My question relates to the thread started by Anthon_74 recently about playing changes, but I'm looking for something specific:
One of the many features which distinguishes the solos of expert jazz musicians like Django from struggling enthusiasts like myself is their ability to pre-empt the chord changes, so that they play smooth flowing solo lines which seem to float over the changes. In contrast, I find that I end up playing a series of licks which (on a good day) match each chord, but don’t join up very nicely or anticipate the next chord.
My brain and fingers are too preoccupied with playing the immediate lick to be able to think ahead and anticipate the next chord; let alone work out how to create a smooth transition.
Consequently, my improvisations tend to end up sounding like...well...a bunch of licks; unsubtly spliced together at the start and beginning of each new chord in the progression...
The only advice I’ve had so far is “really know your chord progressions”, but this isn’t very specific; and "learn a bunch of bridging licks, e.g. V7-1", which might help with smoother transitions, but isn't quite the same as improvising lead lines which start before the chord change.
I feel like I need to develop the cognitive "breathing space" to be able to look ahead at the same time as focusing on the present, and would be very grateful if anyone could suggest or refer me to any resources of specific exercises that I could use in a daily drill to help me develop this mystical ability.
Many thanks in anticipation