Drum Solos - The Art of Phrasing

(June 1999)

“Colin Bailey is a tasty jazz player, and his book of soloing ideas reflects a real musical maturity. Bailey explains that solos for drums, like all other instruments, should have organization and continuty. His suggestions? Solo in phrases. To work on that concept he gives the reader exercises using two bar phrases, four bar solos, four bar solos using hi-hat with left foot, and four and eight bar solos in 3/4. He also divides paradiddles around the set, discusses four bar phrases that cross bar lines, and explores the concept of whole-chorus soloing. All in all, Bailey delivers some solid ideas upon which drummers can complile their own vocabulary.

On the accompanying CD five songs are recorded with a fine jazz quartet and are presented with and without drums. Spaces where solos occur in the music include a click track that is loud enough to hear while soloing on top, giving the player a better understanding of where the beats are falling in the bar. At first I thought that this would be annoying, but for practicing purposes it’s a nice touch.”


— Robin Tolleson

The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society
(February 1999)

“Every drummer who wants to solo — in whatever genre — needs to develope some stock phrases (i.e., licks) with which to work. Recognizing this need, Colin Bailey has assembled a book/CD package that will provide aspiring jazz drummers with some solid material with which to build solos. Since most western music is constructed in four and eight bar phrases, Bailey provides numerous examples of two and four bar solo phrases that could be combined to produce solos of any length. Solo ideas are presented in both 4/4 and 3/4 times, and are very practical and well conceived. He also includes examples of how to use the melody of a tune as the rhythmic framework for a solo, using specific jazz standards like Green Dolphin Street and Stella by Starlight. The package concludes with five songs (with drum charts) that provide the reader with opportunities to trade fours and eights with prerecorded tracks as well as hear Bailey solo (and read his transcribed solos).

The solos primarily use triplet and sixteenth-note subdivisions; the play-along tracks are recorded at various tempos for different experience levels. This package would be of benefit to any drummer who needs to develop patterns for soloing in a jazz setting, or as reference material for drumset teachers.”

(January/February 1999)

“They are disappearing — the true masters, one by one. The real treat in this instructional manual is the accompanying CD, where we get to hear the underrated drummer Colin Bailey in a jazz trio with guitarist Bruce Forman. Herein his lessons on jazz phrasing, directed to the novice but of relevance to all, are amply demonstrated with exquisite taste and fidelity. Then it is on to an invaluable play along section. I tried it and found the bass just right in the mix. You even get to trade fours; your fours are underscored with a click track.

This is a valuable tool for understanding and practising bop styles from the man who played on all those Charlie Brown Vince Guaraldi records. It is also the guy who Miles hired to sub for Tony Williams . . .

Contact Hal Leonard, 7777 W. Bluemond Rd., PO Box 3819, Milwaukee, WI USA 53213, or visit: www.halleonard.com.