#1
I've been getting better at improvising in jazz using chord tones and modes, but I have heard about soloing "outside" the chords. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin. I don't know what jazz artists are thinking when they go outside chords.

Does anyone have any advice from playing jazz? Does anyone know of any materials (books, videos, etc) that could help ease me into learning outside playing?

Any recommended jazz artists who solo outside changes would be helpful, too. Not just guitar, I am interested in horn or keyboard players too.
#2
John Mayer's new album Try has a lot of good jazz stuff. Listen to it, love it, learn it. Do it.
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#3
im pretty sure its when u go for accidentals or "blue" notes in the key your in...like say your playing a chord where the sharp is F an accidental would b like an F natural or flat or say maybe a B flat or a C sharp
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#4
Uh, a ton of players play outside, Coltrane plays outside a bit, allan holdsworth, Guthrie Govan, Woody Shaw etc.

There are 4 common ways done in jazz to play outside (that I know of)

3 are quite easy (especially on guitar!)

First 2 are either play a Half step away or a Whole step away. Easy right? It is! (you can also just add normal chromatic embelishments, but that doesn't quite sound as outside). Its easy to "sidestep" in and out with this method. You can also play a tritone subsitution away, essentially the same concept. (3rd way)

The 4th is more complex. The 4th is called "Bi-tonal" playing. Your chords are playing in one key, and you are playing in another. A good example of this is Shawn Lanes song "Art Tatum" (named after the great jazz pianist) The way that I am somewhat familiar with to achieve bi-tonal playing is to do something called "sequencing." You already have a sequence (the original chord progression) what you do is modifty it. To do this, you take your original chord tone and transpose it to another key (an example in the Jazz Theory Book is Mulgre Miller's solow on Wingspan where he takes a Fmaj7 and tranposes it to Ab) and then you can follow the chords trasponsed up to the respective key it is now in.

Hopefully that was a half decent explenation, and if I'm wrong on anything, please correct me!
#5
Quote by psychodelia
I've been getting better at improvising in jazz using chord tones and modes, but I have heard about soloing "outside" the chords. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin. I don't know what jazz artists are thinking when they go outside chords.

Does anyone have any advice from playing jazz? Does anyone know of any materials (books, videos, etc) that could help ease me into learning outside playing?

Any recommended jazz artists who solo outside changes would be helpful, too. Not just guitar, I am interested in horn or keyboard players too.


Shawn Lane is the king of outside pentatonics
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#6
Scott Henderson talks about outside playing quite a lot in his 2 instructional videos.

There's millions of ways to play outside. The best way is to just hear it. Take risks with sequences, play some intervallic ideas that might end up leaving the key. Theory is just a way to explain what someone played after the fact.

Eric Dolphy used to imitate bird song. Imitating ambient sounds is not a new idea in improvised music. Think in terms of having a conversation or perhaps in an extreme moment an argument.

Listening usually answers questions like this.
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He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


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#7
Learn licks, more licks and some more. Learn the context in which to use them and why they sound good. Try to learn them in every position so you don't have to switch positions just to play a lick you like. But be careful that you won't be a copycat. Modify the licks a bit, mess around with them so they'll become your style.

Also, incorporate modes even more in your playing. For example, if you see a Dm7 chord, you'll probably think there's a G7 and a Cmaj7 behind it, meaning it's in the key of C (or D dorian, if you're like that). (Note that I'm not sure if this is what you meant by incorporating modes, but I still use it a lot and maybe you'll get an idea or two from it)

You can also think about the modes you can play over Dm7. In the scale of Dm, it's Aeolian. In the scale of Gm, it's Phrygian. In the scale of Am, it's Dorian. You can even play a blues pentatonic over a Dm7 chord, and not to forget harmonic and melodic minor (even though the 7 and b7 will clash)

What that means, is that if we put ALL the notes of all those scales together.. You get

1 - b2 - 2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b6 - 6 - b7 - 7 - 1

So, that's basically every note except the major third. (I'm pretty sure you're a guy who knows his modes, so this doesn't need further explanation, right? )

The way I see jazz soloing is all about tension and release, with a non-chord tone being tension (some create more tension then others) and a chord-tone being release. That's why I don't think of my notes as a G but (in this case) as a 11. If you can see that on the fretboard (or on every other instrument) I think you've got the technical view of it quite right.

So, in other ways.. You can pretty much play every note you like, but you've got to put it in it's context. This is basically a lot of trial and error. I am mostly a technical player, I like to analyse everything I play and therefore, I play a lot 'in the box'. The way I just explained is the way I believe is MY way to go outside the box. Maybe you'll get something out of it.

Below is an example of a pattern I seem to use a lot over min7 chords. It's in 6/4 and the chord after this one is a 7th chord, so this is basically making it a IImin7 - V7). The E's stand for Eighth notes and the Q for Quarter notes. Also note that the 1 in the IImin7 is the 5 in the V7, so that's a positive thing about this.

E    E   E   E    Q   E    E   E    E    E    E   Q

b3 - 2 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7 - 5 - b7 - b3 - b2 - 7 - 1


One more thing I can think of at this moment is the use of chromatics. You can use them, as long as you land on a chord tone (for the release of the created tension). You can even play patterns and chromatically raise them. Something like this. Example in 2/4 over a IImin7 - V7

E   E    E    E   Q

4 - b7 - b5 - 7 - 5


I hope you get the point of that one. It's not the best example but I can't think of any better example.

I think this is about all I can think of at the moment. If you have any questions (or critisms, since I think this is a weird way of seeing it), feel free to ask/say so
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#8
I have done a couple of lessons on this subject.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132752

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127995

Also a quick tip is to play arpeggios over the backing for a sophisticated sound, i was working on a track with Cas where i played a nasty outside line going through arpeggios of Ebmaj7, Dm7 and F# over a Gm backing, sounded sick, hopefully one day i'll finish it.

Anymore questions pm me if you like.