Solo Over DMB's "What Would You Say?"

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by dtsamples, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Having trouble here. My band wants me to take a solo over the "jam" section of DMB's "what would you say" (the sax solo part, not the john popper part), and I cant for the life of me figure out how to approach it. Last night I tried to cop the feel of the sax solo, but it didn't work out so great. As I understand it, these are the chords:

    E7 - A7 - | A7 - C7 B7

    "A" feels like the tonic here, but obviously with all the dominant harmony it's not diatonic.

    How would you approach this one? Would you try to play vertically over each change or is there a horizontal approach I can use?
  2. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Blues licks and pentatonic shapes in the key of A will get the job done... that's what Leroi did on the studio recording.
  3. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Thanks. Band was telling me E, but that A felt like the tonal center. I'll give it a try.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That section does sound like a little foray in the key of E just to break up the relentless A tonality of the rest of the song. However, it might be interesting to solo in A over it just to see what happens.
  5. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Even the bassline for that section feels awkward. Rest on one, low E on 2, and A on 3, 4. Measure two feels like an approach to the V of E, with a little blue action on last beat and a half, but daggone it that A on M1B3 doesn't feel like a subdominant. Gonna hit it with an E Blues and an A Blues and report back. I can't think quick enough to play compelling vertical leads anyway unless I ignore the C7.
  6. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Got a response from the band's original bassist:

    "Think E Dorian as one approach or vamp triads G to A then combine the two approaches. Also, don't forget E harmonic minor to bring out the dominant movement via B7#9
    also E half/whole,:e f g g# a# b c# d"
  7. I agree on the bassline there.
    We skip that section entirely, and play "Spill The Wine" (War). Works easily!
  8. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    My money is on E. And with all those dominant sevens I'd give E Mixolydian a try R-2-3-4-5-6-b7. The E blues next, and I do love Dorian. E Dorian R-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 does have that b7 interval....

    But I really would prefer a modal vamp instead of a chord progression if we are going modal. What the heck, try them all. Your ear is the best judge.