Author Topic: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What  (Read 4610 times)

funkle

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Soloing over Impressions I'm kind of keeping track of where I am, counting measures so that I hit the Eb change right on the nose. Then I start letting go, disengaging my left-brain, really getting into it, sounding great, and then BAM - missed the change. What do you guys do? Hope that the drummer tips you off? You want to not think too cerebrally about playing, but you kind of have to, to keep track on tunes like this. I'm sure the high level players just know when it's coming, but what about the hackers like myself?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 07:36:12 AM by funkle »

scottl

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 09:12:36 AM »
For me it is an innate thing.   I just know....  I can't actually count and play.   The form is not an odd number of bars so it falls pretty naturally.   Eventually, you will just feel the change.  In addition, you should be able to shift gears on a dime and make the solo work even if you miss the change.   The best soloists have an uncanny ability to land on their feet and make their phrases work regardless....



dogbite

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 09:13:53 AM »
Soloing over Impressions I'm kind of keeping track of where I am, counting measures so that I hit the Eb change right on the nose. Then I start letting go, disengaging my left-brain, really getting into it, sounding great, and then BAM - missed the change. What do you guys do? Hope that the drummer tips you off? You want to not think too cerebrally about playing, but you kind of have to, to keep track on tunes like this. I'm sure the high level players just know when it's coming, but what about the hackers like myself?

experienced players are able to absorb bigger "chunks" - sure i get lost sometimes but the main reason we get lost is, well, we got lost.  you must practice not getting lost, that's all.  by counting, phrasing, listening - whatever works but for at least a little while, practice in such a way that your number one priority is to not get lost.  "letting go" isn't necessarily an all or nothing proposition.  if you missed the change by letting go, i dare say you let go of just a wee bit too much :)

but yeah, i do that too.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 09:15:45 AM by dogbite »
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millions

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 06:17:50 PM »
I think we need to talk specifically about Impressions. The way it's structured is a big part of why it's easy to get lost. It's only 2 chords, and the "tail end" of each progression is just like the beginning, same chord. It's so circular, it's easy to get lost as to where it ends & starts over again, on the next progression.

In cases like this, it's the drummer's job to "tag" that tail, so everyone will know where measure 1 is. Just a small accent or roll will do. Maybe the bass player could also help in this, by changing his line in some way.

I've even run into this problem on simple rock & blues songs. If a blues tune has no "walkdown" or turnaround to V, and simply goes V-IV-I, then starts over on I with no turnaround (some songs require this), it's easy to lose it; the end runs right into the beginning again.

Even super-simple Chuck Berry songs can do this. If you listen to the original Chess recordings of him ("The Great 28"), then you will notice that Berry does not do unnecessary tags or "V" tags at the end, preferring to keep going on the same I chord. I've played in a lot of bands that always add unnecessary tags like this to simple Chuck Berry songs and blues.
Of course, it's easier to get lost, but it sounds like the original, and is less cluttered.
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

Halfdim7

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 08:23:58 PM »
Talking about Chuck Berry on the fusion forum? Oh, my!
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

Geoff J

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 05:05:21 AM »
Yeah Form is a big foot in the butt on this one for me , too !!

This is a cheat, but after the Eb, I count three (3) eight measure "D " minors before the Eb bridge

sometimes I super impose the V single notewise just to keep my head together

funkle

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 06:23:08 AM »
Yeah Form is a big foot in the butt on this one for me , too !!

This is a cheat, but after the Eb, I count three (3) eight measure "D " minors before the Eb bridge

sometimes I super impose the V single notewise just to keep my head together

That is basically what I do. But my point is that as soon as I stop counting measures, my playing becomes a lot more free, and generally better. I think I like Millions response of it being the drummer's responsibility :)

Geoff J

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2010, 08:02:20 AM »
disagree - it's everyone's job to keep the form !! Period !!

Halfdim7

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 10:31:40 AM »
disagree - it's everyone's job to keep the form !! Period !!
Those were exclamation-points, actually. <-That's a period ;)
....lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked up playing....

dogbite

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 06:00:46 PM »
disagree - it's everyone's job to keep the form !! Period !!

ditto that.  you should play "out" because you choose to, not because you forgot what "time" it was :)

however, one should practice a fair amount of side-slipping just in case :) :) :)
s/aka/db

Geoff J

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 09:18:40 PM »
disagree - it's everyone's job to keep the form !! Period !!

ditto that.  you should play "out" because you choose to, not because you forgot what "time" it was :)

however, one should practice a fair amount of side-slipping just in case :) :) :)
Lol - i did forget about that "tip" i wound up doing that a couple times on accident and wound up making it part of what I do.
I like to side slip going horizontally across the fretboard rather than vertically up & down the string sets - seems to flow for me a little better

philwbass

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2010, 12:44:55 PM »
Playing a lot of standards I just got a feel for the length of 8 bars, it's not infallible, but I try to feel each 8 bar section and count those sections.

millions

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2010, 04:50:30 AM »
"In cases like this, it's the drummer's job to "tag" that tail, so everyone will know where measure 1 is. Just a small accent or roll will do."

disagree - it's everyone's job to keep the form !! Period !!

True, it's everyone's job to keep the form, but how is the guitarist going to communicate where "1" is to anyone else? All I'm saying is that everyone should help each other out, and it's nice when you have a drummer who can delineate forms of songs with accents. These types of "musical" drummers are more scarce than the ones who just bang their way through on cymbals, and believe me, I've experienced my share of those types. The good ones make everyone's job easier. In fact, I consider the drummer to be of the most importance in putting together a band.
"In Spring! In the creation of art, it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"The trouble with New Age music is that there's no evil in it."-Brian Eno

Lucidology

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 11:21:56 AM »
Cantaloupe Island is one of those fun jamming tunes I've heard many cats (most of which are good 'bass' players) mess up the form ...

After the 4 bars of D- it goes back to the F- for four & then the form repeats itself...
But a lot of bass players will immediately start the tune as if it's at the beginning again after the 4 bars of D-..
This messes a lot of soloists up when the Db7 arrives 4 bars too soon ...  :o

philwbass

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Re: Keeping track when soloing on modal tunes like Impressions & So What
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 11:27:11 AM »
Yeah, I've heard a lot of people do that on tunes where the last 4 is the same as the first 4.
In my experience it's usually guitarists though!  ;)