Planning a Successful Drum Solo in Advance

successful soloDid you know that drum solos are actually planned?

Probably not. In fact, most musicians think that drum solos are spur of the moment furies of complete and utter talent.

While they are made to highlight the musician’s talents, they are far from instantaneous. In fact, most drum solos are written out with months of practice and preparation.

It may sound absurd, to plan out a solo, but just like guitarists, even when improvising, drummers need a set pattern or route to follow.

If you want to know how to create a sense appealing, heart racing drum solo, then you have come to the right place.

Make A List

It may sound boring, but it just might be the most important step. Write down all of the techniques you would like to highlight, and how you would like to highlight them. Basically, this is the list of goals which you would like your drum solo to achieve. This is important because without a set structure and direction, you will find yourself having a hard time constructing a drum solo.

Once you have your list, make a list of all of your techniques that you are completely comfortable with. If these two lists don’t match up, then you should either work on the techniques you want to highlight that you aren’t yet completely proficient with, or rewrite your list accordingly.


When you have both of your lists matched up to suit your skill level, next you need to compose. This involves sitting at your kit and coming up with patterns and grooves that you can build off of. You can use basic preexisting patterns that you know fairly well, or you can create some of your own. Decide which techniques or rudiments you would like to implement in which patterns.

Remember to use a metronome while you practice, as you want your rhythm as precise as possible, because come drum solo time at your show, you will be the sole voice. This means, if you are struggling to keep rhythm, everyone will notice.

Once you have your patterns chosen create a basic outline of which rudiments you would like to use with which patterns. If you want to do a lot of call and response cymbal chokes, write the section in between a build and a more impressive segment. This will help grab your audience’s attention, as they won’t be expecting it.


The final step to creating your drum solo is to practice it. Once you have your structure set out, your dynamics all lined up, you will need to practice hard. The goal of practicing isn’t to memorize the entire drum solo but to memorize which drumming techniques go hand in hand with which patterns.

This will help you to avoid drumming yourself into a corner. Keep the patterns basic, as that makes them easier to build off of, and work hard. Remember, the drum solo is your time to shine, so you will want to put in all of the effort possible to make sure you showcase your hard work properly. With some practice, learning how to create your own drum solos is not a difficult process. Good luck!

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