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!

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