Lesson 17: Solo (fail reprise)
Master is back in action now, albeit with slightly reduced mobility. I took my 17th lesson with him at the weekend and we took up where we left off – working through the chords of How High The Moon and discussing soloing strategies to navigate the chord sequence. Importantly, we also continued in the vein of me actually playing rather than us just talking about what we could do. Hence, I can feel the improvement happening.
To revise, the chords we played over were:
Gmaj7 | Gmaj7 | Gmin7 | C7
Fmaj7 | Fmin7 | Bb7 | Ebmaj7 | Amin7b5 D7
Gmin7 | Amin7b5 D7 | Gmaj7 | Gmaj7
Bmin7 E7 | Amin7 D7 | Gmaj7 | Gmaj7
The keys played through are:
G major for bar 1 and 2
F for bars 3-5 (ii, V I in F)
Eb for bars 6-8 (ii, V, I in Eb)
Bb (G minor) for bars 9-11 (minor ii,V, I in Gminor)
and round again.
So we played around this for a while. Master helped me with ‘down a whole step’ strategy for each of the ii, V, Is, plus also ‘staying in one position and knowing how to play in each key’ strategy which I must work on a lot more.
For the C7 (and later the Bb7) we revisited some of the earlier ideas such as playing the min/maj7 a half-step above the root to get that hip Altered Dominant sound for a bar.
I recorded a vamp of the progression later that evening and spent about half an hour blowing over it. While I improved in my fluidity to navigate the changes, the music still doesn’t sound very jazz. I don’t swing very well and must talk to Master more about how to channel the greats next time.
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