You Can Constructively Ignore Harmony

Following on from yesterday’s post Too Much Harmony?, a good approach to learning to solo on a standard would be to have in your mind a version for soloing that weeds out as many chords as possible, leaving only the most important. So taking the first 8 bars of I Thought About You as an example, the rhythm section might be playing:

| F△ Bb△ | Am7 D7 | G7 | ./. |
| Gm7 | EØ A7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7|
( Bb△)

The important bits of this for soloing might be:

| F△ | ./. | G7 | ./. |
| Gm7 | A7 | Dm7 | F7 |
(Bb△_)

If you can play something comfortably and coherently on these chords, the rest will fall into place as a reaction to the rhythm section and because of the need for things to resolve satisfactorily. But that stuff is all decoration on these main structural pillars.

A lot of tunes are written out with more chords than can be included in a coherent solo. So find the crucial signposts and the rest will look after themselves.