DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Who's Online (0)

Related Discussions

Today's Birthday

Kumiko Imakyurei

Playing improvised solos using chords

guit_boxguit_box New
edited September 2008 in Licks and Patterns Posts: 113
I've noticed GJ players sometimes taking a whole chorus of solo using only chords. I'd be interested in hearing how these players approach this kind of soloing. What kinds of chords, inversions, passing chords, etc are they using?
Are there some specific tips to better understand the concepts behind this type of improvisation? I've got many GJ instructional books, but have never seen this topic addressed.

btw, I'm not talking about chord/solo type of playing, but using chords in improvisations with a pick.
«1

Comments

  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,748
    I do this a fair amount...I think the best advice I could give is:

    a)REALLY get your shapes down, so you can play a given chord in at least five or six places. Not every shape has to contain every note.
    b)Work on walking the bass and passing chords, so you're not just jumping from one shape to another. Michael has a nice lesson about walking bass lines here.
    c)Once you've got a handle on the basic chord shapes and inversions, think about substitutions and extending the progressions using ii-V motion, etc.
    d)The rhythm itself doesn't have to stay static-if it were a single note solo you wouldn't expect to hear only quarter or eighth notes. Don't be afraid to play with the beat to some extent.

    These seem to me to work best on tunes where the chords aren't flying by...try All of Me, Minor Swing, Cherokee, Les Yeux, etc to start. Dennis was good enough to put up a vid of the Ritary Ensemble playing Cherokee with Herve taking a rhythm solo:


    Hope that helps.
    Jack.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,748
    While I'm thinking about it, this came up awhile ago:
    viewtopic.php?t=778
    Cuimean wrote:
    I had never really thought of making room in songs for the rhythm guitarist to solo, but I recently heard some really fun, tasteful rhythm guitar solos on two CDs I recently picked up ("Ombre et Lumiere" by Waso and "Force Majeure" by Jokke Schreurs). They're almost more like drum solos; the guitarists simply play their part, perhaps with a few different inversions of the chords, and beat out some different rhythms for a few bars. Like most drum solos, multiple choruses in every song might get a bit boring, so the players on the aforementioned recordings keep it down to a few bars in a couple songs. That seems just enough to throw in a different and interesting flavor.

    Best,
    Jack.
  • guit_boxguit_box New
    Posts: 113
    Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to spark some more specifics examples, licks, etc., since this is the licks and patterns thread. I'm not sure you'd call them "licks", but there's not much discussion of this type of improv so I'm not sure what you'd call it. Are there any specific chords, inversion fingerings that GJ players like to use? I'm not sure the iim7 V7 I sub is as common in GJ, I hear more inversions of 6th chords, and passing diminished chords, but that only gets me so far.
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,748
    [quote="guit_box"]Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to spark some more specifics examples, licks, etc., since this is the licks and patterns thread. I'm not sure you'd call them "licks", but there's not much discussion of this type of improv so I'm not sure what you'd call it. Are there any specific chords, inversion fingerings that GJ players like to use? I'm not sure the iim7 V7 I sub is as common in GJ, I hear more inversions of 6th chords, and passing diminished chords, but that only gets me so far.[/quote]

    Well, I'm not sure you'll find very specific ideas, because whatever the tune is you'll still have to be playing the chords for [i]that [/i]tune. It's a little different from a regular solo, where you can say this or that lick works over an A7, etc. That said, here's a simple example using some of the ideas I mentioned above applied to Dark Eyes:

    [code]A7 Dm A7 Bb
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    --5--5--5--5-----6--3--3--3-----5--5--5--8-----8--11------8-----
    --4--3--4--6-----7--2--2--2-----4--3--6--6-----7--10--8--7------
    --5--5--5--5-----7--3--3--3-----5--5--5--8-----8---8--7--5-----
    --4--4--4--4-----5--3--2--------4--4-----7-----8-------------
    -----------5--------------1-------------5---------10--8--6---ETC...[/code]

    Again that's a really simplistic example...try it out as a bass/chord thing so each change is two bars.

    Try this when it goes to Gm (again, try a bass/chord thing):

    [code]----------------------------------------------------------------
    -----11--------11-------10---10--------10-------10-------8--------8-
    -----10-------10--------9-----9---------9-------9-------7---------7-----
    -----8--------8---------8-----8---------7-------7--------6---------6---
    10----------------------------------8------------------------------
    --------10-----------9-----8---------------8----------6-------6-----


    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    ------8--------8---------5---------5----------3--------------------------
    ------7--------6---------4---------3----------2--------------------------
    ------8--------8---------5---------5----------3--------------------------
    ---7-------7---------4---------4----------2--------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------------------------ETC.[/code]

    You'll hear a ii-V at the beginning of that...they're in a lot of tunes (at least the American standards we so often play), but not everyone chooses to play them, instead just going straight to the V...

    Best,
    Jack.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I also like to use drop2 voicings, you just play a good simple melody on the top voice and the rest pretty much takes care of itself.
    For those of you who don't know what i`m talking about, drop2 voicings are constructed like this:

    -Take a four way closed voicing like CEGB (Cmaj7)

    -Drop the second voice from the top, down and octave so it is now at the bottom: CEGB=GCEB

    and that's it, they are relatively easy to play on guitar.
    Remember that there are four inversions of any chord.

    So if you`re playing the first 3 notes of Minor swing over A-6(ACEF#) it could work like this:

    A - C - E = F#CEA - AEF#C - CF#AE

    This is just an example, you can do a lot more with this stuff.

    Chords voiced in fourths are very handy too, EADG could be C6/9 and with the same shape you can have ADGC or BEAD all working against C major (and a lot of other chords too)
    I hope this makes some kind of sense to you and helps you to play chord or/and rhythm solos. Once you`ve got the hang of it try varying the rhythm, adding syncopation, etc.
    If you have questions feel free to ask, I`ll do my best to help.
  • YannYann Luxembourg (Old Europe)New
    Posts: 47
    Hi GuitBox,

    I have put together some stuff about voicings and chords solos:

    http://www.serendipity-band.com/misc/manouche/src/voicings-en.htm

    Hope that helps. This is a topic I like very much! :)

    Yann
    My own Manouche guitar page in the works: http://www.serendipity-band.com/misc/ma ... toc-en.htm
  • DiggerDigger New
    Posts: 77
    Yann wrote:
    I have put together some stuff about voicings and chords solo

    Fantastic site, Yann.
    The chord solo for 'Stella by Starlight', would that normally be played all downstrokes?
  • YannYann Luxembourg (Old Europe)New
    Posts: 47
    Digger,

    Most of the strokes are downstrokes on this chorus, though Biréli plays this on an electric guitar.

    Yann
    My own Manouche guitar page in the works: http://www.serendipity-band.com/misc/ma ... toc-en.htm
  • DiggerDigger New
    Posts: 77
    Thanks Yann,
    So I won't be exiled for a couple of upstrokes, then? :lol:
    Merry Christmas.
  • Tchavalo's solo on "Lady Be Good" has a example or two of playing chord/octave solos. There is a transcription of the song on Hotclub.co.uk .
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2021 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2021 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.056821 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.45079 Megabytes
Kryptronic