Building an Extended Drum Solo to Showcase Yourself

extending soloAs musicians, we all know the story; you slave over your drum set for hours and hours at a time in an undoubtedly cramped room. You’ve had to deal with sweat stinging your eyes.

You’ve had to replace countless torn drum heads and cracked cymbals. You’ve had to put your entire body (literally) into each and every song, just to be seated behind a kit at the back of the room at a show.

You want some recognition for all your hard work.

This is understandable. We all want to be recognized for the things we do, and in music, this is more than a possibility; it’s realistic and achievable.

For The Most Part…

If you want to construct an extended drum solo, you have to be sure you have the skills to do so. No one in your audience will want to hear ten to fifteen minutes of the same rudiments, same fills, or same patterns mercilessly regurgitated.

As a drummer, the only way to build an extended drum solo is to hone your abilities and stay focused on your drum lessons. You have to make sure that you can not only improvise but that you can ration your techniques as well.

Build Sections Around a Specific Technique

You can build an entire five minute section around paradiddles if you have mastered them, but the key is to do everything with taste.

Sure fast drumming is impressive, but the impressiveness wears off in about two minutes and leaves the audience bored, feeling like you are little more than a one dimensional musician. You want the audience to be engaged as well as impressed.

Add an entire section of call and response between yourself and your fans. Get them to clap along to your tempo. Do anything you can to get the audience involved, because an involved audience is a satisfied audience.

Don’t Let All of Your Tricks Out of the Bag at Once

Don’t start off your solo showcasing every special, impressive technique you have learned, because once you run out of techniques, the audience runs out of reasons to care about what you’re doing. This is the largest mistake that amateur musicians tend to make, and helps other bands on the bill discern them from the professionals.

To better extend your drum solo, create a basic outline that you want to follow and practice it. Granted, very few musicians have the ability to memorize at entire quarter-hour drum solo, but if you memorize certain sections you would like to perform, it can help to not only extend your solo but keep you on track, as well.

Write specific names for each section that you will notice, and add the section names on your set list under drum solo. Following that basic order will help you achieve longevity with your drum solo.

Once you go through these steps, you will have the tools to create your own extended drum solo. The final step is to create your solo. Keep in mind that simplicity is a perfect building foundation. Stay creative and have fun!

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