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There is no greater love practice -feedback please!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by henry2513, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. A few choruses from this standard:

    I think it's ok, at least I'm hitting most of the changes (I hope). I think I repeat myself way too much but hopefully that will get better as I practice this tune more.

    I tried to keep it mostly 8th notes

    I'd really like feedback!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. HardPuncher


    Jul 14, 2013
    Sonically, it sounds like you're keeping up with the harmony pretty well, except maybe for the transition into "you're the sweetest thing...". I really like a lot of the rhythms you're picking for your phrases, as well.

    I think that you're probably at the point technically (in a good way) where you should consider playing less. When you get too concentrated on "playing the changes", it's really easy to lose track of the fact that you're playing a solo.

    So, what I would say in terms of advice is:

    1.) Breathe. Pretend that you're a horn player, and shape your phrases with clear starts and stops, as if you only have a limited air supply before you take a break. If that idea doesn't groove with you, then imagine that you're a vocalist, and do the same thing. How is the audience supposed to appreciate a fat lick you've just played, if they don't have time to process it before you move on to your next idea? Also, if you add more clearly intentional space to your solo, your piano player is likely to lighten up on his comping, and give people a better chance to hear/appreciate YOUR playing.

    2.) Repeat yourself MORE, and DELIBERATELY. You're good at taking shapes, and transposing them, but what's lacking, I think, is the intentionality behind it. Repeating phrases are an easy way to make a killer solo; they show intentionality, and give an opportunity for back/forth with your rhythm section, and THAT will make the whole band sound better. I like a 3 to 1 ratio; establish a pattern, juice it three times, then modify it, or launch into a longer phrase on the fourth. That gives the band time to catch on, and the audience time to appreciate it. It's a good way to tell how well your group is listening, too.

    Oh, BIG POINT. When doing this, NAIL the rhythm. That's way more essential than notes and harmony when establishing a pattern, IMO. Gives everyone something to latch on to, and even if you do make a mistake, if you've set a pattern, and play it in time, with conviction, it will still sound great.

    3.) Melody. It's such a gimmee, and feels like a cop-out, but if you have killer tone, like you do, there is no reason NOT to play the melody in your solo. Half a dozen of Miles' and Coltrane's best solos are just them riffing on the melody, but they sound FANTASTIC because their tone is so damned good. Even if you don't play it outright, try singing it to yourself in your head as you go along. It should help make your phrases seem more... 'phrasey', and it will keep the audience following along with your solo to catch bits they recognize from the top of the tune, as they pop up here and there. Also tends to help with non-verbal communication with the rhythm section during solos, and give them an 'in' for back/forth, and ornamentation of what you're playing.

    Try Coltrane's solo on Round Midnight w/Miles, as an example.

    Great stuff, keep it up! :bassist:

  3. Cool thanks for all the feeedback, these are all great things for me to work on, I appreciate it.
  4. basschanges

    basschanges Unconditionally Loving Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Woah, I didn't know Gary Willis had a younger brother. Awesome tone man! :D

    I thought it was good. The rhythm is good and consistent, you have a good awareness of the time. There were some times I think you could have played over the changes better, I heard some resolutions that sounded like you weren't quite sure what chord you were resolving to. Then again, if that's how you want to sound, then that's a stylistic choice and there are no issues.

    You do a good job of developing motifs as well. Tasteful repetition is often a good thing. It shows mastery over the changes and more importantly gives a coherence and "logic" to your solo.

  5. Well the tone, I have the Gary Willis signature bass to thank. It's his spec/wood choices and custom pickup, I also use his 3 finger technique and try to play with a really light touch.

    I've been working hard on timing etc the last few months. I still have alot of work to do on melody and making stuff sound more coherent.!
  6. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Your hard work is paying off - BIG TIME! I really liked it.
  7. Thanks!
  8. Great job!! I thought it was awesome!

    if i had to get nit-picky..I agree with the phrasing thing posted above. I love when a soloist starts the solo in such a way that it leaves room to grow, build and climax!

    Great job though and better than i could do!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014