#1
So I have to improvise over Impressions (but the slowed down Aebersold version, so a bit more like So What) for a bit for an exam, and it's not going brilliantly.

For those who don't know it, it's a modal piece and the chords are

Dm7 - Dm7 - Ebm7 - Dm7 (8 bars of each)

I've always been an ear player and I'm slowly working theory into that, so I'm sticking mostly with Dorian ideas, and of course any other notes my ears provide for a bit of colour

The thing I'm having trouble with is carrying on any ideas into an extended form - I play licks that sound good, but after a while I sound like all I'm playing is a collection of random licks, and it falls apart. Also, I wouldn't mind adding some faster runs for a bit of variation, but I'm not so good at pulling them out of my hat.

My thoughts are, I could do with a bit of transcription work, and I was wondering if people could recommend me any good versions of Impressions or So What (Youtube links are always good too), or similar songs that use that form?
Obviously, if anyone has any other tips on modal improv, that would be awesome too.
Thanks!
- Owen
#2
My approach to practicing jazz is to divvy up the practical and theoretical (chops, theory) with the historical and audial (jazz history, listening to jazz). I try to feel the decades of ancestry and development while I'm playing, as pretentious as that sounds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq23Jj7lW_E

This is an amazing solo. Some guy's comments also provide a helpful analysis.
Tiger style.
Last edited by kevinm4435 at Aug 17, 2008,
#3
Quote by TheNthDimension
So I have to improvise over Impressions (but the slowed down Aebersold version, so a bit more like So What) for a bit for an exam, and it's not going brilliantly.

For those who don't know it, it's a modal piece and the chords are

Dm7 - Dm7 - Ebm7 - Dm7 (8 bars of each)

I've always been an ear player and I'm slowly working theory into that, so I'm sticking mostly with Dorian ideas, and of course any other notes my ears provide for a bit of colour

The thing I'm having trouble with is carrying on any ideas into an extended form - I play licks that sound good, but after a while I sound like all I'm playing is a collection of random licks, and it falls apart. Also, I wouldn't mind adding some faster runs for a bit of variation, but I'm not so good at pulling them out of my hat.

My thoughts are, I could do with a bit of transcription work, and I was wondering if people could recommend me any good versions of Impressions or So What (Youtube links are always good too), or similar songs that use that form?
Obviously, if anyone has any other tips on modal improv, that would be awesome too.
Thanks!
- Owen


It sounds like your issue is phrasing. When you get to transcribing, focus more on the phrasing, and try to incorporate that into your own playing.
shred is gaudy music
#4
Quote by GuitarMunky
It sounds like your issue is phrasing. When you get to transcribing, focus more on the phrasing, and try to incorporate that into your own playing.

+1
Also, check out Guitar Player, they just did an article on outside playing in jazz that focused on various versions of So What. Everything from the original to a Wes Montgomery version. It should be on their website, it'll give you some good takes of a standard to transcribe and get some ideas from. But yeah phrasing sounds like your problem. That takes practice.
#5
Quote by Psychodelia
However, in general, you can add depth and sophistication to your soloing by working on development of phrases or motifs, and following the key changes.

When you begin improvising, come up with a short phrase. It can only be a few notes, if you like. Then, work on developing this motif... you can change the beat you play it on, transpose the pitches, alter the rhythm in some way... the list goes on. As you extend and add to this motif, you might come up with a new motif that you can move on to. Building on ideas like this shows that you're not just running through scales, but working on building your material. You can still mix in free, non motivic playing to build excitement; an effective mix will help balance familiarity with excitement. Don't forget to leave some space for the listener to digest your playing! For a little more information on phrasing, you might want to check out the Scott Henderson video, "Melodic Phrasing".



I was expanding on this and had quite a long post before my tab closed. I might come back to this tomorrow to do the post.
#6
Thanks guys - especially Kevinm, that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I'll have a look for that issue of Guitar Player and maybe that Scott Henderson video too. Cheers!
#7
Bump to say thanks for turning me on to that Scott Henderson video in Psychodelia's post. I love the 80s hair, the 80s pink shirts and the faces he makes when playing live! Also, it's a good video and he's a great teacher.