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Soloing is ???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    I am trying to find a simple definition of soloing, am I right if I say.

    Soloing is playing the right notes, from the right mode,from the right key, over a given chord progression:meh:

    does the above definiton get me...

    A: a passing grade :cool:

    b: summer school and retake the class :eek: :bawl

    c: suspended from class forever :mad:

    please advise and tell why, and thanks for helping with the other question I have posted!

    BTW...I am not to far from retirement, I just used the school thing far an example:bassist:
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You can play a good solo from just chord tones and I have heard some great solos which have nothing to do with either modes or chords.

    I remember hearing demonstrations from a Jazz tutor where he played every note of his solo, from the "wrong" scale or chord and it sounded great!!

    There are no wrong notes - only wrong resolutions!! ;)

    Also - a solo with the "right" notes - as you put it - can sound terrible, if :

    It is sloppily played
    It is out of time
    It is not rhythmic
    It has no shape
    It doesn't go anywhere
    It doesn't resolve
    It is too long
    It is inapropriate for the genre

    etc. etc.

    I would be happy with the following, for a simple defintion :

    "An alternative melody!"

  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Soloing is where you are either the only one playing or the featured playing. It's up to you to choose how eloborate or simple your featured spot will be. In a situation where there is a lot going on harmonically, simply playing your bass line with everything else out of the way can sound pretty hip.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    To solo is (1)to make a musical statement that complements the music and (2)an opportunity for a musician to express his musicality within that context.
    It's an opportunity to give the singer's voice a rest and the listener a rest from the structure of the song, which is no longer new.

    A solo has a beginning, a middle and an end. The end of a solo should be obvious and take the music full circle. A great solo has a strong beginning and an even stronger ending.

    The transition into and out of the solo are best when they're subtle and seamless, making them feel as natural as the song itself.

    The best solos take the listener on a small musical journey and then brings them back to where they started, with a clear palate and ready to hear the chorus and the outro.

    A great solo is not dependent on technique so much as it is dependent in taste. How you play is as important as what you play.

    Any listener, whether a novice or an experienced audiophile, knows the difference between a good solo and a lousy one, so pick your notes carefully.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Oh no, they don't.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    You're not helping.
  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    :oops: Sorry. Let's say MOST any listener, then.
  8. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Haha yeah, I heard some guy liked your solo on 'Juicy Fruit' :p
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    :confused: Ah, I think I remember you. Still hung up on that old piece? I've heard worse solos than that. I've played worse solos than that.
  10. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    I'm suprised you DO remember me. What, with all the time you spend being a negative creep on TB. Must take it out of you a little. BTW, I _still_ find that piece hilarious, even after all this time. It's a damn lesson in how NOT to play bass! I've never heard anything quite like it. ALL the worst cliches are there, it's just... just... too funny. The best part? The guitar solo is just another tick in every musician's book about which instrument can truly stand on its own in the fray. At least, in this case. BLAM.
  11. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I am sorry that I tend to forget who have said what over the years here. Especially with those who haven't been "regulars" for a while. I guess I could have done a look at your posting history to understand where you, who apparently have a better memory, were coming from. But initially, I was confused since the MP3 you mentioned hasn't been advertised by me in, what, over 2 years? I suppose the first sentence could come off as arrogant, but believe me when I say that wasn't my intention.

    I find your view on that solo, which was a 1st or 2nd-take improvisation, interesting. I can't agree that "all the worst clichés" are there. If they are, it's nothing but coincidental, since I don't know any clichés - I haven't bothered to learn them (I suppose I have created my own, but you couldn't possibly know them). How could random notes be cliché?

    The guitar solo in the same tune was also a 1st or 2nd-take improvisation, from a guitar player who had practiced soloing for years. He also got a "friendlier" chord progression to work with, one he was very familiar with (the common Imin, VI, VII). And I guess he knew the clichés enough to be able to avoid them?

    I'm not the one to dispute the notion that the guitar carries a voice better suited to melody and soloing than the bass. I completely agree with that. I may not have agreed two years ago, but I do now - unless played by a very skilled individual (though sometimes even then), bass solos often just sound ugly to me. For that reason, I have stopped soloing on bass and instead bought myself a guitar to practice such things on.

