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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    Next week we're playing Bluesette in my combo. While there's an excellent piece on this website about comping for the song, I'd like some tips on the soloing. Am I correct that the song is in Bb mostly with a couple of chords where I should find another scale? The progression is too fast for me to use arpeggios's (plus I don't know them yet for every chord).

    Any advice to play a simple solo on this tune?

    BTW: I know I should be able to figure this out by myself, but I'm not there yet.

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  3. #2
    Thanks guys. I never really bothered to look into the circle of 4ths and 5ths, but apparently this tune follows these circles exactly. I'll look into it anyway.

    I'm starting with your chart Ragman, for which I thank you.

  4. #3

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    Last 4 measures need extra care.
    I think you could get away with kinda "sliding over" and get home safely in your main key but it really is better to try and aim the dominant chord notes there.
    At least, you could say "we've learned something today" when finally able to do it

  5. #4

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    I winged it too now. But it took a few months winging to get this far... Not sure if its good enough even

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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Guys? Only one so far.



    That's theoretical. Do you think that'll help you solo?



    You mean you don't already even have a chart for this tune yet? I can see we're...
    I have a chart of course, I meant your explanation.
    I'm now working on simple lines leading to chord tones. That also helps in identifying and getting familiar with the 3rd of 5th of each chord. I if I know the arpeggios I use them too.

    I know the song is above my level, but it's still a good exercise to get these sounds in my head, even if I prepare a solo from note to note. At least, I hope it is.

  7. #6

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    Hint: It's called Bluesette for a reason -- you can think of it as a Bb blues tune, except 24 bars instead of 12. To get a feel for this, first try playing blues over the whole form. You'll see that it doesn't quite work everywhere, but you can get a sense of where blues feel/licks can work instead just running the changes. You just have to kind of superimpose a blues form over the changes in your mind, and pick spots where you throw in blues licks instead of making the literal changes of the tune. Bars 1-8 are I; 7 and 8 especially you can think of as I7(alt), paving the way for the change to IV. 9-13 are the IV of a blues, and almost any thing would normally play over the IV of a blues works. Think of 14-16 as a sub for I - VI, 17-20 as II-V, and 20-24 as a turnaround.

    John

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Joe -

    Apparently you only have a week to get this ready. All this stuff about the cycle of 4ths and 3rd and 5th of each chord sounds wonderful but, I have to ask, will it produce a solo? In a week?

    Forgive me saying so but you've completely ignored post #5. Instead you're launching into some kind of theoretical exercises... is that going to do it for you? I know we all have our own ways of doing things but they should at least be practical.

    Presumably you know the chords for this tune without a sheet in front of you. And, also presumably, you're going to play the 3rd and 5th of each chord. Have you already tried that as an experiment to see how it sounds? Does it work?

    This tune is tricky. It's probably above most peoples' level. I see you've been around here quite a bit but spend nearly all of your time discussing guitars rather than music. How much do you play?

    I also notice that, whilst most posters here are extremely wiling to help others, they've given this thread a very wide berth. Perhaps they thought, if you had trouble with arpeggios you were out of your depth and a lost cause, I don't know!

    If you are going to use target notes I suggest you use the 3rd and 7th of each chord. That's the better way to do it.

    The simplest approach is by way of tonal centres - From Bb to G minor, Eb, Db, Cb, then the rest of it. Trust me, it would be tricky for most people - hence my quick-fix post that you're ignoring!

    I'm not sure you should do this tune, without wanting to be negative, but there you are. So, again, all the best of luck. I'll pray for you
    The combo I play in is part of musical education, so we're supposed to make mistakes. Don't worry, I'm not going to gig with this song. And good to know it's above the level of many.

    Playing the 3rd on every chord sounds like...playing the 3rd on every chord. But embellishing it a bit, makes it better.

    I play 1,5-2 hours a day, in the weekends often more.

    I don't think I'm a lost cause. At least I hope not...thanks for worrying for me though

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Hint: It's called Bluesette for a reason -- you can think of it as a Bb blues tune, except 24 bars instead of 12. To get a feel for this, first try playing blues over the whole form. You'll see that it doesn't quite work everywhere, but you can get a sense of where blues feel/licks can work instead just running the changes. You just have to kind of superimpose a blues form over the changes in your mind, and pick spots where you throw in blues licks instead of making the literal changes of the tune. Bars 1-8 are I; 7 and 8 especially you can think of as I7(alt), paving the way for the change to IV. 9-13 are the IV of a blues, and almost any thing would normally play over the IV of a blues works. Think of 14-16 as a sub for I - VI, 17-20 as II-V, and 20-24 as a turnaround.

