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Are my solos repetive??

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by chiliwilli, Jul 15, 2002.


  1. My band plays nearly 90% improv, and i've been credited as being a pretty sick bass player after every gig

    but

    whenever i'm in a solo, i find myself almost allllways basing it on a minor pentatonic scale, or, like a blues scale. its kindof a habit

    it doesn't really sound bad or anything, but, i sort of want to switch it up a bit. and, even thou the dudes i jam w/ don't say nethin, i think i might sound repetive. y'know?

    maybe should i consider lessons?
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    There is a kind of "out there" music theorician named George Russell, author of "The Lydian Chromatic Concept for Tonal Organization" It is rather bizarre, but he says something in that book that has really stuck with me. It is to the effect that if you play everything that the audience expects - you're boring. If you play everything that is new and unexpected it is too avant gard and they'll turn you off. Your playing must be a mixture of familiar and new. A sense of comfort and a sense of adventure.

    By your post I think that you've found that in your own playing. It is a really god sign. It shows that you're ready for development. We often fall back on minor pent or blues scale when we are really not sure what else to play. Since I've never heard you, it is difficult for me to make specific suggestions. Use this forum as a dialog. Here are some ideas to start with.

    1. Learn the melodies of the tune. Continue using the scales that you are using but base them off of the melodies.

    2. Get a better grip on the concept of "functional harmony." Functional Harmony is the study of how the chord or chord progression functions within the tune. It also defines certain scales or modes that fit certain situations.

    3. Learn your fingerboard better. Play a solo in a different position. Now that the notes are in different places the shape of your line will change

    4. Transcribe some sax solos or guitar solos. See what others are doing. Then try to analyze their note choice in light of both the harmony and rhythm.

    5. Try to totally release any conscious thought from your soloing. DON'T think about scales or modes or positions. In fact DON't think at all, just play. Sing along if you want to

    6. Embrace your mistakes. Love them, they might leasd to much better ideas.

    Hope this is a good start

    Mike