Friday, March 4, 2011

Quick Addition: Writing Out a Solo (for Beginners)

Interest was expressed in an easier example of the written solo exercise, so here is a written solo I composed over a simple blues progression. The concept I chose to explore was neighbor tones, both neighbor tones from the appropriate scale and chromatic neighbor tones or tones a half step away from my goal chord tone.

In this example I've used neighbor tones to approach the chord tones 1, 3, 5, and 7 of the different chords.  I used various neighboring tones and up to 3 at a time.  I approached chord tone 1 or the root of of various chords in measure 1, measure 7, and measure 8.  I approached the 3rd of various chords in measure 5, measure 9, measure 10, and measures 11-12.  I approached the 5th of D7 in measure 10, and I approached the 7th of various chords in measures 5-6, leading into the downbeat of measure 8, and leading into the downbeat of measure 11.

Some other concepts beginner or intermediate players might think about using as a focus for a similar written exercise might include:

Scalar Passages
Delayed or Anticipated Resolutions (delaying or anticipating the next chord change)
Common Substitutions or Alterations (#11, tritone substitution, etc.)
Varying the rhythm of phrase beginnings and endings

There are really limitless options and you should pick something that challenges and interests you.

Here is the PDF of the my written exercise of G blues - Blues ex.pdf

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