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How To Use An Idea Off The Record

Using Miles Davis' Solo as Inspiration For Your Own Ideas

In this clip we take the first four bars of Miles' solo and use the same motivic idea over the second half of the bridge, where the chords change chromatically every two beats. First, we use the intervals to sequence the idea through the new chord changes, then we improvise with the rhythmic phrasing. This gives us a clear strategy to work with and reduces the amount of information for the brain to process, which leaves us free to improvise in real-time and create new melodic ideas that hit strong chord tones over a tricky chord sequence at speed.

If you're a jazz musician looking to improve your soloing skills, it can be challenging to know where to start. Fortunately, there are many techniques and strategies you can use to help you get started. One such technique is to use the solos of jazz legends such as Miles Davis as inspiration. In this article, we'll explore this technique further and show you how to incorporate it into your practice routine.

To begin, let's take a look at a specific example. You may find it helpful to take a phrase from Miles Davis' solo and sequence it across the changing chord sequence. For example, you could take the first four bars of Miles' solo and use it as a basis for a melodic phrase. Then, you can work it through the chords to make it fit. This simple but effective strategy can help you get through the solo with confidence.

Another way to use this technique is to create a backing figure for a quintet or sextet. While one person is soloing, the other musicians can play the little figure behind them. This adds depth and dimension to the music and can make the whole performance sound more interesting.

When you're practicing this technique, it's essential to get creative with it. Try moving a few notes around, inverting them, or playing with the rhythms. For example, you could play two crochets instead of two semi-quavers. This experimentation can lead to new and exciting musical ideas that you can incorporate into your solos.

It's also important to listen to yourself while you're playing. Make sure you're comfortable with what you're playing and that you can hear it clearly. This will help you develop a sense of confidence and control over your playing, which is essential for a successful solo.

In conclusion, using a motif or phrase from a transcribed solo as inspiration for your jazz soloing is an effective technique that can help you improve your playing skills. Whether you're sequencing a melodic phrase across changing chords or creating a backing figure for a quintet or sextet, this technique is a great way to get creative and explore new musical ideas. So the next time you're working on a jazz chart, try incorporating this technique into your practice routine and see how it can help you take your playing to the next level.

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