Mel Bay - Extreme Drumset Solos

Extreme Drumset Solos for Recitals, Contests and Fun, by Rob Leytham, is a must-have for all drummers wanting to take their drumming to that extreme level of performance. Here are five drumset solos and three play-alongs that are fun and challenging to play. Instructors will love having new and dynamic material for recitals and contest. The five drumset solos are written in different styles: rock, mozambique, 5/8 fusion, 6/8 Afro-Cuban, and a double bass heavy metal solo that will bring an audience to its feet when performed. With three play-alongs, the drummer can perform and solo to a classical rock song, a Christmas song, and a percussion ensemble (including score) that is inspired by world drumming music. A fun and challenging book for the intermediate drummer looking for something extreme. Free audio downloads are available for use with this title.


The Extreme Drumset Solos book is divided into two sections:

Section 1 contains a notation guide, introduction, a list and notation of drum rudiments (25 total) used in the solos, and the five notated drumset solos.

Solo #1 — "Filling Up The Silence" is a 4/4 rock style solo, 120 bpm to the quarter-note, and uses ten different drum rudiments. It also makes use of a sixteenth-note ostinato between the right hand, on the Floor Tom, and the Bass Drum, while the HiHat foot plays continuous eighth-notes.

Solo #2 — "Please, Shut the Door" is a Mozambique style solo, in 4/4, at 110 bpm to the quarter-note. It makes use of fourteen different drum rudiments and samba foot pattern between the Bass Drum and HiHat.

Solo #3 — "Ganaban" is a 6/8 Afro-Cuban style solo at 65 bpm to the dotted-quarter-note. Besides using of six different drum rudiments, the foot ostinato makes use of the Bass Drum and a left foot pedal (ala Gajate) playing a cowbell or jamblock (performers choice).

Solo #4 — "Gimme Five" is a rock fusion style solo, in 5/8, at 200 bpm to the eighth-note. It makes use of eleven drum rudiments as well as a foot ostinato pattern played mainly with the HiHat foot, but sometimes between the Bass Drum and HiHat.

Solo #5 — "Global 'DOM'ination" is a heavy metal style solo, in 4/4, at 110-120 bpm to the quarter-note. Besides the sixteenth and sextuplet Double Bass Drum foot ostinatos, via double kick drums or double pedal, this solo makes use of ten drum rudiments.

Section 2 focuses on the performance side of playing a drum solo, that is soloing while other instruments/instrumentalists accompany or interplay with the drum soloist. This section includes three play-along songs that can be used in recitals, talents shows, etc.

"Haydn's Opus 76 No. 3 (The Emporer's Quartet)" is a rock style composition in 4/4, at 100 bpm to the quarter-note, with a drum solo played over a repeated instrumental phrase. Based on the original composition by Franz Joseph Haydn.

"The Ukranian Bell Carol" is a rock styled arrangement, in 3/4, based on the familiar Christmas song by Mykola Dmytrovych. The drum solo is played over a bell choir ostinato.

"Mighty Echos" is an original piece of music by Rob Leytham. Written for drumset and percussion ensemble, in 4/4, and at 100 bpm to the quarter-note. Inspired by Mickey Hart, the drum solos interplay with the rest of the percussion ensemble. The drum solo notation as well as percussion score is included.

Audio examples of the five drum solos as well as accompaniment tracks (with and without drums) for the three play-along compositions, is a free download on the MelBay website. If you think you might be interested in the Extreme Drumset Solos, you might want to download the audio and give it a listen before you make your decision. The audio will give you a good idea if these solos are too hard for you right now, or let you see just how much fun you're going to have playing them!

I consider Extreme Drumset Solos for Recitals, Contests and Fun to be written for the intermediate to advanced musician. I would rate the drum solos at a difficulty grade range of 5-6; play-alongs, grade 3-5. In the case of the three play-along compositions, you can play the written solo or make up your own. That being that case, you can make it as easy or as hard as you want.

I found this collection of solos to be musical, well written and just the right amount of "challenge" for the serious student soloist. If that's you, you'll have a lot of fun playing these solos ... but you've got your work cut out for you ... so be prepared to woodshed!