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Thread: Keeping vamp soloing interesting

  1. #1
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    Keeping vamp soloing interesting

    anyone got any things i can do to stop sounding boring over a vamp in a fusion context?

    i find i sound very boring very quickly if there's no changes to outline and dick around over.

    Thanks, Mark

  2. #2
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    forget about notes and just start thinking rhythmically.

    use chords and arpeggiate through the voicings you know and highlight the dissonances.

    try and voice lead two or three notes moving in and out of half step dissonances.

    try to just solo in one position or on one string.

    use open strings.

    transcribe some fussion you like and see what makes it work.

  3. #3
    I like music.
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    Play interesting sounding melodies. This involves thinking more along the lines of rhythmic and motivic development, thinking in 2, 4, 8 bar phrases. Different phrase shapes and contours. Try to build dynamics and leave space so your other band members can interject.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  4. #4
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Ultimately interesting rhythmic and melodic devices are what drive fusion solos.

    However, one very simple, yet effective way to make the soloing more harmonically based like traditional jazz tunes is to superimpose a set of chord changes over the static vamp.

    Now, I'm not talking about anything wild, just something simple to keep you thinking about chords and arpeggios. One very simple method is to take the progression and turn it into a V-I progression. Say you're soloing over a Dm7 vamp. You could take that and embellish it by playing A7-Dm7. The A7 chord isn't outside of the Dm7 tonality, and the only note that is (the C#) pulls back towards the Dm7 anyway and will get resolved. This will help add a little bit of harmonic motion without actually changing the harmony in any significant way. This is more to keep you mentally focused on outlining the harmony.

    Another similar approach would be to take other chords in the tonality and create a diatonic chord progression from it. For example, over Dm7 dorian, you can take other chords from the tonality to keep things interesting. For example, you could do something like Dm7 Fmaj7 Cmaj7 Em7. All of these notes from these chords are already in Dm7, so you're not adding anything new; just organizing those same 7 notes into a new order to keep things interesting.


    Another common device in fusion is to take a melodic figure and repeat it transposed chromatically. For example, say you are repeating the notes "D F G A" in sixteenth notes over a vamp. You could try playing that up a half step as "Eb Gb Ab Bb" and then return back down a half step. Due to the constantness of the Dm7 sound, the clash isn't as sour, and since you are indeed resolving it back, it is accepted by the ear. You can choose other intervals, like a whole step or minor third. Due to the integrity of the melodic idea (the listener has already heard it at the original pitches and is familiar with it), it can be transposed and still sound logical, even though some of the notes may be direct clashes with the harmony. When any harmony is held long enough, it slips into the background a bit for the listener, and you can get away with stronger dissonance than you could in a normal harmonic situation.

  5. #5
    Registered Abuser RG2550's Avatar
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    you can get a great deal of inspiration from Miles Davis, he can keep a vamp interesting forever! also you need to use space, silence can be music too

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, lots of stuff to think about now. Will be trying all this stuff out and seeing what works for me.
    Thanks again, Mark

  7. #7
    Ibreathe Follower Kinoble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poparad


    Another common device in fusion is to take a melodic figure and repeat it transposed chromatically. For example, say you are repeating the notes "D F G A" in sixteenth notes over a vamp. You could try playing that up a half step as "Eb Gb Ab Bb" and then return back down a half step. Due to the constantness of the Dm7 sound, the clash isn't as sour, and since you are indeed resolving it back, it is accepted by the ear. You can choose other intervals, like a whole step or minor third. Due to the integrity of the melodic idea (the listener has already heard it at the original pitches and is familiar with it), it can be transposed and still sound logical, even though some of the notes may be direct clashes with the harmony. When any harmony is held long enough, it slips into the background a bit for the listener, and you can get away with stronger dissonance than you could in a normal harmonic situation.
    I read about this recently when browsing Oz Noy's technique. Nicely explained poparad, its a bit of an alien concept to me but apparently its common like you say in fusion.

    Ben

  8. #8
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    thanks for all your advice, it's been very helpful.

    This morning i had a pop at some fusiony stuff over a minor blues i'd thrown together with some drum loops. Please give a listen and critisise as you see fit.

    Poparad, i treated the 651 at the end as a 36251 and it sounded very cool, thanks for that nugget of wisdom.

    Mark
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
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    sounds like you are getting some of the superimpositions

    I would suggest starting some of your phrases in different places. I believe you had three different triplet or tripletish runs starting on 1 and lasting for about two bars each, all within less then 30 seconds.

    well upon further listen the second one isn't really like the other two...it's actually pretty cool, I like it. But the one at the begining and the one 13 seconds are very similar. Start on 1, triplets for 4 or 5 beats ending with a bend.
    Last edited by silent-storm; 08-18-2006 at 04:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    thanks silent-storm. The point of using the same lick was to try and establish a theme. The only difference is while is was originally A dorian i changed it to D dorian.
    Will take into account what you said next time, thanks again

    Mark

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