Please critique my solo technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Asher S, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008

    I would appreciate any suggestions for improving my soloing technique. The video link below is from a performance my group did on New Years Eve in Needham, MA- second set with sparse crowd due to wicked cold + snowstorm, but the people who showed up were terrific so we had a great time. We're a group of local dads, ie amateur middle-aged musicians, so please be kind... My solo is at about 2:20 to 3:10.

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to improve my improvised solos, eg phrasing, melody, timing, groove etc.

    For you gearheads: I'm playing an EB MM Stingray 5 HH through a Peavey Basic 120.

    Thanks in advance for all constructive criticism.

  2. Don't know enough "theory" and can't hear you good enough for any "qualified" opinion, but it sounded pretty good, and I didn't want you to go without a response to your post.
    I'm a Hobby Player Dad, too, so I know how it is trying to improve.
    Keep up the good work.

  3. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Thanks S.

    In (over)analyzing my solos, one thing seems clear: the less I thought about the scales and the fretboard, the more loose, fluid, and melodic my solos were. It's probably some Zen thing, a kind of zone that the good soloists get into. I need to figure out how to get there at will (?non-will??? ;-)

    Do you practice over GarageBand loops/tracks? I just discovered that- it's a lot of fun.

  4. K'Ching


    Sep 25, 2006
    I'd say you should think more in phrases, and make sure to put some space in there. You basically played none stop throughout the solo.
  5. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    The place for thinking is in the shed, the place for playing is onstage. It's an important thing to remember. If you play in the shed, and you think onstage, you won't get anywhere.

    My advice for you is what I've started preaching all over this board - think in phrases in terms of call/response, or question and answer. The solo begins to "make sense" a lot more, and ceases to sound like just a bunch of notes played at random rhythms. An easy way to force you into this frame of mind is to play a phrase lasting 1 bar, rest for 1 bar, and then play a related (but not necessarily identical) phrase the next bar, rest 1 bar, etc etc. You'd never actually play this way, because its not very musical, but it gets the sound of better phrasing into your ear. I got a video lesson that might help.

    Sounded good man, good luck!
  6. Sarbecue Boss

    Sarbecue Boss Guest

    Jul 9, 2006
    when soloing, the thing that helps me the most is to try and throw all theory out the window and play with my ear

    Learn a bunch of many horn, guitar, and piano solos by ear
  7. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    K'Ching, HaVIC5, and Sarbecue Boss- thanks to all of you for your advice. I will try all of it. I've also just scheduled a much needed lesson with a pro bassist- something I haven't done in about 30 years...


  8. 2x4strgkramers

    2x4strgkramers Guest

    Dec 15, 2008
    I think what you need to define in your mind is what is a solo for you. It can be a number of things from a simple step out phrase in a song to a 2 minute musical diatribe of notes at a blistering speed.

    defining your idea of a solo will make them far easier to construct.