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Suggestions for developing a solo concept

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Richard Whitema, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Richard Whitema

    Richard Whitema

    Jul 30, 2004
    Learn melodies to all songs and play them.
    Listen to all great players of melodies and emulate their feeling and timing. The swing era is full of them: Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Pres, Armstrong.
    Practice playing the melodies as if you were the lead alto in a sax section. Make it swing and have rhythmic vitality.
    Get someone to provide a Freddie Green-like accompaniment.

    Most bassists can't flash out like a sax player so don't. Start with the melody and move on from there.
    Try to make your soloing a sound like a clean presentation of a "head".

    AND/OR work on 5-note groupings, diminished patterns, extended techniques and pentatonics.
  2. Don't.
  3. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    Sounds like good advice to me. Only quibble is the Freddie Green acompaniment. I'd amend that to learn to solo against your mind's ear. Personally, I like a bass to sound like a bass for a solo. I do think that a bassist can come pretty close to an alto saxophonist's solo, but why? It's a bass! Play it like a bass and make it sound good, not like another instrument. I opt for melody over eighth notes unless that's what I hear in the moment.
  4. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
  5. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    It also helps to be a great piano player with such a strong jazz vocabulary like Richard.