I guess most young jazz musicians who are trying to grow hit a spot where they cant play over their own changes. Its really bothersome, I vaguely remember hearing a masterclass Kurt did where he touched on this subject regarding his early years. I understand you just have to slow it way down and explore all possible scales for each chord and go from there, but the changes on my song are fast and rhythmic in a way that it makes it really hard for me to create coherent lines, not to mention interesting ones at that. I suppose this may be hard to comment on and maybe its just time and work that will get me through it, but, is there any advice out there? Thanks
Line Craft - I cant play over my own changes!(10 posts)
I did a quick video of the chord sequence in question for me right now
It's funny, I have a lot of problems soloing over my own tunes. Partly because I don't shed them enough because I don't have an active group playing them right now, but also because of what you mention: Changes going by too quickly. Sometimes I end up just creating an ostinato lick for those sections, rather than try to solo over them.
I am no expert so that is my caveat.
You could look at some type of hybrid scale that will work for all of the changes. It might just be a few notes but it is a start.
You could write a solo away from the instrument. I've had two teachers suggest that approach. It will be a different approach than just soloing in time.
If the song has a melody, you could work on variations.
Just some thoughts. Care to share the changes?
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I watched some videos on youtube of john scofield and allan holdsworth talk about the same issue of playing through changes. It pretty much is a huge part of the art form that I guess you essentially have to learn all possible scales for each chord, then spoon feed yourself so to speak, take it very slow, and create lines that work over the harmonic backing. Its nearly like starting all over again, and Ive been playing for about 19 years! The problem being 17-18 of those I was focused on blues and rock. Then one day something clicked and that stuff just wasnt good enough anymore haha.
My theory is bad so I couldnt write out the changes - I put it on youtube - my second post has the link. I also do mess around on piano so that might help me make some lines. Theres no melody right now but i like the idea of modifying it as the lines build. Thanks guys
definitely look for common tones that run through the chords!
After watching the video, I think you should work out a specific line of arpeggios that flows through the progression. Slow it way down and get a line of 8th-note arpeggios under your fingers.
FWIW I personally wouldn't spend much time focusing on soloing over a groove that complex. Let the groove be the focal point and let the listener enjoy it. Don't worry about soloing over it, unless this is a progression you're absolutely set on being able to play over.
Nice feel by the way.
You know, an analytical approach is great, but with complex movement like that, something else you could also try would be simply singing some lines over your youtube clip.
Just starting with one or two notes per chord- keeping it simple, record it, transcribe it and see what you get. In a way it's a more honest way of soloing, likely more musical too! Trust your ears.
Thanks, I think thats good advice. It gives me that much more respect for people like holdsworth and kurt, being able to create really interesting lines through changes. The best jazz guys have that going on really strong i guess
What everyone else has said above. Also you have an Eb(I think) as a common tone in all those chord voicings. It might be good to go through each chord and start going through the scales that fit but all starting on Eb.
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