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Old 07-31-2006, 07:32 PM   #1
elvenkindje
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Outside playing in jazz

I just put my guitar aside after wanting to smash it to pieces. I was playing all the day and nothing good came out of it. After a bit of thought, my first guess was that I have an off-day or something like that. My second thought, which is more likely to be true, is that I am out of some ideas to try.

For those of you that don't know it, I like to play jazz a lot! I listen to it often and at this moment I think it's the genre I will stick with for the rest of my life. As some of you know, jazz soloing is different in feel than your standard classic rock minor pentatonic solo. One of the main things I feel I lack is the amount of outside playing, so that is what this thread is about! Also, if anyone has any nice ideas on how to play something nice, I'd be glad to hear them.

Some things I like to do are:

- Playing the minor pentatonic a half step below the current maj7 chord being played (i.e. Emin penta over Fmaj7) This creates a nice lydian sound, but not quite.. Very distinct
- Over any chord, play a phrasing, repeat it a step below/above and play it 'right' again. Example: Over Fmaj7, play an Fmaj7 arpeggio, followed by an Emaj7 arpeggio, ended on an Fmaj7 arpeggio.
- Play a lick in a pentatonic scale and moving it towards an other pentatonic scale in the same key. Example: in the key of F, one can play the major pentatonics of F, Bb and C. So, I'd play a little lick in Fmaj penta, transpose it to Bb, again to C, ended on an F. Even the same lick, chromatically put in on a B maj penta sounds nice and is something I try

Well, I could go on for hours for 'signature' licks and tricks etc.. But I just wanted you to get an idea of what I was looking for. New ideas to try! If anything, a bit of outside playing would be nice, since I think my playing is too much 'in key'. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but when I hear some people play, they utilize every note and make it sound right and that is something I want to accomplish.

Any input? Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2006, 07:42 PM   #2
ArcherTheVMan
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learn some new tricks i.e. scales and such or even look for a different artist to listen to. i find that when i find some new artists especially new jazz artists it inspires me to try a few new things. i also try to learn some new techniques by learning certain phrases or parts of songs that i like the sound of. i often resort to learning a new scale or two and then experimenting with them for an hour or so playing over different keys and scales.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:01 PM   #3
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Try think groups of unrelated chords/modes over the orginal chord to get outside. Deliberately *avoid* natural progressions (like ii-V) in the outside chords.

Sounds madness... but it's something I learnt from David Liebmann - it goes something like that, anyway - it's hard to explain, you might find more through searching on the internet - he does it naturally, so I guess it's hard for him to explain it.

Here's a nice quote I found...

''Out is only out relative to where in is. If you're already there, you'll not worry about it. But if you need tips on where out is, it might be best to consider moving somewhere less in and seeing what's there. Assume nothing, just check it out and see where it goes and how it works. When you figure out the whys, you'll be there, and the hows will be obvious. But it won't be out for you anymore. Which is exactly what you want, because out isn't out unless you're looking at it instead of being in it. Can't see it and be it at the same time, unless you're in a movie or some shit like that.

That's just how it works
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:12 PM   #4
elvenkindje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcherTheVMan
learn some new tricks i.e. scales and such or even look for a different artist to listen to. i find that when i find some new artists especially new jazz artists it inspires me to try a few new things. i also try to learn some new techniques by learning certain phrases or parts of songs that i like the sound of. i often resort to learning a new scale or two and then experimenting with them for an hour or so playing over different keys and scales.

Yes, I am constantly searching for new artists to listen to, also learn some licks from them And, not to sound like a bitch, but I already know the pentatonics, the modes of the major scale, and the harmonic minor and melodic minor too, so I guess that's about all the scales I 'really' need, since I don't count scales such as 'Hungarian Gipsy Japanese minor #11' etc.. Too random

Thanks for the advice though

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Try think groups of unrelated chords/modes over the orginal chord to get outside. Deliberately *avoid* natural progressions (like ii-V) in the outside chords.

What do you mean? That I'd just play something like *thinks* Ebmaj7-Amin7 arpeggio's over a Abmin7-Db7 progression or something like that? I see that as being too random (unless I miss the point here)

Quote:
Sounds madness... but it's something I learnt from David Liebmann - it goes something like that, anyway - it's hard to explain, you might find more through searching on the internet - he does it naturally, so I guess it's hard for him to explain it.

Here's a nice quote I found...

''Out is only out relative to where in is. If you're already there, you'll not worry about it. But if you need tips on where out is, it might be best to consider moving somewhere less in and seeing what's there. Assume nothing, just check it out and see where it goes and how it works. When you figure out the whys, you'll be there, and the hows will be obvious. But it won't be out for you anymore. Which is exactly what you want, because out isn't out unless you're looking at it instead of being in it. Can't see it and be it at the same time, unless you're in a movie or some shit like that.

That's just how it works
.'

Ah, that's a nice quote! It's always nice, how musicians think

I'll look up some of his stuff too. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:07 PM   #5
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try the whole tone scales
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:18 PM   #6
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yeah they're cool. i mean the dominant is where you can go crazy right? there's a bunch of stuff that sounds good over it. i like playing a major pentatonic lick a minor third up from the dominant. it sounds bluesy bc i guess its the same notes as the minor pentationic of the same root as the dominant. so over D7 playing F pentatonic.
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:58 PM   #7
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one thing you can do with the scales you already know , is to approach each note from a half step above or below the note you are going to play.
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:24 PM   #8
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Hmm sometimes I take a lick, and start repeating it a fourth higher, a major sixth higher, a tone lower, things like that.

