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by Gordon Ward

How to pick a solo?

For all those brass instrumentalists out there, this might sound like a simple thing. Just choose something that is popular right now, something that is not too difficult to play, or something one of the players you look up to has played. Well, after many years of doing this very same thing and not always with a 100% track record, here are a few things to consider.

If you have been asked to play a solo, consider what occasion you are playing for. Is it a church service? If yes, is it Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or some other service? If it is a regular service, is there a theme? There are many solos out there that can enhance a particular worship service with appropriate lyrics associated with it. Also, consider who will be listening to it. For example, you might choose a different solo for a nursing home concert than a music educators’ event and all the different scenarios in between. The type of solo to consider would also come into play from a simple and effective melody all the way up to a variation solo.