    I have never claimed my solo in that tune to be good, and I don't think it is. The guitarist didn't think highly of his solo, either. In fact, it was never a real tune to begin with, it was merely a sketch of one that never got any further. And looking back at it, I think it's good I didn't waste more energy on creating a "real" tune from what admittedly was a pretty weak concept.

    I'm interested to hear from you what you have learned from my horribly clichéd showcase of suckiness, if you have the possibility to provide me with a sample. If you have improved musically from listening to me and regarding my playing as the perfect example of what NOT to do, I would very much like to hear what the result was.
    Although if you can't provide with a sample, I would be deeply insulted and regard this whole affair as a personal attack. And consequently think quite lowly of you.

    Oh great, now we've hijacked the thread. I hate it when that happens.
  12. i would really like to hear this peice with these soloes that are mentioned, i am drunk now, i cant even remember what this thread is really about, but i would like to hear this mp3 tha has this bass solo that is so bad. maybe the judger is too harsh, maybe not.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is a rather "long-winded" way of saying what I did in 2 or 3 words :

    "An alternative melody"

  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    My definition of a singer in this case is whoever has the main melody, whether they sing with their voice or through an instrument is secondary. I should have clarified.

    We're all drummers or singers. Bassists are drummers and singers.

    Yeah, I saw it the first time. Very helpful.:D
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well this was the starting point for this thread -a simple defintion - so it seems 'perverse' to give a long and complicated one!! ;)
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Bah, you're no fun.

  17. Couldn't have said it better.

    this one's for Blackbird.

    OS Edit: Damnit dude...all I do is typo and piss people off,I should just take the plunge now!:bawl: *emo* ;)
  18. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Buddy, buddy, buddy. It's my way to be scathing and forthright; please don't take it to heart at all, 'coz I make no discrepancies between how I am in reality and online. Sometimes, it just doesn't translate well into text, and I have some explaining to do - them's mah breaks, paw.
    For what it's worth I really liked you and uh, 'Uncle Tomo''s 'weak concept'. In totality, I didn't think it was weak at all, but the bass playing in it really caught the ire of my ears. Again, it's nothing personal, and you know what? I did learn a lot from it. So far in fact, that I used _your_ solo as a basis of everything I wanted to avoid doing in my final year high school music exam. Which, by the way, I have on CD and, since you've laid down the gauntlet, I will be converting to mp3 just for you. It's by no means amazing, and there are moments where I trip over my overly ambitious ideas (playing ahead of the beat was something I should have just LEFT ALONE FOR ANOTHER DECADE!!!), but since you've asked (and I certainly don't want you to think I was attacking you), you get to listen.

    And c'mon. If you can't hear all those cliches in your Fruity lines, you're Nuts :D I was just WAITING for the obligatory root-note-weighed-down slap line! Just waiting for it!
  19. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Neither do I, but I don't see what difference it makes. The only conclusion I can draw from that is that you're tactless and insulting "in real life" as well.

    I thought we were talking about the solo here. Ok, so there are two minor pentatonic licks in the tune, and it finishes off with a pretty unimaginitive slap number. Those are the only real "clichés" I can find, and is that really so bad? The way you're putting it, it sounds like EVERYTHING I play in that tune reeks with cheese and should make everyone with the least sense of taste cringe. I suppose you're entitled to your opinion, although I'm equally entitled to challenge it, since I don't think it's fair.

    If I had claimed to be some sort of authority on the instrument, I indeed would have deserved a general smackdown for delivering so poorly, but seeing as I'm just an average hack with an ambition (like so many else on this site), your words strike me as harsh and unnecessarily derogatory. For that reason, it's very difficult to not take it personal. It's not a very polite attitude to say that I suck (or rather that what I played there sucks), and it doesn't do much good. I am already fully aware of my limited abilities, so there's no need for you to pour salt in my wounds.

    This whole thing actually strikes me as completely absurd - we're having an argument of whether a simple nobody's home recording (which considering the modest length of my bass playing "career" now is quite old and no longer representative of myself as a writer or a player) is the epitome of suckiness or not. If you find it being just that, you COULD have saved that view for yourself or at least worded it differently. I usually appreciate brutal honesty, but there's a fine line between that and insult and my instinctive feeling is that you crossed it. I don't know what else I can say, save for thank you and go to hell.

    From one negative creep to another.
  20. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten

    That's awesome...

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