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  1. #1

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    I've been learning violin improvisation for 1.5 years. I'm stuck in one place. I improvise to backing tracks. I know well pentatonic and blues scales and for now I use them, but I would like to play more interesting solos. Hence my question - what scales should i use for simple backing track in A minor (for example this one
    ) to improve my improvisation. I tried to add bebop or mixolydian scales, but in my opinion it does not fit well.
    How do you select additional sounds for your solos?
    Do you use double-stop sounds? How?
    Thanks in advance for your help.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Try chord tones on down beats with chromatic notes on the off beats. That is the sound of Jazz in a nutshell. Of course, you need to listen to how the greats do it, because it is a "language". It takes many years. It's not about scales (unless you're interested in post 70's CST based playing). Bop based players (straight ahead Jazz) can and often do use all 12 notes over every chord!

    Go to the lessons section on this site.

  4. #3

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    If you listen to the guitar's chords in the backing track, he is playing some nice harmonies.
    Instead of basic 2-5-1 of A minor he is playing things like:

    [Bm7b13b11/A] - [A#13/G#] - [Am9/G] as chords

    [A D# G D] - [G# D G C] - [G C E B] as notes of four string chords

    Those harmonies suggest and support multiple sounds, but for example,
    [D#diminished WH] - [A# lydian dominant] - [A dorian] would sound good.

    If the accompanying guitarist were missing from the track, you could play these sounds to express those harmonies without him.
    If he played other chords (and he does in the backing track), you might need to find other sounds for those different harmonies.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by majk911 View Post
    At your level I'd just stick to an A minor 2-5-1 which is Bm7b5 - E7b9 - Am7. Sometimes the E7 is played as a E7#9.

    The other guys are right in a way. Once you get into the right sounds you'll find that 'scales' aren't really it and you'll start playing melodic phrases and there are ways to do that. But jazz is about lines and you need to know the notes to make the lines with... so I don't think you can completely ignore scales.

    You say you only want to do a 2-5-1 but it might be more valuable to do the whole 12-bar thing. Up to you though.

    There are lessons on the site here and a specific one on playing minor blues the jazz way. Be warned, you'll find it complex. That's another word for hard

    Jazz Guitar Scales For The Minor Blues + C Minor Blues Solo

  6. #5

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    I select sounds by ...

    1. Strumming the chords and scat singing. When I get a line I like, I play it.

    2. I practice singing lines and playing them at the same time.

    3. In the past I have composed lines and written them out, following the rule of chromatics on the upbeats.

    4. Copying lines I like from records or, better for some reason, from other players, live.

    5. In a band situation, singing to myself, but while constantly listening to the other instruments for an indication of where to go next.

    6. On some occasions, I get bored by what I'm playing and I think, "I'll try X fancy scale against the next chord". Invariably, that makes things worse. You have to have the sounds inside you without that kind of thought. You do that in the practice room.

  7. #6
    Thank you all for advices. I will try your hints.