Passion For Improvising 04:15 on Saturday, November 16, 2002
O.K. cats. The tone of this message is pleasant, yet urgent. I urge you to try improvising. If you don`t, then this post is not for you. If you already do, then please read on. If you want to learn some new solo techniques, here they are. If you want to have your ego shrunk a little, then lets go! It`ll be fun!
Now you may be asking yourself, "who the heck does this guy think he is?!?" Don`t worry, I`m just another sax player finding a voice for myself. I love to play, so we have something in common. Now, here`s the goods: If you don`t practice all day everyday, jam every chance you get with whoever, hunt for gigs, and get a good private teacher, then you had better get used to being an O.K. player. Yes, it is still fun that way - you can learn to play a blues, read the charts to in the mood and what-not, but you`d better accept that that`s as good as it gets.
Let`s assume that you wanna be a crazy mind blowing saxophonist. The kind that people COME to hear. You already know what has to be done, but you`re wondering what to practice. Do you have a favorite player? Pick your favorite solo and try to play along. Start and stop as much as you need, but if you write it down before you memorize it, say goodbye to greatness. It`s hard, yes, but that`s what it is. Deal with it. Do you wanna be great? Memorize it! A month or two later, you should be ready to write it down. Then analyze it. Pick your favorite lick and learn it in all keys. Yeah, ALL KEYS. Again, don`t write it in all keys, just memorize it. Think of the chord that it sits over while you`re blowing. Done?!? Good!!! DO ANOTHER ONE!!!!!
Now, what is all that crazy hip stuff that we keep hearing in those far out modern solos? Well, there`s a lot to go over. I won`t get into it all. I couldn`t. I don`t know it all. No-one does. But I do know some......... learn or die saxamaphone wannabe.......
D- / G7alt / C Maj / % /
Do you know the altered scale? It goes over the five chord...
G Ab A# B C# Eb F G
It`s just a C# Mixolydian #4 starting on the tritone. Yes, it`s like a tritone sub, but it`s just the scale over the 5 chord. You can use it in the 4th bar of a blues - If it`s Bb blues, then play E7alt scale in the 4th bar.
Well, I ran out of steam. Go figure it out. Whatever works for you man. GOOD LUCK.
Re: Passion For Improvising 17:59 on Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Good to meet you. Got the Charlie Parker Omnibook? I play tenor - MK VI Selmer. Cannonball is cool - so is Sonny Stitt. Lee Konitz - They`re all alto players. Go buy some C.D.s and start working on what I was talking about. It`s never too early to do what we want to do.....be great players. Good luck!