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Technique and Performance Guidelines for Drum Solos
A drum solo is the name for a dance performed by a belly dancer to drum rhythms. It is a duet between the dancer and a drummer. The dancer is expected to be focused on the drumming, interpreting with her body what the drummer plays with her hands.
The duet is between the dancer and the lead drummer. The dancer showcases the drummer and the drummer showcases the dancer. This is accomplished with a playful and personal interaction between dance and rhythm... The dancer is expected to "carry the energy and focus of the audience to different parts of your body... it is boring, boring, boring to do a drum solo that is all hips, even if you have excellent hip articulations." If there are background instrumentalists, they will usually play a 4/4 ayub, belady or maksoum to ground the drum solo and add a richness to it.— Artemis Mouret
PARTS of a DRUM SOLO and their SEQUENCEArtemis identified four possible parts to a drum solo:
1– Introduction: the music of the lead drummer begins to dominate, signaling the drum solo is imminent.
2– Body: Head, shoulder, rib cage, stomach and full-body undulations; Hip and pelvic articulations, shimmies and freezes.
3– Slow section of repetitive hits: Accent any "doms" (strongest accents) with isolations; If no "doms" then undulations, rolls, circles, figure 8s, hand and arm movements, flutters and abdominal undulations.
DRUM SOLO TECHNIQUE
Level changes and a playful sense of humor are suggested by many teachers, as is rehearsing to lots of drum solo music until your response to riffs becomes instinctive.
Saqra makes a very sensible suggestion on how to mentally prepare yourself for choosing emphatic movements; tailor the movements to the emphasis and strength of the sounds. Sharp sounds mean sharp movements; strong sharp sounds call for strong sharp movement; if the sharp sounds are not emphasized then keep the movements crisp.
Artermis warns: Do not play zills while dancing unless you are an excellent player who has memorized every note - OR - you are trading riffs back and forth with the drummer.
MICHELLE al FARESHA uses the acronym SHIMMY FEST to organize her suggestions:
DRUM SOLOS to RECORDED MUSICArtemis's advice when using recorded music:
Yasmin's definition of BAD drum solo music:
DRUM SOLOS to LIVE MUSICArtemis's advice when performing to live music:
Anthea (Kawakib) in a dazzling display of soft, as opposed to sharp, drum solo dancing to live music in a restaurant. Her musicality and her mastery of technique, isolations and layering allows her to choose a softer, more subtle response to the drumming, a perfect choice for this small venue.
Artemis Mouret published a manuscript in 2002 on drum solos which will hopefully be integrated into her upcoming book (as of 2015).
Michelle al Faresha, How to Dance to Live Drummers, Web. Gives a LOT of advice on coordinating the drum solo with the lead drummer: what to consider for the opening, the theme, the highlights, the ending. Do keep Artemis's advice (above) in mind; you will not always have a drummer who can or will stick to the plan.
Michelle al Faresha, How to Nail Your Drum Solo , Web. Drum Solo preparation.
Michelle al Faresha performs a drum solo to live drumming. Her sharp, large movements can be seen in the back row of the auditorium.
Sadie's drum solo video may be the most widely-viewed one in the world.
Saqra, Belly Dance Drum Solo Tips: Pop, Drop & Lock technique; Shira.net, 2014; Web.
Let's not leave the boys out! The one and only Tito and nephew Mimo. No, drum solos are not usually performed ON drums, but it is not unknown.
Yasmin Drum Solos for Dancers, Serpentine Communications, Web.
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Latest revision: 2015.11.22
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