    John
    Thanks, I will try that.

  10. #9

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    I play it in the Key of G mostly. Never in Bb does not work for chord melody as well in Bb. It just cycles and becomes automatic really.

  11. #10

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    I fixed the link.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Hint: It's called Bluesette for a reason -- you can think of it as a Bb blues tune, except 24 bars instead of 12. To get a feel for this, first try playing blues over the whole form. You'll see that it doesn't quite work everywhere, but you can get a sense of where blues feel/licks can work instead just running the changes. You just have to kind of superimpose a blues form over the changes in your mind, and pick spots where you throw in blues licks instead of making the literal changes of the tune. Bars 1-8 are I; 7 and 8 especially you can think of as I7(alt), paving the way for the change to IV. 9-13 are the IV of a blues, and almost any thing would normally play over the IV of a blues works. Think of 14-16 as a sub for I - VI, 17-20 as II-V, and 20-24 as a turnaround.

    John
    Yes, compare it to Bird's Blues for Alice -- it is nearly a Bird blues, if you think of two measures of 3/4 as if it were one measure of 6/8.

    One that's fun to do is to jump to Blues for Alice and then back to Bluesette, just to mix things up.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1

    John's idea looks pretty interesting. I'd like to hear him demo it.
    I'll try to find some time to do that.

    John

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Yes, compare it to Bird's Blues for Alice -- it is nearly a Bird blues, if you think of two measures of 3/4 as if it were one measure of 6/8.

    One that's fun to do is to jump to Blues for Alice and then back to Bluesette, just to mix things up.
    Let me spell this out:



    I'll put the changes side-by-side, with Bluesette transposed to F and written as if it were in 12 bars, and differences in red.

    Code:
    Bluesette                                       Blues For Alice
    
    
    | FMaj7  | Em7b5 A7  | Dm7 G7  | Cm7  F7  |     | FMaj7  | Em7b5 A7  | Dm7 G7  | Cm7  F7  |
    | BbMaj7 | Bbm7  Eb7 | AbMaj7  | Abm7 Db7 |     | Bb7    | Bbm7  Eb7 | Am7 D7  | Abm7 Db7 |
    | GbMaj7 | Gm7b5 C7  | Am7 Ab7 | Gm7  C7  ||    | Gm7    | C7        | F   Dm7 | Gm7  C7  ||
    Bluesette has more major sevenths -- you can make choruses bluesier by using dominants instead. The most significant difference is the GbMaj7 instead of Gm7 / C7 -- you can call it a cool tritone sub. (Same story for AbMaj7 versus Am7 / D7.) They are written with different turnarounds, but I didn't highlight that -- turnarounds vary.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1

    John's idea looks pretty interesting. I'd like to hear him demo it.
    Here's a quick example.



    John

  16. #15

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    One thing I always found weird when I'd try to fake the melody without the music was the Gb melody note in the 10th bar against an Eb Maj7 chord. It sounds fine for some reason. Some type of anticipation of the Ebm7 chord in the next measure/beat I guess.

  17. #16

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    John A -

    Thank you, John, I like a man who puts his money where his mouth is!

    I have to say I misunderstood it. I thought the whole form was kind of subbed over as a blues. I tried it and couldn't make it work. The first 6 bars can be taken as Bb, then into Bb7. After that it gets hazy because it just goes down the three major keys so I just went back to tonal centres again.

    I don't really think there's a clever formula, I wish there were. So does Joe Guitar I expect :-)

    But many thanks for doing that, and so promptly. Awesome!

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    John A -

    Thank you, John, I like a man who puts his money where his mouth is!

    I have to say I misunderstood it. I thought the whole form was kind of subbed over as a blues. I tried it and couldn't make it work. The first 6 bars can be taken as Bb, then into Bb7. After that it gets hazy because it just goes down the three major keys so I just went back to tonal centres again.

    I don't really think there's a clever formula, I wish there were. So does Joe Guitar I expect :-)

    But many thanks for doing that, and so promptly. Awesome!
    Well, it's basically a "Bird blues," so literally playing a Bb blues scale doesn't work and you do have to keep with the Eb/Db/B modulations. But at the same time it's a blues in the sense that it's a journey from I to IV to I to V to I. You can use that as a framework for organizing a solo and fitting in Bb blues material.

    John

  19. #18

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    Yes, I got the connection but I haven't tried it with serious intent yet. I'd only use a blues scale occasionally anyway.
    Last edited by ragman1; 09-15-2020 at 07:22 AM.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    John A -

    Thank you, John, I like a man who puts his money where his mouth is!

