Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Music > Musician Talk
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 12-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Jazz Fusion Soloing

I really love the style of Alex Hutchings, Larry Carlton, Guthrie (natch), Shawn Lane. So as a part of a healthy practice routine I want to dedicate some time to improvising.

My improvising flat out sucks! And I'm not sure what to do about it, I'm pretty good at learn people's solos by ear and copying phrasing and tone. Which I'm proud of, but stick a backing track on and I'll have no idea what to do... It's frustrating, my knowledge of scales is good. My knowledge of arpeggios needs work.

I have the technique I need, and I often 'improvise' in my head playing solos I'd never be able to work out... But when the backing track plays I go blank and play a few cliches licks, fumble around and generally sound like I don't what I'm doing. It's frustrating.

So I'm just working on it slowly, jamming over stuff and try to come up with cool licks and play more chromatically but I feel like there's a better way. Any ideas?

Right now I'm working on Room 335 by Larry Carlton, because there's only one really 'change' so to speak and a lot of different options. Plus I found a good backing track...

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
There's no doubt in fusion that musicians get together to blow, man. As far as soloing goes, a lot of it is melodic and thematic development, motifs.

Your best friend is transcribing. For me, I like keyboard players, one guy I like to transcribe from is Scott Kinsey from Tribal Tech.

Solo at 1:40, static Am vamp. You want to transcribe the "outside" stuff from 2:40 and briefly afterwards. Listen to how he leaves a lot of space at the beginning of his solo, he's developing...

Scott Henderson comes in over a Cm vamp. He goes outside around 4:40 onwards.



Of course, Kinsey on the outro at 6:30 onwards.

A tip is to try and isolate tensions, like 9ths, 4ths and 6ths almost exclusively. It makes it sound more angular.

There's also the old trick of side stepping.

Last edited by mdc : 12-08-2012 at 06:20 PM.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Side stepping?

Anyway, thanks for that. Haven't listened to Henderson in too long!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Fm7 arpeggio, then go outside by shifting up a semitone and then finish on a chord tone (F). Cheap and easy way of sounding cool.

Code:
--------8-11p8-12p9 -------9-----------10 ---8h10--------------11-10 --------------------- --------- ---------


Try it with pentatonic scales as well.

Last edited by mdc : 12-08-2012 at 07:08 PM.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #5
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Ah, I've heard of that before thanks!

And you've given me awesome advice in both threads I just made so thanks very much.

I have one more question... As you're UG's chord man, what's a good way to build a large vocab of chords and useful voicings? It's a weak point of mine. Sometimes I'll sit down and try and learn them but they all get forgotten very quickly.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.

Last edited by ChucklesMginty : 12-08-2012 at 07:23 PM.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
I think the reason why you forget them is down to a lack of application (I hope). As soon as you learn some voicings, apply them to songs straight away.

Also, I think it was you who started a thread on rhythm guitar. Apply the voicings you know as a rhythm guitarist when jamming with other musicians.

You can do a lot with the just triads and their inversions (1st and 2nd). Then the 4 types of 7th chords in root, 1st, 2nd and 3rd inversions (maj7, m7, 7, m7b5).

I'll (try) and PM you some sheets on how to practice voicings. But the key really, is application.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Yeah, that was me. I've been asking a lot of stuff lately, I hope I can take all the feedback in.

That's definitely true about lack of application, I'll work on that. I'll order myself a real book too, and apply them to some standards as well.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Yes, standards will be a great place to start.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
mdc hit it on the head, just keep transcribing, and certainly focus on other instruments.

and don't limit yourself necessarily to just jazz/fusion. anything that catches your ear, any vocal melody on the radio, any little symphony you hum to yourself in the shower - work it out. not just for your general edification, but improvisationally you can only really be as good as you ear.

no matter how cleanly you play or how many licks you learn, improvisation can't be a purely physical affair, especially when you're going to be comparing yourself to people of the likes of shawn lane or guthrie govan who will in a heart-beat be able to beat you while still keeping their personal style and niche alive in their playing.

definitely learn your arpeggios to a point where you can just have someone show you a flashcard with "bm11" and you know several ways to voice it, and while i'm always a big "ehhh just play, screw scales" kinda guy it's important that you break down the intervals of the scales and understand their roles. fusion is all in the phrasing, and phrasing is heavily about movement in a given section rather than the chord/scale/key as a whole you're currently in. you'll want to learn your arpeggios and your scales, but purely as a guide to show you what those sounds are, how those chords might function, and how you might be able to play into that - or even detract from it, depending on your mood at the time, i suppose.

