DiscardedYKTTW Drum Solo YKTTW Discussion

Drum Solo
All the other bandmates shut up and let the drummer go wild
(permanent link) added: 2011-04-22 18:23:19 sponsor: jaytee (last reply: 2011-09-11 00:29:10)

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You're onstage, shredding the guitar and rocking the crowd's face off. But you're feeling a little thirsty and you could use a smoke; where do you take the song from here?

Drum Solo.

Drum solos are far less common than their cousin Guitar Solo, and are typically limited to a select few genres of popular music. Drummers also tend to take the "solo" part more literally than their bandmates, often playing their solos unaccompanied. Most common in jam music, metal, prog rock and other genres that highly value technical musicianship.

Like the Guitar Solo, drum solos are often improvised.

Sometimes played for comedy. Being unaccompanied, drum solos can be a good time for the other band members to tune up, take a smoke break or 'hang out' backstage. This is very much Truth in Television, as many drummers will relish the opportunity to break free from their 4:4 backbeats and spend fifteen minutes showing of their skills.


  • The drum solo in Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is one of the Trope Codifiers for modern popular music.
  • Going hand-in-hand with Iron Butterfly as Trope Codifier is Cream. Ginger Baker's lengthy, free-form solos are likely where the joke about the rest of the band leaving the stage came from.
    • Cream's song "Toad" is built entirely around a drum solo and was common in live sets.
  • The Beatles' "The End" is notable for containing Ringo's only drum solo in their catalog.
  • Alex Van Halen tells a story of one concert where Eddie was playing a Guitar Solo, but Alex kept Drum Soloing over top of him until Eddie threw his guitar down and said "We'll continue when you're finished, okay?"
    Reporter: And did you keep going?
    Alex: Hell yeah, I was on a roll!
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic subverts this in "Polka Your Eyes Out", whose drum solo consists of 28 alternating bass/snare+highhat strikes (boom-chick boom-chick boom-chick...) concluding with a snare roll.
  • Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer did quite a few, naturally. On "Toccata" his solo includes lots of electronic fx produced by miniature drum synthesizers.
  • Black Sabbath has a notable drum solo in the song "Rat Salad."
  • The King Crimson song Groon when played live and extended.
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