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Help me with improvisation !!!

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by marcusmiller, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. marcusmiller


    Oct 26, 2003
    I got a scale book.I know some of the major modes.But only in one position.The problem is
    i dont know how to solo over a chord progression.
    I can only do it on minor pentatonic (or blues)
    scale that is the most common one.
    I wanna solo in minor (aeolian) mode and also
    some jazzy solos (which are the most common jazzy scales ? ) I dont know which scale to play on which chord . PLEASE HELP
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    No need to post 3 times, once is enough.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"

    a) Listen to how experienced, gifted improvisers approach your chosen material. Put otherwise, really dig into a couple of choice discs.

    b) Work with a teacher whom you respect.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Learn to play all over the neck, in order to get out of this "box" playing.

    People sometimes think too much about scales and not enough about chords (but also you're lost when you have think too much while playing anyway :p ).

    Scales are only the material from which you choose those that enable you to connect chords with each other (playing over chord changes).

    "I never play scales" Joe Pass

    Instead of another scale book, get Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book.

    It really is recommended to get lessons from a good teacher.
  5. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    play over a drum machine, preferable one with not just drums, but has the other instruments as well.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Or even better, get Band In A Box www.pgmusic.com - there are tons of realbook song files available on the net for this program. You can also do your own songs/changes of course.
  7. It's one ugly program but it's probably the most useful piece of music software I've owned.
  8. The way i approach improvisation is melodic to begin with.

    Learn your scales. They are not really designed to be thought of as something to be used while improvising they just become an organic part of the process. To get a natural feel they should spill out of you. If one occupies ones mind with scales while one is playing one will sound like like they are playing scales nothing more.

    They best key to a great solo is
    a.Learn the melody
    b.relate it back to the chords.
    c.find your own style and learn it's language
    d.listen to your bass hero's and expand off what they do
    e. sing what you play.
    f. It's all pretty to tough to begin with but give what I say a chance and people will notice!
  9. Noone can teach you to improvise. They can only guide you . Eventually you will be able to do it and all the pennies will drop.
  10. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    the best place to start would be to transcribe a basic but challenging line (no matter what instrument, but make sure its something you like) over a tune with changes. Good luck,

  11. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    Learning the language is an important concept of soloing. In rock, folk, blues etc you can use scales more because the chord structure is usually simpler and implying or substituting chords may take away from the song or just sound too out for peoples ears in that context.

    In jazz the harmony is usually richer and more complex so you have more leeway. Carol Kaye is big on playing off the chords as opposed to modal playing or scales.

    A good teacher can explain a lot of this to you. There are a lot of chord substitutions you can superimpose over the changes and make soloing much richer but you have to learn them. Looking at a good book that has the original changes and altered changes is another good way to see how players do this.

    For me the best solos have always involved the melody or fragment of the melody, chord reharmonizations and scales. Especially on bass where you will probably not have a lot of support from other instruments laying down groove/changes you may have to hew closer to changes/melody for people not to get lost so I always find that a balance of the parts helps; is not it can sound too intellectual and the audience may not know what tune you are playing.

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