and write music. a good example are those little bits of songs or pieces or adaptations or expansions of a melody or whatever comes out when you're humming or thinking to yourself in the shower or on the way to sleep - record yourself humming it while it's still fresh, keep it in your head, and just try and expand on it. make it a real song. take that little idea and use it over a backing track. whatever works for you will work for you, but it's important to enjoy what you're doing and constantly be improving it rather than leaning on the technical side of things that you can easily fall into

improvisation is no more than writing in real time, to me, and if you can't write an amazing piece by sitting down and slowly evolving it, you'll have a lot of trouble understanding and weaving motifs in your solos to make it go from "guy wanking" to "oh wow". like i said, you've set a high bar for influences as someone weak in improvisation - you don't need to do all the tappy, sweepy, craziness just to make it sound fusion or to emulate those talented musicians who used it all tastefully in addition to a strong understanding of chords, progressions, keys, and, of course, phrasing.

allan holdsworth said in a handful of interviews that he'd always wanted to play a horn rather than a guitar, so he doesn't use pull-offs so his legato sounds in the vein of a lip-slur. don't learn his technique just because he does it, obviously, but things like that - the ability to hear other instruments, to understand orchestration and instrumentation (even in just a purely ephemeral, fleeting context of "ooh, i bet a flute would play something like this"), and to use those to create a context, melody, structure, and sense of musicality that fits your ear, your personal tastes and niches and nuances, and the influences that got you there.

technicality shouldn't be a factor at all. don't use your hands - use your head first. just like thinking before you speak, it needs to become second nature that you preview everything going on, even for just a split second, to make sure you're always in full control of what your fingers are doing. if they're not cutting it, you can grind with a metronome. you can fix that with experience and hard work - you can't, however, replace inspiration and artistry, and that's where shooting out advice becomes difficult.

you could, if you were to analyze it, have a completely basic, simple kraft-cheese-and-wonderbread level melody and progression, and with a proper sense of rhythm and an ability to translate from ear to fingerboard - rather than the other way around - that sounds absolutely original, while you could spend hours trying to figure out obscure chord voicings that holdsworth somehow missed out on along the way and still just sound like you're trying to copy whoever it is you're into at the time.

it all goes down to the same stuff we talk about every thread here it seems like. keep practicing. train your ear. write music and learn to be able to use your ear to understand, even in very basic ways, what's going on in it, and what you can do to it (what would happen if i made this 3/4? why is this so catchy and consonant? how can i make it more - or less - so?)

hell, i do that all the time in the car just air drumming to whatever i'm listening to - i don't play drums, but just going off feel and the vibes of the song, and a general understanding of what adds, detracts, negates, conflicts with what, it's all just a matter of saying "okay, yeah i like the sound of that. i don't like the sound of that. i'm gonna play with this in whatever medium i like until it works". or, perhaps, "i want to play that over a backing track i heard the other day" or "i bet i could make a great little loop out of that progression" or "oh **** i need to do something, anything but a bm11 arpeggio or they'll know i'm phoning it in...oh, that sounds pretty, looks like we've got a main theme"

it's just a matter of working at it and working at it, and understanding you can never be perfect and that it'd be silly to think you could be. just take risks, play around, learn to make mistakes and fix them, and remember that you're not gonna be able to beat everybody in speed or cleanliness or your ability to tap with all 10 fingers, a toe, and your left nut, so as long as someone wants to listen - and not necessarily just watch for "wow" factor" - you'll be golden. you can't be the best, but you can be yourself, and that's something a lot of people jumping into the "technical" areas of prog metal, jazz fusion, or shred seem to overlook.

i'll end my big 8am ramble-fest with a piece of advice, as well - if you have a riff in your head, a little lick, something you've been saving for 3 or 4 months that you just never found a song for - don't be afraid to use that. it's only cliche or old to you - and you can change that - but don't hold that kind of thing out from the process of figuring out new things and composition in general. i use to hoard ideas and themes constantly, and never had songs for any of them - they would either end up scooped together recklessly and poorly, lost to the eons forever, or i'd think "oh man, i've been playing that same lick for a whole year, i can't use that in this bit for the 2 people who have heard me playing it in my bedroom!" or "i used that in another song, i can't use it here, even if i threw out the old song". never just dump tidbits like that, and a good ear and the ability to play on the spot will make the writing process very fun, very rewarding, and will probably make a far more cohesive clip than just weedling around in the key scale hoping something will stand out that doesn't sound bad next to it.

i haven't heard clips of you playing or anything, but i know you're semi-regular on UG and i can't remember hating you for any logical reason, so i don't know how much of this is cliche to you by now, but i'm just gonna quote this huge cluster**** of simple and random thoughts in the future when i'm lazy and people ask about writing music or improvising or how to quarter a chicken
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #10
mdc
UG's Mr Chord Man
 
mdc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Been transcribing as much as I can from this track Seal the feel which is a minor blues in D.

http://www.jamtrackcentral.com/jamt...essions-the-ep/

Over the V around 0:09, he targets b9, sharp 9 and sharp 5 within an A7 arpeggio.

Then again, this time targets the H-W diminished scale from 0:17 - 0:19. Listen how he slides in to the b5 (Eb) at 0:18.

Finally he goes all out at 28 secs using the altered scale. Super Locrian.