    I have to say I misunderstood it. I thought the whole form was kind of subbed over as a blues. I tried it and couldn't make it work. The first 6 bars can be taken as Bb, then into Bb7. After that it gets hazy because it just goes down the three major keys so I just went back to tonal centres again.

    I don't really think there's a clever formula, I wish there were. So does Joe Guitar I expect :-)

    But many thanks for doing that, and so promptly. Awesome!
    I found an excellent lesson on Truefire by Sean McGowan called 'Blues et toi' where he plays an example of a solo that's not incredibly hard which I can tweak a bit and memorize. At least that will get the important notes for the changes in my system. There's also a good lesson by Frank Potenza on the comping part. I will probably only play one round solo (if at all) and if the whole band sucks at the tune, we're probably going to skip it anyway.

  21. #20

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    That's what I thought would happen :-)

  22. #21

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    I've done one. Unfortunately it looks as though everyone's gone home :-)


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I've done one. Unfortunately it looks as though everyone's gone home :-)

    Most of us haven't left home in months Anyway, that's a very solid take on the changes.

    John

  24. #23

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    It was easy. Tonal centres. Anyway, I think it's a very irritating tune :-)

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    It was easy. Tonal centres. Anyway, I think it's a very irritating tune :-)
    TBH, I've played it a lot, over a long period of time, and mostly not liked it all that much. But I never really shedded it until relatively recently, and it's now growing on me (after 25-odd years of grimacing when someone calls it).

    John

  26. #25

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    Well, you know, you can get used to anything :-)

    But it is a good work-out for ii-V's and all that. Have you seen this transcription of Tootleman's () solo? He doesn't do a bad job considering :-)

    TOOTS THIELEMANS on Bluesette - Toots Thielemans' solo transcription | Soundslice

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Well, you know, you can get used to anything :-)

    But it is a good work-out for ii-V's and all that. Have you seen this transcription of Tootleman's () solo? He doesn't do a bad job considering :-)

    TOOTS THIELEMANS on Bluesette - Toots Thielemans' solo transcription | Soundslice
    I haven't seen the transcription (TBH, I've hardly ever read transcriptions of anything; I'm much more an ear player than reader), but I've heard Toots' versions of Bluesette many times. I listened to a bunch of version of, as well as a really cool version by Quincy Jones, as part of framing my response(s) on this thread.

    I wonder how the OP is making out with the tune ...

    John

  28. #27

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    I haven't seen the transcription
    Er, the link was in the post.

    TOOTS THIELEMANS on Bluesette - Toots Thielemans' solo transcription | Soundslice

    OP posted Saturday 12th so we've a couple more days to go till the week's up.

    It might be good to know what happened but I'm not desperate.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Er, the link was in the post.

    TOOTS THIELEMANS on Bluesette - Toots Thielemans' solo transcription | Soundslice

    OP posted Saturday 12th so we've a couple more days to go till the week's up.

    It might be good to know what happened but I'm not desperate.
    I did not realize it was in 4/4

  30. #29

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    Neither did I

  31. #30
    Band rehearsal was tonight. We played Bluesette a couple of times, but I didn't play a solo.
    However, we decided we're going to keep working on it as an exercise. So there will be a solo in the future.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeontheguitar
    Band rehearsal was tonight. We played Bluesette a couple of times, but I didn't play a solo.
    However, we decided we're going to keep working on it as an exercise. So there will be a solo in the future.
    Just curious: does the band perform any other songs in 3\4 time? We play My Favorite Things since it is fairly well known (as far as an "old' tune goes), and there have been a few very recently releases of the song by new artist.

    I of course play West Coast Blues, but only in jam sessions, since I wouldn't wish to be compared to that other guitar player that wrote the song!

    I ask because for variety it is always good to have some non 4\4 songs in the set.

  33. #32
    It's our first 3/4 song and I also like it because of the completely different feel.

  34. #33

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    Howard Roberts did a cookin' version in 4/4:



    I like how he shadows the horn lines at 1:25. Coupla nice solos, too.

  35. #34

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    This isn't bad. Bluesy notes and a good drum solo.


  36. #35

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    Wow, this is a great thread on Bluesette, one of my top favorites to learn somewhere down the line. I enjoyed hearing all those posted clips. Seems this tune is a real challenge for many players. Although I'm a late starter, coming from years of rock, then blues, and now into jazz, when I hear the posts from other students, I get inspired to keep plugging along. Maybe in another year, I'll be able to post something decent. Anyway, here's another video of a player I first heard at NAMM, 7 or 8 years ago, and then again in Las Vegas. I can only call this a long distance dream to play like that.



  37. #36

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    I had to ruin it a little. It's such an irritatingly twee tune... sorry!