A Simplified Approach To Soloing On 7b9

In my last post (You Can Constructively Ignore Harmony) I talked about simplifying harmony by removing unnecessary chords. Often people use pentatonic scales to reduce the complexity of a scale. The removal of notes from a scale makes a stronger, more defined sound. In this post I'll talk about simplifying approaches to dominant chords by thinking … Continue reading A Simplified Approach To Soloing On 7b9

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 … Continue reading You Can Constructively Ignore Harmony

How I learn material for the guitar, or No Pain, Good.

Here are some things that I aspire to do when learning / practising specific melodies or solos for guitar. I wish I could remember to do these things all the time. Some of them apply to other instruments (particularly piano) and other activities (like drawing, handwriting). This is not advice for other people because everyone … Continue reading How I learn material for the guitar, or No Pain, Good.

Play it like Coltrane

I once heard Tony Woods practising down a stairwell. He played a major scale in long notes, and it was so beautiful that it almost made me cry. I've written about this before but it's worth repeating. Paul Clarvis said Silence is golden, so if you're going to break it, you better make a good sound. … Continue reading Play it like Coltrane

How to develop memory for musical structures

The benefits of memory When playing music, reading it can really get in the way of freedom of interpretation. And the need to read means you haven’t internalized the structure. How can you possibly get inside it to improvise with meaning if you haven’t internalized it? Also it’s often my experience that players who are … Continue reading How to develop memory for musical structures