Re: Oh, and did you hear what the drummer got on his SATs?

1

Unfortunately, there seems to be no video of the real thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 5:55 PM
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I played in one of my college's jazz bands and on one trip to the Wichita Jazz Festival I came up with a theory of bad horn solos. They all featured what I dubbed the diddle, the scree, and the honk, but not necessarily in that order. The diddle is a fingering pattern the soloist has memorized just so he can throw off some really fast notes, the scree is the highest noise he can get out of his horn, usually sustained for a few beats, and the honk is near the bottom end of his range, loud, with a really loose flabby tone, held but not as long as the scree is. You could tell in a couple bars whether a solo was going to be a good one or not, and if the soloist didn't have anything interesting to say in his solo you'd get not one but all three features.

Time slots were limited on the main stage so you didn't hear a drum solo unless the drummer was one of the two or three best players in the band. I never really developed a theory of bad drum solos as a result.


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:01 PM
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Yeah, but what about something like this?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:10 PM
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re: 2

Yeah, the 'diddle' and the 'scree' are standard features of guitar solos, too. Even good ones, probably. Most of my guitar playing friends call what you are calling the 'diddle', the 'meedle'. Probably influenced by Strongbad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkrvfC4aYEs


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:11 PM
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re: 3 yeah, and if the drummer can do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9jXALaMy4o


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:11 PM
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Assuming there's a woman lead singer, doesn't she usually end up marrying the drummer?


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:14 PM
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5: The beginning part of that clip is a great example of how much ghost notes on the snare can add to a groove beat. But good lord, someone take that man's trash cymbal away. CLANG!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:20 PM
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Is this the drummer joke thread? What do you call a drummer in a suit?

A hobo consultant The defendant.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:27 PM
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I heard it first about a guitarist, it works here, too: How do you get a drummer off your front porch?

Pay him for the pizza.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:29 PM
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re: 7

Yeah, he does over-use that cymbal, a little.

[From about 4min 20, James Brown giving the drummer some]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIVLvs6IK98

Bit of a trading 8s vibe - grunts versus drummer.


re: drummers

"How do you tell if the drum riser is level?

The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth..."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:34 PM
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How do you keep a drumer busy?

(See next comment.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:51 PM
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How do you keep a drumer busy?

(See previous comment.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:51 PM
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What's a "drumer" Stormcrow?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:54 PM
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A: You have him look for typos in comments.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 6:58 PM
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Oh, I have one that's in really poor taste after a recent thread:

Did you hear about the guitarist who locked his keys in the car?

He had to break a window to get the drummer out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:05 PM
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Nah, he underuses the cymbal.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:06 PM
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This clip is obligatory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDU-ZyBQRnQ


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:08 PM
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What about slow insistent drum beats, a la Savage Republic. I agree with you about the speed but drums can really get us. I've always wondered why--what's the power of drums? Is it some kind of fetal thing? Reminds us of being in the womb?


Posted by: ozma | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:18 PM
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What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:33 PM
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I am so bummed that I can't watch the youtube videos linked here. Because dudes, there are some really fucking amazing drum solos out there. Also bass. Actually I'm swooning about the bass solos you get sometimes in King Crimson. Which aren't even really solos, but are just, really, the piece.

Nevermind. Carry on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:37 PM
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18: Yeah, I'd say it's that. If you've ever been part of a drum circle, it kicks into the primal. You feel it in your gut, just physically of course, but it can make you cry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:40 PM
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21: Drum circles make me want to cry, but for different reasons...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 7:48 PM
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As a jazz listener, I believe drum solos should be limited by law to two bars usually, four bars in special circumstances, and eight bars for exceptional drummers -- once or twice in their lifetime.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:18 PM
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This is quite old (much older than the publication date listed on that page) but funny. E.g.,

Drums: Drummers are radical. Specific personalities vary, but are always extreme. A drummer might be the funniest person in the world, or the most psychotic, or the smelliest. Drummers are uneasy because of the many jokes about them, most of which stem from the fact that they aren't really musicians. Pianists are particularly successful at making drummers feel bad. Most drummers are highly excitable; when excited, they play louder. If you decide to talk to the drummer during a break, be careful not to sneak up on him.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:21 PM
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Aw. Drummers are awesome.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:29 PM
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Drum solos.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:35 PM
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I have a piece (Ask the Ages: Once Upon a Time) where Elvin Jones starts out solo and keeps going, and then Sonny Sharrock comes in and solos on top of Jones's solo and keeps going, and then Pharaoh Sanders comes in and solos on top of the other two solos. Sounds awful, but it's just amazing.

There's a fourth guy, Charnal Moffit, on bass, and he must have been terrified. Those aren't the best jazzmen of their time, except Jones, but they're among the most over-the-top.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:39 PM
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At a concert at Mills some time ago in Terry Riley's honor, one of the pieces culminated with a truly rocking drum solo. It was good. Let no one tell you different.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:39 PM
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27.1: Henry Cow's MO is occasionally described as "everyone solos at once". (That's actually a terrible description, but it is about.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:40 PM
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This one's for eekbeat:

Q: What do you call a drummer who breaks up with his girlfriend?

