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Thread: How do you practice?

  1. #1
    Registered User Scridget's Avatar
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    How do you practice?

    -Alright, so there's a Jazz Festival this weekend and there's possibilities for outstanding soloists awards, and I think it would be killer to win, but I have no idea how I practice for a solo. I know you go through patterns, but when you get up to play your solo, how in the world to you combine them all to make them good? I could sing a good solo right on the spot before I ever got into jazz, but playing one is a whole other story unless you have perfect pitch.

    The song I'm soloing on is Morocco, if any of you know it, and the chord changes are pretty simple, but I just don't know what sounds good. (I don't have the friggen peice with me, but I can get it tomorrow.. If anyone's willing to wait to help me) What's worse is I'm a flute player, so I already stand out however not in a good or bad way, until I play. If I suck, I get laughed at more than a sax would, if I'm good, I get praised more. Help if you can =/

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
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    To me it doesn't sound like you're ready to stand up this weekend and improv a solo. If you were you wouldnt be asking the questions you're asking.

    I'm no jazzer but once you know your chords, the scales that could apply over them become clear and then it is a question of finding a theme, a melody which sounds good.

    If you can do that in a couple of days and practice something you are happy with then go for it.

    In my experience you would have to be pretty bad for it to be laughed at so dont worry about that.

    Work something out, keep it simple and melodic, practice it, get up there and be confident.

    And if you're not ready, sit this one out and go next time. no point thrashing your self esteem over it.

  3. #3
    Registered User Santuzzo's Avatar
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    Well, this may not really help you for this upcoming gig, but in the long run this might be a good idea .
    You said you can sing good solos easily. This is great !What you should do is transcribe what you sing, like maybe record your sung solo and then learn it on the guitar.
    Or do it phrase by phrase, like sing a little phrase and try to find it on the guitar. The more you do this the better and quicker you will become in 'playing what you hear'.

    Good luck !

  4. #4
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    thats good advice santuzzo, if all else fails hit the pentatonic, or smash your flute and light it on fire like hendrix

  5. #5
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    if all else fails hit the pentatonic, or smash your flute and light it on fire like hendrix
    I somehow don't think it would have the same visual effect

    -Jorge
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  6. #6
    Ohhhh Riggghhttt. headrulz101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santuzzo
    Well, this may not really help you for this upcoming gig, but in the long run this might be a good idea .
    You said you can sing good solos easily. This is great !What you should do is transcribe what you sing, like maybe record your sung solo and then learn it on the guitar.
    Or do it phrase by phrase, like sing a little phrase and try to find it on the guitar. The more you do this the better and quicker you will become in 'playing what you hear'.

    Good luck !
    That works great! I've been doing that for awhile and it certainly has helped me.

  7. #7
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    Basically, what you're asking is "how do I go about being creative?" which of course is an extremely difficult question to answer.

    When you start off studying jazz, and trying to blow through changes, the best thing to do is to start off playing arpeggios of the changes. I'm not talking about sweeping - I'm talking aout finding the next apeggios in the closest proximity to the one you were in for the previous chord. This will give you a music undertsanding of how the chords fit together in terms of voices, but - most importantly - it will point out where all the chord tones are for each chord. To play a decent solo it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to have a solid understanding of the changes through which you are to solo.

    It'll be much easier to help you with connecting the chordsin a more fluent ay if I could see the changes in front of me. I think I may have that tune in one of my real books, but it's gonna take me ages to try and find it... lol

    Since it's a performance, however, you could always write the solo? No-one's gonna know if it's not improvised are they... ?

    NM

  8. #8
    Fralalalala....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_Morgan
    Since it's a performance, however, you could always write the solo? No-one's gonna know if it's not improvised are they... ?

    NM
    *nods* I'm learning Jazz Piano, and I find myself "working out" improvisations. I try varying it a bit each time though, and leave gaps between phrases to give the music time to breathe, and I think it still sounds fairly spontanious. I assume most jazz musicians have something to fall back on, and are able to add to or change that if they get inspired during a performance...

    Oh and re: the whole putting what's in your head onto your instruments, a huge amount of jazz improv. is based on rhythm... and you don't need perfect pitch to put that onto an instrument! You could keep your solo based around very few (pre-planned) notes of a scale, so long as you keep the rhythm interesting. And if you play a note that sounds wrong, then either move away from it quickly to a "safe" note or stress it until the audience are convinced it's right.

    Hope that helps a bit and that it goes ok.

  9. #9
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    "Right or wrong, play it strong!" lol NM

  10. #10
    WOOPA YA BUPPA BonzaiBob's Avatar
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    if you get stuck on the solo then **** the flute into the crowd screaming ''i don't need no god damn flute'', then sing the theme tune to fragel rock all the while waving those jazz hands, as far as i know, no matter what you're playing, it will always be considered jazz if you got the jazz hands a going on.

    True story.
    You're only as good as the musicians you play with.

  11. #11
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
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    George Benson

    Speaking of singing and playing. Check out George Benson on his version of "ON Broadway". He can play whatever he sings. Jimi Hendrix did this in a more simple contex.

    I think if you practice trying to play what you sing, a natrual sort of osmosis starts to happen. What happens is that you acquire this ability to find any note you think of because that is what you are doing when you sing and play.

    Many jazz players will say to practice this way. If you can't sing it, don't play it. If you would not want to sing it, do not play it.

    Practicing this concept works great with minor and major pentatonic scales but you can do it with altered intervals, diminished runs, but start off small..

    Another tip for jazz soloing is to practice one chord and move in falling 5ths.

    Like this, jam on an E9 with a funky beat, do this for about 8 measures then modulate to A9. (E is the 5th of A so this is a falling 5th pattern)

    Then after 8 bars of A9, go to D9.

    What this does is it "tunes" your ear to get used to key changes. Sometimes when keys change many inexperienced soloists finally get the tonality in their head but now the chords have come and gone and it is too late.

    Practice in falling 5ths (see cycle of 5ths). Many Many jazz standards, such as Blues for Alice follow this sort of pattern.
    Joey D




  12. #12
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    I gotta be honest....I really like BonziBob's reply. Still chuckling to myself over that

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