What is the best jazz drum solo

The 5 best drum solos of all time?

Milestones in the art of drumming

(Image: © carloscastilla - fotolia)

Hello drummer,

Playing a really good drum solo is a fine art. I like solos that are not just a technical show, but tell the listener an entertaining story with an exciting dramaturgy. Whether played over a loop of the band colleagues, as a short solo spot in the song or as an independent performance composed from A to Z ... here are my current five drum solo favorites in variable order.

No. 1 - Duet by Phil Collins and Chester Thompson, later joined by Luis Conte

Okay, the framework is very clear here. Big arena and a solo that is definitely not made for the Mucker police, but for the ordinary music consumer in the audience. And the three calling protagonists do that at a very high level and very entertaining at the same time. Check it out.


No. 2 - Gaylord Birch 1974 with the Pointer Sisters

Mr Birch's solo spot starts at 3:03 a.m. and it's so funky! The good man really goes all out for the ladies and proves that you don't need a big ball castle for a great solo. By the way, the whole song is worth watching. Before the disco era, the Pointer Sisters were still on the road with a slightly different sound.


No. 3 - Omar Hakim 1985 with Sting

Omar Hakim played in Sting's first "own" band in 1985 after the end of The Police. The accompanying documentary film “Bring on the Night” is, by the way, very worth seeing. Omar's solo starts at 3:05 am and he solves the toughest chops in style and light as a feather - as only he can - over the vamp of his colleagues. Incredible.


# 4 - Steve Gadd with Stuff 1976

Head drummer Steve Gadd should of course not be missing here. There are tons of drum solos from Steve on the net. I picked out a performance with his band Stuff as an example. From 1:11 onwards he shows his typical independent phrasing and a few of his trademark licks in a short solo. Gadd cinema at its finest!


No. 5 - Terry Bozzio with Frank Zappa

Nowadays, many people only know Terry Bozzio as the guy with the huge DW Ballerburg who drums rather cryptic things. But that would be clearly too brief. One of the best bozzio solos can be found in the past with Frank Zappa. Take a look at this irrepressible energy!

What are your top 5 solos? Who belongs on the drum solo Olympus for you? Write it in the comments and join the discussion. By the way, you will get five tips for your first own solo in our workshop: Tooltime for drummers - 5 tips for your drum solo

Best regards,