Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 119
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Developing your personal worldview for how you approach soloing over changes is a long process to get to be able to do it well and intuitively. What thought processes do you use for how to frame what notes to hit?

    For me, I start by trying to outline each change. If I lose sight of that, I'll have in my head as a backup, the general key of the song or section that I can use to make notes fit. The end goal for me is to string together phrases that build on each other rather than only hitting each chord with disregard for the shape of the solo. However, I want to have several harmonic approaches and hit some of the chords for it to sound good. You can't only play 1 scale in jazz.

    Edit: Or how do you conceptualize when you're working tunes out for those who say only intuition during performance.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 09-04-2021 at 09:44 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    I think this thread should be in the improvisation section. Not only because it is actually an improvisation topic but also the implied framing of improvisation as a "theory" subject may ruffle some feathers.

  4. #3
    Well I don't approach it that way. I have to figure things out. Tired of just making up crap. I would rather compose solo ideas and advance.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    If there’s a thought process, it usually means I’m going rush.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I would say you get the get to the point where you can shred 8th notes over it in all positions and then you spend the gig fighting the temptation to play a squillion eighth notes.

    on a good day.

    Adequate preparation allows you to forget about the damn harmony and focus on the flow and groove.

  7. #6
    ^ I have no idea what that perverse dialogue was about and I don't want to find out.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    I'm not really sure, but I think I focus on the high and low 'target' notes my ear tells me to hit and just sort of fill in the blanks in between them.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    The 'thought process' is the same whatever you're doing, it's the application of knowledge. If you mean 'exactly what do I think' who can answer that but yourself?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Think?

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Usually: "I'm thinking too much."

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    if there's a thought process, I don't know the tune well enough.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    OK let's not pretend that the OP's question is not something every jazz musician is curious about at some point in their development. It's an interesting topic.

    I'm at a stage where I can improvise over a tune by playing the changes if I worked on the tune. I'm not saying I prepare a solo but I work on navigating the tune on different areas of the fretboard by playing chord specific lines and connecting them.

    When I'm performing, I'm constantly aware of where I'm in the form, which chord I'm on, which chord I'm going to. If I stop being aware, I fall back on my old habits of noodling around with 8th note lines by ear.

    If I know the tune really well, the form awareness can become more a background process and I feel more free to go to places that my ear takes me. I may get lost at some point but since I know the tune well, I can hear my way back to the form quickly.

    If I don't know the tune at all, I can look at the chart and fake it at a jam session survival level (and not a world class jam session either, lol). But I really don't like doing that and avoid it if I can.

    One thing I don't do is to play licks. If I play a lick three times, I don't want to hear it again. If I insert it in my solo, I feel self-conscious about it. Unless of course if it's intended to be a quote. Quotes are cool if used sparingly.

    To me licks are complete phrases that are at least one bar long. I use ideas from licks (the core harmonic, interfallic, chromatic, phrasal etc concepts of the lick). I also like fragments of licks. The fragments and core ideas of licks work well as building blocks for creating fresh lines, embellishing, and developing themes etc. Applying these fragments, core ideas, continuous scales and arpeggios to the changes of a tune is the preparation for improvisation for me.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 08-13-2021 at 11:11 AM.

  14. #13
    Yeah, Tal, that's about where I am. The first song I ever memorized was Misty over 15 years ago and I can run amok improvising and hit every change without thinking. My processes for developing stuff is about the same as many people it seems.

    My main question was I was curious if people use devices other than outlining the changes or using key centers to think of what notes to draw on. Excluding specific stuff like paraphrasing the melody.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Wee bop, bidily be ba dabop


    Seriously. You have to hear it/create it in your mind before your hands will play it. Getting there is where the thinking comes in to play.

  16. #15
    You guys are stupid.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    Wee bop, bidily be ba dabop


    Seriously. You have to hear it/create it in your mind before your hands will play it. Getting there is where the thinking comes in to play.
    You need to work on hearing instead

    WEE BOP, BIDILY BE BA DABOP!!!!!!!!

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Working on comping for a tune is also a good preparation for soloing. Especially working on putting chord stabs on different parts of the beats and moving voices. That really teaches you the form. Also playing bass lines really help with hearing the harmony.

    Another thing I do is to reharmonize the changes, loop it or record a backing track and solo over it. That makes me play different ideas over the changes that can still work on the original form. There was a recent thread on the Blue Bossa progression that inspired me to reharmonize it in a more modal way. I recorded my comping of the reharmonized form to see what comes out when I solo over it. It was fun. I didn't record the solos but here is the comping part:
    Attached Files Attached Files

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55

    My main question was I was curious if people use devices other than outlining the changes or using key centers to think of what notes to draw on. Excluding specific stuff like paraphrasing the melody.
    Ah, that's a different thing. First, you have to know the changes backwards. Then you have different options over whichever chord, or set of chords. Then you need to be thinking ahead so your lines flow. You also have to be playing something that fits that particular tune, not just anything.

