The excerpt below is taken from the January 2015 issue of Modern Drummer.

Drum Soloist

Solid Soloing

Part 2: Changing Note Rates

by James Murphy

In this miniseries we’re utilizing my “glue” method to gain freedom and flow while soloing. In the first installment we discussed how to connect two ideas without hesitation, using a specific sticking as a transition. This time we’re going to explore ways to apply different note rates to our glue stickings to get more mileage from each.

As discussed in the first part, we’ll start with two different set ideas, which are patterns that can stand alone as fills and that have clearly defined start and end points. Then we’ll determine our glue sticking, which is a predetermined pattern that can be looped repetitively, using different orchestrations and dynamics, to bridge the two set ideas. Finally, we can utilize a structured practice routine to develop the muscle memory required to seamlessly transition between the set ideas and the glue sticking.

The more glue stickings and set ideas you have ingrained in your muscle memory, the greater your ability to mix, match, and connect ideas spontaneously and seamlessly while soloing. Have fun!

For exercises, practice suggestions, and additional insight on these ideas, check out the January 2015 issue of Modern Drummer, which is available at: