need help soloing

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pukeboy66, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. pukeboy66


    Oct 23, 2005
    okay so .... ive been trying to work on my impov as of late and for some reason ... no matter what key im in no matter what mode im using it all sounds like im doing a wanky scale run ..

    i know a decent amount a theory. i know how to apply it all but it sounds no different no matter what i use or do so could you guys help me out ... gimme some tips and what not?
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Do you have any way of posting any clips of you playing? It would help to hear what you're talking about.

    If you have no way of posting your clips, PM me, I'll give you my email address and will be more that happy to host & post them for you.
  3. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I'd be interested to hear your solos too.

    It sounds like you play exactly the way I used to. What helped me more than anything else was sitting in a practice room where in the practice rooms next to me, there were incredibly sax players.

    I'm not sure if you can just go somewhere to surround yourself with sax players, but listening to recordings is the next best thing. Really listen carefully to the way they solo. Their phrasing will start to have an effect on you.

    As for straight-up theory things to keep in mind, I would say don't strictly think modally, but chordally, and what tensions are available to you. Start skipping around tensions using passing tones.
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    I think Jaco recommends learning melodies.
  5. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    two very important things...

    One, learn to play melodies. Especially learn the melodies of the songs you want to solo over. Amazing how this will help you.

    Transcribe solos you like. You don't have to write em down, but learn to play the solos you like, and they become part of you.

    Remember, soloing isn't about showing off chops. You can use your chops, but it's about having your chance to say something about the song. phrasing well and playing coherent thoughts is much more important than playing fast chop heavy stuff.
  6. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Pat Metheny:

    "This whole thing of learning to improvise via chord scales is very useful, but it can be deceiving. All seven notes of a chord scale are not equal - some are definitely stronger than others. So I encourage people to play entire solos only using chord tones, not using any approach notes or scale notes at all, but only using the three or four basic notes of whatever the chord is. The idea is to be able to play melodies using only arpeggios, but not making them sound like arpeggios."

    "If you can do that, then you have in your mind what the strong target notes are and you can start going in with the other notes of the scale. When you're hitting the main chord tones pretty hard and you've got the other scale tones as passing notes then you can start going for the other chromatic tones. It's really four chord tones, three other scale tones and five chromatic tones."

    Do you think in terms of a pure chromatic scale?

    "No, I mainly think of the triad. I think if you were to analyse what I play, I'm landing on one of those three notes a lot, mostly on the third; I play a lot of third-based melodies."
  7. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    The reason people advise people to learn melodies is that most melodies land on chord tones on strong beats of the measure. Thus the SOUND that you are learning is very good to get into your inner ear. But to learn the THEORY behind this, take a photocopy of famous song chart that has melody notes and chords symbols, and and right where you would play each chord, take a marker and circle the note in the melody right where a chord is to be played. Then mark down the degree number of that melody note as related to that chord. If the chord is Dm7, and the note is F, write down a 3. Now count up all the chords, all the 1s, 3s, 5s, and 7s, and you will see how that composer used chord tones as melody notes on strong beats.

    Start working on arpeggios and start working on intervals. By intervals, I mean moving up and down your scale patterns in intervals of more than a half note or whole note. If you decide to play the C Major scale in fourths, you would play C F D G E A, etc up and then down the same way.

    You need to start moving in intervals of thirds and greater, working on landing on chord tones on strong beats, and connecting those strong beats with combinations of chord tones, scale notes, intervals, and chromatic notes. Do not mix it up right away. Decide to play through a chord chart always landing on the third of each chord, using only chord tones. Then add scale tones. Then chord tones one measure and scale tones the next measure. Then do the same landing on the fifth, the seventh, and the root/tonic/one.
  8. pukeboy66


    Oct 23, 2005
    im sorry guys ... i baught a converter but it doesnt seem to be the right size so ill have to go back and get a new one

    thanks for all the help.

    but im wondering ... would chord inversions (ive been reading up on those lately) help my soloing?
  9. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    No. In a solo, you'll be hitting those tones anyway. As a bass player, you probably won't need to be concerned with inversions unless you see something like: C/E or C/G. Let the piano players deal with inversions, that's one of their big focuses in comping.
  10. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Stop playing the notes that suck. If you can't tell good notes from bad, then it doesn't make a difference.
  11. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA

    For what it's worth, the reason I suggest learning the melody of a song you solo over is because it gives you melodic ideas for the solo. It's more about it helping me hear what I want to play and keep track of where I am. When I know the melody really well, it helps me be more lyrical and less scalar/arpegiated (is that even a word?) in my solo.

    I don't disagree with what you were saying. Just that my reasoning was a little different.
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Good stuff this, very good stuff.
  13. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Some wise man once said, "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream..."
  14. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Yes. Arpeggios. Inversions. Upper triads. Not just for piano players.

    If the chord is Dm7, and you are playing a solo, and you want to start on the third of that chord and move up using chord tones, you play F A C, hey wait, that is the first three notes of the first inversion of that chord, hey, wait, that is an F Major triad. Yes, the lower triad for a m7 is a minor triad, and the upper triad is a major triad.

    But if you are playing rock or pop, and you have a Dm, you play F A and then the D. That is the first inversion of the Dm triad.

    Get them under your fingers so you can play them in any order as your inner ear hears it. Be able to switch between playing chord tones and scale tones.
  15. pukeboy66


    Oct 23, 2005
    thanks tim youve been most helpful
  16. AndreasH


    Apr 8, 2005
    Yes, that one of the best excercises out there! You'll improve your technique, sight reading and your sense for melodies.

    Analyzing chords and melodies is also a good thing.

    I'm a real theory-nerd so if you're not into that much theory I would highly recomend you getting into it.

    Write solos over chord progressions.

    Make up your own chops.

    Steal chops from others.

    Listen to John Patitucci! :cool:
  17. pukeboy66


    Oct 23, 2005
    could you give me a site where i could learn some melodies?
  18. Theonestarchild

    Theonestarchild Artfully lost

    Aug 23, 2005
    North Carolina
    The first melody I ever learned was Kiss - God of Thunder. It sounds AMAZING on the bass, and it's really easy to learn. Try it.
  19. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
  20. Sing it first, then learn to play it.

    Good luck!