Have you ever made these sounds when you’ve listened to a solo?
You know, one of those solos where you hear a couple of unsavory phrases and that’s it…no more! For the love of God, please make it stop!
If you listen to a good amount of music, I’ll bet you have.
But what exactly was it about this particular solo that turned you off so much?
The scales the soloist was using? The type of instrument they were playing?
No? Well it must be something…
You might be surprised, but a lot of what makes a solo sound bad doesn’t have anything to do with the notes or scales.
Harmonic tunnel vision
When you first start learning to improvise it’s all about the notes. All about the notes…
Major scales, minor scales, modes, arpeggios, chord tones, blues scales, bebop scales, the 3rd’s and 7th’s, dominant 7th chords, Major 9 chords, ii-V7-I, and on and on.
There’s so much theory to think about that you end up getting harmonic tunnel vision.
All you can see are chords and scales, scales and chords – every other aspect of the music becomes invisible.
You desperately want to play the right note at the right time so you clutch onto music theory like a stranded swimmer hanging onto a life preserver.
As a result, you forget about some very important parts of musical expression…
Remember, improvising isn’t just about which notes you play, it’s about how you play them.
And this is … Read More