    Finding out what the options are is the whole point of learning soloing and improv. Sometimes it's fairly simple, other times it's not and requires some knowledge and experience.

    There's no quick 'n easy method but the more you do it the simpler it becomes. And definitely be aware it's not an overnight process. Learning is endless.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    I try to think of the melody and chords and enhance from there. If I can get it down, I stop thinking or I will mess it up.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Most of the time, I'm playing over the chords and substitutions, more specifically I'm playing over chord grips. Visually I'm seeing the chord grips, say G7 for instance, I'm seeing the G7 chord grips up and down the neck and I go from there. I seldom think of key centers.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Binary: like/not like. Sometimes distracted by audience: nice legs...ice cream


  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Alfred!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Developing your personal worldview for how you approach soloing over changes is a long process to get to be able to do it well and intuitively. What thought processes do you use for how to frame what notes to hit?

    For me, I start by trying to outline each change. If I lose sight of that, I'll have in my head as a backup, the general key of the song or section that I can use to make notes fit. The end goal for me is to string tog[/SIZE]ether phrases that build on each other rather than only hitting each chord with disregard for the shape of the solo. However, I want to have several harmonic approaches and hit some of the chords for it to sound good. You can't only play 1 scale in jazz.
    For me that sort of mapping and organizing of a tune is mainly what I do when learning and practicing a tune and doesn't really enter the picture when improvising unless I'm in a situation where I'm playing a tune I don't know, e.g., if someone at a jam calls a tune I haven't played before. In those situations, if there's time I'll look at the chart or ireal and come up with a plan to get through it, spotting the cadences, typical chord progressions (ii-V-I, I-IV, iii-vi-ii-V, etc.), etc. comp quietly (or silently), and hope I'll know what to do by the time my turn comes up. Sometimes I can get enough info just from hearing a tune once through to be able to solo over it OK, especially if it's full of familiar patterns. The more I play and the more tunes I learn, the easier it gets to do this.

    On tunes I know really well, I don't really think in those sort of tactical/analytic terms. Melody ideas come to me more or less subliminally based on familiarity with the tune and patterns/subs/licks/devices/cliches/gimmicks/habits ingrained through practice, and I play them. Consciousness intrudes to a degree with thoughts like "oh, repeat that" or "try an altered scale pattern here" or "play less/more/faster/slower/quieter/louder" or "quote Ornithology" (I do that a lot), or I might think in broader terms about the shape of the solo, but I'm not thinking about how to hit the right notes. There's a continuum between those two poles of brand new and completely familiar tunes.
    Last edited by John A.; 08-13-2021 at 12:11 PM.

  25. #24
    I prefer to outline the changes because I like the sound of hearing the chord progression in the solo. If I lose the progression, I will bail back to the key center. If I have a tune memorized and worked well, I don't have to spend so much awareness on the changes and can flow with more ear like you guys mentioned.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    I had several teachers, over the decades, and I learned something from each of them. I also figured some things out on my own.

    All that stuff is in there and influences what I do. So, what I do isn't one thing. It's a lot of different things, depending on the situation and what pops into my head.

    If I know the tune well enough and can feel the changes, I'll sometimes play by ear. I won't think about anything other than melody.

    Other times, even when I know the tune, I keep the chord tones in mind. I generally know the notes of the chords in the tunes I play and I know some arps which I can play as patterns. I'll add notes by ear.

    I generally know the tonal center I'm playing in, if there is one.

    And, I know scales/modes for major, relative minor and melodic minor. I can hear harmonic minor pretty well, so I do that by ear.

    Before I start soloing, I make a decision about the tone to use. I have a pedal board with 4 sounds programmed. I mostly use clean or octave-down-added.

    At the beginning of a solo, I generally pick a chord tone at random as the first note to emphasize. I often start sparse to allow room to build but also to hear what the rhythm section is playing. Then, it's trying to make melody using the chord tones, tonal center, scales/modes and ear -- in some fashion. Late in a solo, as I'm trying to build more intensity, I hear fast lines in my head, but the notes can be ill-defined. I try to play them anyway, with some mixed success and failure. It's hard to analyze, but during a solo I'm always aware, if not actively thinking about, intensity level and how I'm going to build it, and maybe back it off and build it again
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 09-02-2021 at 08:46 PM.