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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Soloing & Song Progressions
Category: Improvisation/Soloing
From: Todd Model (pmgln/usa)

Pat...I'd like to know how you approach soloing against 1 of your song progressions. Do you concentrate on the particular chord,series of chords, key changes or do you just forget everything and play by ear. I've always had a problem trying to be completely creative and keeping track of each chord when the progression has a lot of chord changes.

Pat’s Answer:

improvising on chord changes is a lot like giving a speech about a fairly complex subject using fairly complex grammar - there is no way you can just wing it, you have to have done a lot of research into the subject and have a pretty wide ranging vocabulary that makes the language in all its potential available to you. much in the same way that all of us are capable of kind of "improvising" our sentences without really thinking too much about verbs, adjectives, pronouns etc. a really good improvisor who has studied harmony and its implications for years can sort of just "play". but there is no getting around it, if you are serious about playing on a tune like "giant steps" or even "phase dance" for that matter, you will have to know everything there is to know about " particular chord,series of chords, key changes",etc. the only way to get past the problems you seem to be having is to practice a lot for many years and to learn all you can about music. there are no short cuts or quick fixes.