Timing in solos

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by thesamhill, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 2, 2015
    Great thread, I got a lot to think about and try. Just to add my own thoughts on this question...

    +1 on listening to horns. When I play a solo in the "Pink Panther" theme (bluesy jazz), I tend to fill it up with notes, sometimes painting myself into a corner.

    But if I play along with the original Mancini recording, and follow the sax solo, I'm shamed by the sax player's comparatively minimal phrasing. Then I try to emulate those short, tasty, effective phrases of the sax, but it's hard not to fall into old habits. Practice!

    Good point. I think tension & release is a primary driving aspect of most music, fiction, movies etc. The effect is what Aristotle called "purging"—a release of emotions that cleanses the soul.... or something. :cool: Music does this uniquely.
    thesamhill likes this.
  2. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Beaumont, CA
    LOL Sounds like you're getting it though! Maybe since you took what we suggested and worked it out for yourself, it'll stick? Sounds like big leaps and bounds are just a few short practices away!

    On your finding #2, I remember someone mentioned (it might have been hear on TDPRI, even?) that one thing they noticed that differentiated pro-level players from other players was the use of double notes. They said that they recognized that the Pro will hit the same note twice in a row, because it was melodically more correct. Whereas the other player tended to do runs of notes, more scalar in pattern. As soon as I read that it kinda struck something within me and I really focused on using those double notes and they made appearances into my playing and it really felt like a big leap. Funny how something so simple.

    One thing I work really hard at also is question and answer, tension and release, as mentioned.... Because I play Blues about 98% of the time, it is ingrained. But, there was a time when it was tough to make it flow easily or naturally. It all just takes time and practice.
    Sounds Good and thesamhill like this.
  3. stinkey

    stinkey Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 4, 2010
    malmö sweden
    I try to listen to sax and trumpet players, they have to breath.
  4. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    It's all about phrasing.
    Axis29 likes this.
  5. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Holic

    Dec 20, 2010
    Harrisburg, PA area
    @Axis29 That's really interesting about the double notes. It does make a difference to how clean a lead part sounds.

    Two weeks ago, if I had asked, "why do I sound like such a hack when I play lead" and someone had replied, "for one thing, you're not playing the same note back-to-back often enough," I would have had absolutely no clue what they were talking about. I mean, I still sound like a hack but at least I understand one of the reasons now :)

    I'm also realizing that jumping straight to the note I want is way easier said than done. The run-ups and run-downs were serving as kind of a crutch so I could gauge where the note I want actually is. I have a feeling that a big part of the next phase is going to be about learning relationships between notes that are more than one string and/or a few frets away from each other.

    So that's what I'm working on now- transcribing kazoo solos (which is my new term for the lead parts that I hear in my head while listening to music- thanks @Stefanovich!). At the moment that seems to be a lot about A) moving around the fretboard in bigger steps, B) recognizing when I want to play the same note twice in a row, and C) playin' more nothin' (emulating breathing).

    Good stuff- thanks for all the thoughts! Looking forward to the weekend again!
    RoyBGood and Axis29 like this.
  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 14, 2013
    fwiw, I've found that to incorporate double stops in my playing seamlessly, I've had to learn chord inversions all over the neck and where they lie *relative* to each other

    if you (with your eyes closed) can instantly re-visualize the fretboard around your hand at any given moment, the world's your oyster

    it's not difficult to get good at that over simple chord progressions, but start throwing in III7's, ii-V-I's, whole-tone and quartal voicings, and you're in the weeds for a while until you hack your way out with consistent repetitions

    this is what lies behind John Mayer's playing in that excellent video making the rounds recently -- he knows where those intervals *are* at any given moment

    that's freedom, which enables him to phrase things however he wants
    Sounds Good and thesamhill like this.
  7. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Oct 2, 2017
    Luton UK
    Here is a good video regarding the double stop method.

    Also i dont think one needs to run alround the neck to make a solo interesting, i sometimes try in just a very small area to create something with just a very few notes involved. Many try to run all over the neck to much because of the fear of to much repartion, but just a run now then can add alot more to a solo in many cases.
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