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Community Drum Solo

Drummer Cafe founder, Bart Elliott, initiated the first community drum solo at the Drummer Cafe back in 2005. It's purpose -- to foster community among the Drummer Cafe's community forum members and to further the art of drumming. Any DC forum member could particlpate, using the drum or percussion set-up of their choice while grooving or soloing over a unique drum/percussion loop provided by DC. The latest Drummer Cafe Community Drum Solo was put together this past winter ... was shelved for a few months due to 'Chef Bart's' full schedule ... and is now finished baking, ready for you to taste.

Participants in the 2013 Drummer Cafe Community Drum Solo include (in order of appearance): Andy Ziker, Tommy Maras, Jeremy Sibson, Don Elkington, Udi Benjamin, Brandon Guertner, Mickey Manganelli, Tom Larson, Jon Solomonson, Nathan Cartier, David Crigger and Bill Bachman.

Checkout Community Drum Groove / Solos from previous years!

Here are the guidelines and details our participants had to follow:

  1. Download the following MP3 accompaniment track to play-along to. This is what you'll listen to while playing your groove/solo. Not only does the accompaniment provide a rhythmic-bed for you to play over, but it helps get everyone in the right tempo and makes the finished composition more cohesive. This year the loop is in 4/4 at 94.5 bpm to the quarter-note. The track is 9 measures long; a one-bar click count-off then eight bars of full loop for grooving and/or soloing over. There are two accompaniment track choices; one with click throughout and one with only no click. Both accompaniment tracks have a four click count-off.

Loop Accompaniment - 94.5 bpm

Loop Accompaniment with Click Throughout - 94.5 bpm

  1. Record yourself playing to the groove loop accompaniment track. The accompaniment starts with a one-bar count-off before the loop begins, followed by an 8-bar rhythmic percussion bed. You only groove and/or solo for 8 bars/measures. Record only yourself, we don't need to hear the accompaniment track; we will add that to the final mix in post-production. It's best to listen to the accompaniment track via headphones while recording your performance. This helps to insure that only your solo is heard and picked-up on your recording.

    Feel free to just groove and add a few solo licks here and there if you want; you don't have to solo the entire time or even at all. An interesting groove is far better than a bunch of out-of-pocket pyrotechnics. Don't allow yourself to be pigeonholed by the loop track. You can play in a wide variety of styles and feels, so be creative and challenge yourself to do something unique and different.

    The instrumentation and set-up you use is COMPLETELY up to you. You can use a drumkit or a percussion set-up; one instrument to everything including the kitchen sink!
  2. Entries MUST be video performance. In past years we've had a mix of video and audio only performances, however this year we are only taking video performances. If you don't own a video camera or camcorder, try borrowing one! While smart-phones do have video capability, however, the audio quality is typically lacking and often times distorted.

    Video should be in a full HD video format; 1920x1080 uncompressed files with 48kHz, 16-bit stereo audio are best.
  3. Email your solo (video). Be sure to include your real name as well as your Drummer Cafe forum username (if you have one), so we can acknowledge our VIP Members. If you'd like to upload your video to Dropbox or the like, just email us a link to the file instead.
  4. Tell your friends! Invite all of your drum and percussion buddies to join us for the community solo. Not only is it a lot of fun to see how others interpret the music, groove and solo, but it's a great way to BE SEEN and gain further exposure as drummer / percussionist. The Drummer Cafe is the oldest, longest-standing internet resource for drummers and percussionists; you're going to be seen!
Entries must be received by midnight, December 14, 2013


First ... this is NOT a contest, it's only an exhibition, so please ... no wagering! Wink Seriously, this is going to be a Community Solo recording for everyone to participate in. You don't have to have professional recording gear, nor do you have to be an incredible soloist. Have fun! Experiment and come up with some interesting things to say on your instrument. We want to hear you play, even if you just groove and keep time with the loop track.

We suggest that each person start by landing right on the downbeat of ONE at the beginning of their groove/solo, beginning with a cymbal crash. The loop grooves for eight measures with a one-bar (4 beat) count-off. End your groove/solo on the downbeat of 1 on the ninth bar. This "release measure" is where the next soloist will begin. Also, there's no need to do any cropping or editing with your solo; we'll take care of all of that and prefer that you leave it alone, giving us a full recording with the silent count-off, 8 bars/measures of groove/solo and 1 full bar of release, letting your cymbal crash ring out.

Again, we prefer that you not record the loop to your tracks; just record your drums or percussion part. We'd like everyone to groove, solo or a mix of the two for 8 full measures. Longer solos will not be used! Bart Elliott reserves the right to cut the solo down or throw the solo out if need be. The eight measures at this tempo is close to 30 seconds for each individual performance.

In case you missed it earlier ... we will NOT be editing solos! What you send is what will appear in the final mix. Also, let's not try to edit or "fix" the solos. Play it the best you can ... and leave it alone. We want to hear you just as you are!

We'd like everyone to have their solo recorded by December 14, 2013. Late entries will not be accepted ... so again, don't delay in recording your solo — get it done today!