Monday, 21 May 2012

So What

If you've ever struggled to play over a modal chord progression then learning this Miles Davis solo is a must!

Davis tends to stick to the Dorian mode for the majority of his solo, as you would expect, although he occasionally uses a C major triad instead. (bars 35 - 40) One interesting use of this is in bar 57 where he uses the C major triad on the end of an Eb-7 section, essentially bringing in the D-7 a bar early. 

In bars 41-44 Davis plays a few licks taken from the Blues Scale, I especially like his quick use of the flat 5 coming back down to the root.

At the end of a 3 bar long Eb Dorian run, Davis uses some chromatic notes (bar 25) leading back into the D-7. Although these notes are not in Eb-7, they are all notes from the D-7.

G = 4th of D-
A = 5th of D-
D = Root of D-

Another tool Davis uses is the repetition of a simple melodic idea, starting on bar 3, he develops a short melody from the Dorian mode. This melody makes an appearance again at bars 46 - 47 as well as closing the solo at bar 65. This helps to give his solo a sense of continuity and structure.

Click the here for the full transcription, this solo is packed with licks that can be adapted for use in your own improvisations, another favourite is the Eb Dorian run in thirds, bars 53 - 56! There's just too many to list here, so grab the transcription and dig in!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

She Loves You Transcription

This is a classic song from The Beatles which I will be playing at the weekend, with Friends Of The Bride, for the happy couples first dance. The full transcription is available for download here. If you're playing along with the original it seems to be slightly flatter than standard tuning so don't worry if you're sounding a bit out!

The form for this song is about as straight forward as it gets, with each section lasting a very unoffensive 8 bars and Sir Paul keeps the bass relatively simple playing root notes and fifths with the occasional passing note and one or two 8th note runs.

The main point of interest for me in this song was the one bar of syncopation after the 'She Loves You' refrain, bar 18 (bar 1 in the example below). Here McCartney shifts the accent from beats 1 and 3 where it stays for most of the song to beat 1 and  the 'and' of beat 2, before quickly jumping back in to the regular beat 1 and 3 accents.

A very effective yet simple technique that's well worth practicing. Nicely done Sir! 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

SoundCloud Update

I've uploaded a new track to my SoundCloud, it's a solo bass recorded over one of Scott Devine's backing tracks. It's using major pentatonics over a minor key which is covered in one of Scott's most recent lessons. If you haven't already been watching his youtube lessons then do so right now! One of the best sources of free lessons I've come across. Get started here!

Here's the track

Blue Bossa by mattlawton