September Solo

Railway Winchester 17th April 6 img_6297Howdy folks,

regular readers /watchers of the blog will know that I’ve spent a fair bit of time last month concentrating on learning some of the tracks I would call ‘prog classics’ from my collection.

Having spent a fair bit of time in other drummers shoes I couldn’t help but feel it was time for something that wasn’t based upon someone else’s interpretation of a tune.

I hope that doesn’t sound churlish. All music is inspired by something – and a whole lot of stuff is, quite naturally, a step forward from someone else’s journey. So I’m not in any way denying that my own playing style is a hybrid of many of the tracks I’ve shared (- and many more that I haven’t…yet!)

It’s just that I felt I wanted a break from having to stick to a form that someone else had chosen. So here is my ‘September Solo’:

Having reflected on it I realise now that it does owe a lot to the solo’s I have seen others perform – such as Mr Peart at the Buddy Rich Memorial concert. 

Not in the skill level you understand, but in the form of the piece.

From watching years of solo’s there is a pattern / form that is, I think, generated by the instrument itself:

  • Paradiddles and rudiments such as the buzz/press roll or the single stick roll
  • Demonstrating the ability to use independence (limbs working independently)
  • Speed and precision
  • Rhythmic explorations
  • Personal ‘riffs’ that one just likes using / playing or borrow from others

So it seems that, as in all else, humility is a key ingredient in playing an instrument. I can’t pretend that I have something that no-one else has. Neither can I say that my particular take is better than anyone else. It is what it is.

I am able to play what I can because others have played it (and often played it better!) before me. But like them the reason for playing remains that strange mix of personal dedication and wanting to share one’s enjoyment with others.

So… as ever…I hope you enjoy!

Seex (pic by Ben Bell)

Seex (pic by Ben Bell)


About Stuart Dyer

Stuart Dyer, Christian Writer and Musician living in West Sussex, England. Works in the hope of producing the worthy novel or solo; giggles at Oliver Hardy, Peter Sellers and Spike Jones; admires Hudson Taylor, Dickens, Salinger, Bill Bailey and Neil Peart; listens from Wagner to Miles with lots of stops in between; dances to motown and aims to achieve balance in all things.
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