Rock Drumming System

How To Play A Drum Solo

Playing a drum solo is the most impressive way for drummers to express themselves. Every drummer wants to impress the audience with a unique drum solo. But do you really know how to build a proper drum solo? Will you bore the audience with a lame drum solo or lengthy repetitive roll? This article will get you started on the proper ways to create a unique drum solo that will build on itself, and impress the crowd. Remember, a good drum solo isn’t always fast and technical - so don’t get down if you are still to be considered a beginner drummer. A drum solo is something that a drummer of any background or level of experience can put together to showcase their talent. These solos are best played with rock songs; however, playing them in Jazz music, Latin music, and Punk music is also very common.  Before you decide to take on drum soloing, you may want to make sure you know the basic skills of a drummer!

The best way to look at a drum solo is by thinking of it as its own song. With a song, it starts out with a bit of an intro, and slowly starts to build. Towards the end, the song will build and build, giving off more energy to keep you the audience intrigued. You would not want a song to start with a heavy bridge and end with a slow, softer feel would you? The same is with a drum solo. A lot of drummers will throw their best chops, rolls, and drum rudiments in right at the beginning, realizing they have nothing left for a solid outro. This being said don’t think this is the only way to do a drum solo. A drum solo should be an expression of the drummer, if you want to do a solo with slow rolls for five minutes that is totally fine. Drum solos should always be unique and personal, but try your best to make them as innovative as possible!

Building A Drum Solo

It is very important to keep a solo in time. That being said, most times you can change the tempo to achieve a certain feel during your drum solo. A good way to keep time is by using a metronome, and playing a solid quarter note beat on your bass drum. An example of this is:

Drum Notation

Keep this beat on your bass drum rolling throughout the solo; it will keep you in time, and keep your solo flowing. To get proper sound dynamics, start the solo out soft, and slowly bring up the volume and intensity.

Now its time to fill in the rest. There are many ways in going about doing this, so do not feel limited, this is only a very basic solo idea. Try adding some toms over top of your bass drum pattern. One example would be to add a 16th note roll on your toms. That would look something like this:

Drum Notation

All that is left is to add some cymbals in, and expand on the beat a bit. There’s no limit to how long you can’t go for, as long as you keep people interested. You don't want to keep repeating the same roll over and over. The audience will get bored very fast. You have to keep changing different techniques and feels, while keeping them all related. Just like a song, you wouldnt totally change the feel everytime you go from verse to chorus, you always need something relative to tie everything together. Make sure that all elements of your drum solo all have the same type of feel. You can get alot of ideas from going on websites like YouTube or Google-Video, these websites have home made video's from many talented drummers that you can learn drum solo techniques from.

Finishing A Drum Solo

There are many ways to finish off a drum solo. One way is to bring it down to a soft stop. This can be done by bringing the dynamics down, and slowing the beat down a bit. You may like this technique if you are doing a long solo, where all attention is on you. It will bring closure to your beat. The other way is to go out with a bang. This is a great method if you are ending a show, or song. Crash away at your cymbals, while playing on the set as fast as you can. Fast drum rudiments going around the toms are sure to impress your crowd. End with a final blow to your crash.

Like I said before, a drum solo does not have to be too technical. They just have to be able to keep the listener intrigued. I cannot express enough how important it is that you continue to be creative with your solos.To add some spice to any solo, try playing it with brushes. Make sure that every solo you create is unique to your style, the audience can easily sense if the drummer is bored, or dissatisfied with a performance. Soloing is very fun and rewarding, so always try new tricks, and never stop learning! Try to add some spice to your soloing by playing some patterns in a linear style

Here is a drum solo by Jared Falk that was filmed during the creation of the Rock Drumming System DVDs.

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Other Related Websites you may be interested in...

Drum Solos - Learn how to play a drum solo using the complete Drumming System by Mike Michalkow!

Drum Soloing made easy - This website is designed completely around the drum solo. Look at famous drum solos and learn what it takes to create a monster solo!

How to play any drum style - This how to resource is similar to the Rock Drumming Underground. Defenitely check this site out!

Solo faster with the Moeller Method - This method of stick control makes playing drum solos extremely easy! Try it out at this free website!