actually started practicing the paradiddle after reading this. Good stuff, and i went to the YouTube, this drummer is smoking! Thanks for the post!

    • Hi,

      I don’t play drums but sure do love them! Enjoyed reading your tips and how you use acronyms to make it easier for the drummer to remember the techniques. I watched the video, that fella can go! Hope you don’t mind a link to another drum-related YouTube video? While I love the song, I get a kick out of watching the drummer in this session: DRUMS: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing – Marvin Gaye –

      BTW – Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Had you not done so, I’d never have discovered your music teaching site. Cheers!

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