Playing the drums with friends can be fun but sometimes the drummer can feel like the odd man out even if they are the backbone of the rhythm section. Drum solos are one way the drummer can shine during a performance. Before jumping into your next drum solo take a look at some of our helpful tips below. Don’t let your drum solo be the eyesore of a stellar performance with friends. These tips will ensure your solo adds to the performance and leaves the audience wanting more.
1. Know Your Song:
This is a given but many drummers are the masters of drumming but do not understand how to incorporate a solo naturally into a song. Instead, some drummers wail away at the drum set, showing off their array of skills and catch the audience (and even bandmates) off guard. Before jumping into a drum solo be sure to know where your drum part fits in the overall sound of the song. Will it disrupt or create a different energy? There is no shame in planning out a drum solo, especially when you’re first learning how. Solos don’t give a drummer the right to an impromptu jam session each time.
2. Soloing Practice is Essential:
Being put on the spot is hard enough but being asked to play an impromptu drum solo can be nerve wrecking. Cut yourself some slack by practicing patterns that flow together and mesh with different songs. Drum solos can and should be well rehearsed before unleashing them on an audience. Fans will appreciate a well-crafted drum solo over poorly strung together drum beats any day.
3. Try to Play the Melody:
Drums get a lot of time in the rhythm section. So it comes as no surprise that many drummers forget the amazing melodies that can be made with a drum set. If you don’t feel comfortable crafting your own drum melodies just yet, try playing drum beats and patterns that match the melodies of familiar songs. Soon you’ll find playing melody on drums comes easier each time.
4. Cut it Short:
Drum solos are amazing and can help boost a song. A drum solo that goes too long can do the opposite and disengage the audience. If you see the audience drifting asleep during your solo then cut your solo short. Reading the response of the audience is a fundamental part of performance. Shorter drum solos often add more pop to a song and keep the audience’s full attention.
5. Adjust to the Genre:
Solos for drums are not universal. Bebop drumming will have a different drum solo than Latin drumming so make sure you change your drum solo for the genre. This can be tricky, especially when you’ve gotten comfortable with a few drum patterns. Take your time and listen to drum solos by other artists in the genre. Learning from professionals is a good foundation for building your personal drum solo style.
What do you do to get the perfect drum solo each time? Let us know and share your tips and tricks below. Beginner drummers have no fear. We have a great selection of drum solo sheet music to help ease you into the art.