For the vid below

2:33 - 2:37 Eb Lydian dominant over a static Eb9 vamp. Then again at 2:42.

Last edited by mdc : 12-09-2012 at 11:10 AM.
mdc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thank you so much, I really really appreciate this advice. I'm saving a fortune on theory lessons.

I think we're all on the same boat here with 'learn it so you can forget it.'
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #12
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
wow i wrote way too much.

i mean in the root of it all, what is theory? i mean, beyond keys, understanding accidentals, tempo, rhythm, all the stuff i usually link that list of
show

*cough*

it's just the amalgamation of these things to analyze, emulate, understand/interpret, reciprocate, and, hopefully, create music in a meaningful and productive way.

most of the stuff you learn in a textbook you'll probably want to read up on at some point, but the vast majority will come naturally as long as you stick to lots of transcription and just basic common sense. you don't need to do an in-depth analysis to break down a simple radio song in your head while you're in the car and understand the gist of it.
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:15 PM   #13
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Is that from the Victor Wooten groove workshop DVD?

If you haven't read his book by the way it's very interesting. I'd highly recommend that audiobook though because it comes with audio examples, it's really more of a play in audio form because each character has their own voice actor.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
idk, the DVD was priceless but i try and stay away from wooten other than that. oh, and the lesson, i love playing that one.

just cause i heard some less than favorable stuff by way of evan brewer (who studied under reggie). but i'm biased and hate people for dumb reasons
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:36 PM   #15
ChucklesMginty
lol
 
ChucklesMginty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Really? Odd, I've never heard a word against Wooten before. But I think I could understand why, his approach is not exactly orthodox.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipelfritz
Man, I forgot how freaky those old school movie skeletons are. Especially that jerky stop motion way they move.

But seriously, everybody knows skeletons don't exist in real life.

Last edited by ChucklesMginty : 12-09-2012 at 07:37 PM.
ChucklesMginty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2012, 07:45 PM   #16
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
it's more anti-wellington, but they kinda come as a package. that 12 string guy i post all the time, scott fernandez, was very verbal about his experience at a recent wooten camp he was invited to. he said he and evan brewer both had the idea that people who were outside of the "method" they used were essentially ousted for no other reason but having a different thought process for the instrument. i don't feel like whipping out fb logs, but i remember something along the lines of "evan's known victor for 15 years and he said vic probably said 2 words to him in that entire time". plus scott was very disappointed with how a-well apparently used put-downs since scott doesn't know much theory and plays heavily by ear and strong fundamentals rather than necessarily being to identify the key off the top of his head. but that's a-well, not the vic book

but take all that with grains of salt, it's absolute gossip for anybody who isn't a drama queen like me.

i still quote the living hell out of groove workshop though, great flick for any musician
Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 03:50 AM   #17
primusfan
Conspiracy Music Theorist
 
primusfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: LOLville, KY
the people you listed. how many of their solos can you play back on command?

transcription is good not only in the minutia of licks, but seeing how it develops and builds. the arc of the solo.

one thing to do to start hearing things is:

1) pick out a particular lick you like
2) play that lick in all keys until you can play it in any key proficiently
3) determine all the changes you could play that lick over
4) pick a standard every day. play the chart down and then solo over it. while soloing, force the lick into as many spots as it should possibly fit.

eventually you'll associate that lick with an assortment of sounds. you'll have a bunch of different licks. eventually you won't even be playing licks. you'll be playing a mish mash of different licks you've collected and heard over the years.

improvising is ultimately about sharpening the connection between your ear and your instrument. not forcing licks out when you see a change on a page, but hearing the sound of a change and reacting to it with your own sound.

one thing that will help you is REALLY knowing your extensions.

for example. a Cmaj7 chord is CEGB. but maybe a piano player is going to play the upper structure for color while the bass covers the basic chord. EGBD. some people see that as the 3579 of a Cmaj, but it's just Em to me. go up another third and you've got GBDF# (or GBDF, but that #11 is generally more natural sounding).

so the application of this is if you have a Bbmaj7 (Bb D F A) lick, you can theoretically put it over a Gm7 (G Bb D F) , Em7b5 (E G Bb D) , C7 (C E G Bb), Dm7 (D F A C), etc. many options. just have to learn to hear how it fits.

they call them "changes" but what's just as important is what stays the same. learning ii-V's on piano was a revelation to me.

DFAC
GBDF
CEGB

two chord tones shift by a whole/half step. the other two stay the same and assume a different role in the next chord. understanding that can be key to fluidly going through changes. even though it sounds like the music you're talking about isn't very "change-based" this can still be helpful.

it's 3 am and i'm ranting.
__________________
#DTWD

Last edited by primusfan : 12-10-2012 at 04:05 AM.
primusfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #18
Hail
kill both bass players
 
Hail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Dallas
Quote:
Originally Posted by primusfan

it's 3 am and i'm ranting.


Hail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:56 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.