A: Homeless.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:44 PM
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This is really the obligatory link for this thread.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 8:46 PM
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I like this gentleman. (esp the final bit, for some reason).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:02 PM
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32: What a curious way to set up one's rack toms. I wonder what his thinking is (as he's obviously not a rookie).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:08 PM
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Rearrange your toms and free your mind, man.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:11 PM
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ISTR reading somewhere that back in the Soft Machine days Robert Wyatt set up his drums differently for each gig (presumably allowing repetition so as not to be forced to truly arcane arrangements).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:14 PM
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Charnett Moffett


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:14 PM
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The drum solo provides a good opportunity to hit the head, or go get a drink, and know you won't miss anything. And less crowded than an actual break. How long a drum solo should be will depend on how long it takes to do one or the other.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:22 PM
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This song has drums in it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:30 PM
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38: That part stays right in time (well, double-time) and is neat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:41 PM
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I'm not qualified to comment on musicianship, but I like the song a lot.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 9:53 PM
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I'm going to have to find a way to finance high-speed internet, aren't I.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 10:42 PM
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27 - man, I love that record so much. And Moffett knew what he was getting into. But here's Sharrock talking about Elvin Jones, which is very interesting. With this type of music, the word "solo" really no longer applies.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:49 PM
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In case you don't feel like following the link or reading the weird type:

Many years ago I had the good fortune of playing with Elvin Jones. I always pay a lot of attention to the way a drummer uses his ride i cymbal; Elvin plays it differently than anyone I've ever heard. His time is impeccable, but he doesn't use the standard repetitive rhythm on the ride: Instead, he accents his ceaseless snare and tom patterns with it. Elvin's high-hat cymbal does not always fall on the traditional second, and fourth beats; like his ride, it too is used to accent when necessary. With all of this coming at you at once, you hear and play differently. You swing or you die. When I played with Elvin for the first time, I was afraid that I would be swallowed up by the music coming out of the drums. Eventually I got my nerve together and let myself go into the music. I started to develop melodies based on the rhythmic phrases. My confidence grew. I realized that I could not get lost, because I was in the hands of a master drummer and improviser. I had just met swing head-on for the first time.


Posted by: Marichiweu | Link to this comment | 03-29-09 11:54 PM
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That Stanley hates drum solos (which do indeed suck) endears him to me even more.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:12 AM
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Also I want to point out that linking to drum solos in this thread violates the post.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:13 AM
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Actually I quite like drum solos.


Posted by: Bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:14 AM
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Bongo solo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 12:25 AM
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One of the best drum bands in Scotland is Sheboom, which is all-women and began as a lesbian drummers' group back in the 1980s, back when joining a drummers' group was the thing lesbians did when they came out in Scotland. (I didn't. Always a maverick.)

I love going on Pride marches in Scotland because Sheboom always head the march: they're fantastic. As a result, when I think drummer, I think cute butch women, which makes all these jokes sound... off.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:40 AM
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Worst drum solo evar: Little Ricky's drum solo on I Love Lucy. Displaying a big banner reading "This show is coming to an end and I need another gig" for 22 minutes would have been less blatant.

Bass solos: Squarepusher FTW!


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 5:45 AM
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42: After I posted I came up with my metaphor: it was like a monster truck demolition derby. Not that they didn't play well together, but they were these enormous headstrong guys going full speed ahead.

I think of Jones as the greatest, the Muhammed Ali of drumming. He's able to keep so many things going at once while stil going full speed ahead.

I think that it's probably the variations Sharrock talked about that are the difference. Jones didn't need to put down a predictable pattern to vary against, he was varying in all voices but had the governing pattern in his head.

My son heard him live in Boston around 15 years ago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 6:36 AM
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I think of Jones as the greatest, the Muhammed Ali of drumming. He's able to keep so many things going at once while stil going full speed ahead.

The soloing in the mid to late Coltrane quartet's work is amazing partly because it feels very little like "and now I will show you my penis" and very much like it's actually compositional. Tyner, in particular, tends to play less notes when he's actually soloing.

As for drum solos in rock, one of the best that I saw recently was at a Dead Meadow show, which actually closed their set. They're basically a stoner jam band for the indie crowd, though.


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 8:05 AM
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Bongo solo!

That reminds me, Henry Gibson has some fun drum parts on Curtis/Live!. I don't know if they qualify as solo's precisely, but I'll upload a track this evening when I get home from work.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 9:30 AM
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As far as the Bad Horn Solo Theorem goes, I'd like to add an element. I don't know the name of the piece though. Probably some opera. But quotations of that descending "Do deet deet deedoo, doo deet deet doo" bit should be included.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:19 AM
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I always liked this thread.

You know, the deedle, the low blat and the high squeal were probably pretty mind-blowing the first time somebody did them.

Think about that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-09 10:15 PM
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