Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Improvising

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Tony de la Nutria, Sep 22, 2000.


  1. Hello,

    When I listen to songs/ tunes I play along and like to improvise.
    First I try to find the key of the song/ tune and the root-note. Then I find out if I can play either the major or the minor scale on the root-note. When I've found the right scale I improvise using the derived pentatonic minor-scale at the sixt note or the major-pentatonic-scale at the root-note of the major-scale(parallel-keys)derived from the key of the song/ tune and I play this through the whole song/ tune.
    Although this approach is simple, I think it's very effective for improvising: I don't have to think about chords and derived modes and it sounds great to me.
    I would like to ask you if this approach is correct for improvising and if there can be used other scales for this way of improvising.(Natural minor or blues-scale ??).
    (I know when you want to improvise correctly you have to know the chord-types and the derived modes and use them at the right moment).

    greetings,

    Tony
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Tony,
    That is a GREAT question!
    I like using the pentatonic scales as well as they are so very melodic. I will often go throught the pentatonic modes of a certain scale (just a bit of an enhancement of what you are currently doing). You are absolutely right when you state:
    I don't think there is right or wrong way to solo, but I think you can make your solos a it more interesting by considering the following:

    1. Learn the melody of the song. Stating the melody or an embellishment thereof is very powerful.
    2. Find some of the distinct notes in the chords or scales that differ from the previous chord by a half step or a step. Use that interval, again it is very powerful
    3. Try to build a solo, dynamically. Don't blow your chops up front.
    4. Allow yourself to take chances and don't beat yourself up if a solo sucks once in a while
    5. Converesly, don't get all uppity when your solo rocks
    6. Read "Effortless Mastery" by Kenny Werner. I think it is available from http://www.bassbooks.com

    Hope this helps,

    Mike

    p.s. check out my solo on "footprints" you can find it on my on-line lessons at http://www.bassically.net I am basing the solo off of two major pentatonic scales, Bb major (over the C-7 chord) and Ab major(over the F-7).