Solos: lots of notes to few notes?

markkarj

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In watching a Steve Gadd solo, one person said, "It is increasingly difficult for me to endure virtuous solos with thousands of hits per second. I am increasingly looking for elegance and musicality in the drums. So drummers like Ash Soan or Master Gadd are my guides." The piece in question is at

So I thought I'd ask:
1) in solos, do you prefer a lot of notes or fewer notes;
2) when and how did your tastes change;
3) are there any solos that significantly influenced you or changed your mind?

In my case, I'm more interested these days with the drums as part of the song and much less on technical virtuosity. I think I was probably in my early 20s when I started to lose a lot of interest in wild, off-the-wall solos.

On solos I like, I've always been a sucker for Manu Katche's playing... and simply love this performance:
.
 

lamartee

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In watching a Steve Gadd solo, one person said, "It is increasingly difficult for me to endure virtuous solos with thousands of hits per second. I am increasingly looking for elegance and musicality in the drums. So drummers like Ash Soan or Master Gadd are my guides." The piece in question is at

So I thought I'd ask:
1) in solos, do you prefer a lot of notes or fewer notes;
2) when and how did your tastes change;
3) are there any solos that significantly influenced you or changed your mind?

In my case, I'm more interested these days with the drums as part of the song and much less on technical virtuosity. I think I was probably in my early 20s when I started to lose a lot of interest in wild, off-the-wall solos.

On solos I like, I've always been a sucker for Manu Katche's playing... and simply love this performance:
.
Manu Katche- He doesn't play drums. He makes music
 

paul

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Once again we're confronted with a false choice, more or fewer notes in a solo. What are you trying to achieve with a solo? Are you playing inside the form of a jazz tune? Performing your once a night feature where the band leaves the stage? Both situations, IMO, call for space as well as displays of virtuosity (if you have it). It's a solo. It's your chance to show what you can do without accompaniment.

There are no rules except to try to make musical sense.
 

JimmySticks

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Being a Buddy Rich fan, I'm all in with speed, power and a boat load of hits per second I guess.

His solo's leave me breathless because you don't get a chance to breath. It's a human tsunami of beautiful sound, a wall of percussion. I find his solo's to be awe inspiring. There were other drummers that were close, such a Ed Shaugnessy Louie Bellson and in modern times, maybe Tommy Igoe, but in general, the newer players don't hit you with that non stop tsunami of hits and speed. You can say modern players are more musical or more artistic, but I believe they would kill to play like Buddy Rich, but can't.
 

Mcjnic

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I don't really like solos, per se. They can be interesting, but not really my cup o' tea. I believe I've only played one in a live venue setting. Never liked that whole "look at me" kinda thing.
There are a few, though that have stayed with me. They really impacted me deep and I've enjoyed them multiple views.
Here's one ... Weckl takes his solo and becomes like elastic ... stretching and pulling ... until he slowly releases back into the tune and drives it to the finish.
I don't believe I've ever heard a more appropriate musical statement from a drum solo. Just perfect from where I sit.


 

paul

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I'm old school and like solos to be musical, and breathe

So, Joe Morello on Take Five
When Take Five was recorded the band was still new to odd times. Note how Gene Wright keeps the bass riff going through Morello's solo on TF, to help him know where he was.

I've always felt that Far More Drums, recorded a couple of years later, is a MUCH better solo, and shows much greatere facility in 5/4. At this point, Morello is as comfortable in 5 as in 3 or 4 or any other time signature. Lots of notes in this one, and lots of music as well.

 

cruddola

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In watching a Steve Gadd solo, one person said, "It is increasingly difficult for me to endure virtuous solos with thousands of hits per second. I am increasingly looking for elegance and musicality in the drums. So drummers like Ash Soan or Master Gadd are my guides." The piece in question is at

So I thought I'd ask:
1) in solos, do you prefer a lot of notes or fewer notes;
2) when and how did your tastes change;
3) are there any solos that significantly influenced you or changed your mind?

In my case, I'm more interested these days with the drums as part of the song and much less on technical virtuosity. I think I was probably in my early 20s when I started to lose a lot of interest in wild, off-the-wall solos.

On solos I like, I've always been a sucker for Manu Katche's playing... and simply love this performance:
.
Manu Katche is absolute killer in Peter Gabriel's live version of "In Your Eyes" give it an ear!
 

cruddola

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Being a Buddy Rich fan, I'm all in with speed, power and a boat load of hits per second I guess.