Or trying to make a lick turn in on itself.... this one is a little hard to explain, but I take lots of the chromatic notes in an area and try to make them twist in and around one another. When I want to get back inside I start emphasizing the chord tones more.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:50 AM   #9
elvenkindje
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishboneul03
try the whole tone scales

Ahh, that's a nice idea! I could play a Gwhole tone over a G7, right? Are there any other chords I could play it over? (Yes, of course I could throw it over any chord.. That's when it becomes outside playing.. Never mind the question )

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirpsycho85
yeah they're cool. i mean the dominant is where you can go crazy right? there's a bunch of stuff that sounds good over it. i like playing a major pentatonic lick a minor third up from the dominant. it sounds bluesy bc i guess its the same notes as the minor pentationic of the same root as the dominant. so over D7 playing F pentatonic.

Ah yes! That's the sort of stuff I'm looking for! You have more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stringzzz
one thing you can do with the scales you already know , is to approach each note from a half step above or below the note you are going to play.

Hmm, to approach each note is a bit of overkill, but it's really an idea I should go check out. I think, with a bit of practice, it can sound pretty cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodelia
Hmm sometimes I take a lick, and start repeating it a fourth higher, a major sixth higher, a tone lower, things like that.

Hmm, yes, I was sort of doing that with the major pentatonic thing I tried to explain I'll try it a bit more now, going a little more outside!

Quote:
Or trying to make a lick turn in on itself.... this one is a little hard to explain, but I take lots of the chromatic notes in an area and try to make them twist in and around one another. When I want to get back inside I start emphasizing the chord tones more.

Do you mean (very basic example) if you're looking to end on a G note, that you play lots of F#'s and Ab's?

Thanks for the ideas everybody! The whole tone idea also gave me the idea of diminished runs, which I will try to incorporate a bit into my playing
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvenkindje
Do you mean (very basic example) if you're looking to end on a G note, that you play lots of F#'s and Ab's?


Yes, sort of like that; I have a destination or a path in mind, but I curve over and around and backwards towards it.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:55 AM   #11
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Some common ways to "get outside" are to...

play a half step away.

play a tritone subistution away

and what is "sequenced bitonal playing"

The 3rd is more complex. A chord sequence is just that. Its chords that have begun to be "expected" as the general structure of the song, the progression. To achieve an outside sound, you can take certain chords in the sequence and transpose them up or down whatever. Since the sequence has already been established, and you're only being outside for a short amount of time (though you can jump in and out) it sounds "outside" but not "wrong" since the sequence has held a "dynamic" structure.

I would say more, but I can't as I'm going on a trip to Charleston, so hope that was comprehensive enough.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:48 AM   #12
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this sounds really interesting!
this is probedly a dumb question, but could someone recomend me some good jazz to listen to, as i listened to miles davis 'bitches brew' which apparently changed jazz improv forever, but i just didnt 'get' it, is there anything more guitar based?
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:30 AM   #13
elvenkindje
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@Psychodelia: Ah yes, I see

@Erc: With the third, do you mean, if there's a Dm7-G7-Cmaj7 thing going on, I could play arpeggio's of Em7-A7-Dmaj7 or something like that? Have fun on your trip! If you're back, I'd like to hear some more things, if you have the time

@Costache: Try some Grant Green, Pat Martino and Wes Montgomery to start with. I personally like Grant Green most of those
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:47 PM   #14
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Woo! Jazz talk ! Thanks Elven.

Hm .. . Well, that quote is very good, and something I've heard before kind of goes along with it. Especially since you are obviously a more advanced player. (New guitar players shut your eyes!)

The only scale is the chromatic scale. Every note is always available to use. When I'm jamming with my band , and we are in a jazzy mood and it's my turn to go with it, I do my best to just get out there. To me , the most important thing is bringing my solo back, after I go exploring a bit. Music IS tension and release. Try working off of that instead. If a dmin7 chord is up, don't think "How can I sound outside here?" just really let yourself go on it. Maybe run up a Dmin7 arp a bit, but land 'forte' on the b5, then maybe even go up a fifth from that! You know as well as I do, this won't be "consonant" but if you find your way back to where the song is going, it's going to sound very interesting.

Don't get me wrong here, I am a very very strong believer in theory, but a lot of theory can come after the piece is played and you analyze it.

Not much REAL information here, but maybe it will get your mind flowing a bit ? That's the most important thing, although it's not direct help, heh. If you knew this stuff before, sorry for wasting your time.

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(P.S. Relay any good jazz resources you know!)

At Costache : Try Dave Brubeck (Piano) Chick Corea (Piano) Joe Pass (Solo Guitar...A very free/loose player) Pat Metheny (Guitar)

Pat is probably your best bet, as he won't scare you away, hah. Oh, and Mike Stern.
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Last edited by nightwind : 08-01-2006 at 02:05 PM.
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