Solo In Style Volume 1
I recently had a chance to speak with Mark Powers, who has published a fantastic new book called "Solo in Style - 6 Drumset Etudes for the Beginning/Intermediate Drummer".
When I heard about the book, I immediately was excited to hear about a publication focused on such a specialized topic. Soloing is an important skill for a drummer, and early on, it is hard to understand how drum solos are structured, or what they are all about. I remember Peter Erskine's beginner books I worked through, which introduced concepts like call and response, building energy, maintaining time, and sustaining momentum.
I think it is very useful to have full solo's transcribed in an approachable manner. While it is easy to find drum solo transcriptions from famous drummers, they are too difficult for beginner and intermediate drummers. Therefore, this book fills a unique gap.
I asked Mark a few questions about the book.
Q: Why should beginners and intermediates learn pre-composed drum solos? Why not just practice soloing in free-form, without written pieces?
A: Spending some time practicing free-form approaches to soloing is by all means valuable, as well. But working through pre-composed solos - or transcriptions of things previously played by other drummers - is a great way to get away from your usual "bag of tricks." It'll lead you to learn patterns and concepts that you might not otherwise stumble upon on your own.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: I never actually began with the end goal of a book in mind. Several of these solos were originally written to be learned and performed by private students of mine at our annual recitals. After writing the solos, I then started to break them each down into short 1- and 2-measure exercises, so that the individual aspects of each could be worked on before putting the entire etude together.
Q: Do you have plans for any future publications? Or, do you have anything else you'd like to tell us about (perhaps work from the past)?
A: I definitely plan on doing a second volume of "Solo In Style" at some point. Currently, I'm working on two other book ideas and am focusing quite a bit on DrumItInAMinute.com, where I release a new 60-second video drum lesson every week. We're gearing up to launch weekly live streaming lessons, which I'm super excited about.
Again, here is the link to buy the book on Amazon. Solo In Style: Volume One: 6 Drumset Etudes for the Beginning/Intermediate Performer (Volume 1)