His solo's leave me breathless because you don't get a chance to breath. It's a human tsunami of beautiful sound, a wall of percussion. I find his solo's to be awe inspiring. There were other drummers that were close, such a Ed Shaugnessy Louie Bellson and in modern times, maybe Tommy Igoe, but in general, the newer players don't hit you with that non stop tsunami of hits and speed. You can say modern players are more musical or more artistic, but I believe they would kill to play like Buddy Rich, but can't.
Absolutely on point! I believe it's because style, dynamic control and syncopation is missing in a lot of drumming today. Style is the delivery, dynamics is the emotion and syncopation is the punctuation. I see a solo as a conversation. I agree with your point. Give Sonny Payne and Viola Smith's YouTube videos a visit.
 

swarfrat

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Have you ever known random strangers to go around humming Victor Wooten bass solos? But I don't even need to tell you what BEG stands for.
 

Jay-Dee

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The Steve Gadd solo in post one, a nice groove going on under it, simple and not too long, cool.

Manu Katche is a beautiful player but his solo in post one is way too long for me. It started out nicely but just dragged on.

Dave Weckl in post six with the music and groove still going on under it, about perfect.
 

bbunks

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Structure. An evolving story. A display of chops is okay, but I don’t want all chops unless it’s Buddy Rich, and then THAT’S the story!

I could have a playlist of Gadd solos and listen to them for hours. He does a beautiful job of building intensity and emotion.

In terms of a solo making sense with songstructure, give me Max Roach. Weckl is the “even more” chops version. He is masterful.

And for pure abandon and emotion, Art Blakey is my guy.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I'm old school and like solos to be musical, and breathe

So, Joe Morello on Take Five


And Max Roach, The Drum Also Waltzes

I don't think of Max's tunes like this as drum solos; they're like charts for only one instrument, which just so happened to be drums. I was just thinking of this one earlier today:


Ooh, the way this kick sounds on vinyl...
 

Quai34

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Well, you started with two masters in the drums solos so, yes, the bar is super high!!!!
 

pwc1141

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I prefer playing 4's to extended solos and with brushes if possible within the tune. The number of notes are whatever the mood, genre, and feel of the tune calls for.....as to other drummers' solos, I am normally impressed but don't try to emulate.
 

Deafmoon

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I basically like all drum solos. Fast , slow, lots of notes, lots of space; doesn’t matter. The only drum solo I ever heard where I zoned out on was Bonham at MSG. To me his solos always were 5 to 6 minutes of greatness into 14 minutes of ‘zzzzzz’s’. It wasn’t his fault, frankly who can go at it great for 20 minutes to cover the time it takes for the other guys to towel down, go the washroom, smoke a cig and rehydrate?
 

JimmySticks

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I basically like all drum solos. Fast , slow, lots of notes, lots of space; doesn’t matter. The only drum solo I ever heard where I zoned out on was Bonham at MSG. To me his solos always were 5 to 6 minutes of greatness into 14 minutes of ‘zzzzzz’s’. It wasn’t his fault, frankly who can go at it great for 20 minutes to cover the time it takes for the other guys to towel down, go the washroom, smoke a cig and rehydrate?
It's funny, a couple of months ago I was listening to Buddy Rich solo's and then I put on a Bonham solo, and I was completely disappointed in Bonham's solo skills. I mean it wasn't even close to Buddy in speed, power and fluidness. Buddy just kept flowing and moving and pushing, his left hand fluttering like a hummingbirds wings, while Bonham heavy handedly plodded along. He had moments of brilliance, but just moments. No real flow.

I find to many solo's don't flow well. They take "artistic" breaks where they do some gimmicky thing that bores the listener pretty quickly. Those big band swing drummers didn't have that problem.
 

Deafmoon

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It's funny, a couple of months ago I was listening to Buddy Rich solo's and then I put on a Bonham solo, and I was completely disappointed in Bonham's solo skills. I mean it wasn't even close to Buddy in speed, power and fluidness. Buddy just kept flowing and moving and pushing, his left hand fluttering like a hummingbirds wings, while Bonham heavy handedly plodded along. He had moments of brilliance, but just moments. No real flow.

I find to many solo's don't flow well. They take "artistic" breaks where they do some gimmicky thing that bores the listener pretty quickly. Those big band swing drummers didn't have that problem.
Buddy was the king of solos and always will be. I always laugh when I hear younger drummers say this and that negatively about him. If you can develop to play the left continuously as Buddy did and inject right hand accents on the snare, toms , bass drum, cymbals like he could, you would be coming close to what Buddy was about. I can do it. But not with the fluid speed Buddy had. His left hand finger flicks were incredible.
 


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