Those Darn Drum Solos! November 16, 2008
This past Friday and Saturday night my Beatles tribute band played the Ottawa Carleton racetrack. I was given an open solo for the final song, "Birthday". In Ringo's solo, he plays eighth notes for 8 bars and that's it. I thought "screw authenticity" and went for a "David Cronkite" drum solo. Trouble is, I don't think I'm a very good soloist. The audience digs it, but in secret, I'm shouting "Man, that was crap!" However, I learned long ago you shouldn't say such a thing to someone who compliments you on your efforts. I remark "thank-you very much", but I want to say "Aw, you gotta be kidding, that was so lame. I screwed up that triplet sixteenth part, nothing I played was original, the solo didn't actually go anywhere, and most of it was just bullshit anyway." I don't mind saying this to another musician so much, but a non-musician audience member, NO WAY! If they enjoyed it, why ruin it for them? Imagine if I complimented an actor on their performance in a play and they shot back "Are you kidding? That was not my best stuff at all...I sucked something awful tonight!" I would walk away feeling pretty embarrassed.
Anyway, I'm an OK soloist; it's not a skill I excel at. I always think the audience is bored so I get nervous and move on to some other lick without taking the time or having the faith to stick with an idea and work it. Next solo, I won't worry about the audience. I'm going to relax, think, and create something that makes sense and ends with a bang. Oh yeah, and lots and lots of solo practice before I go on :-)