ben monder quote 1

About learning solos

Question by Milos

I recently started to learn solos from Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue”, and i learn them all by ear and with few days of practising I can learn a solo from Davis or Kelly…My question is: When i learn those solos by ear so i can jam with the CD with ease….What next? How do I interpret them into my own vocabulary? Will they just “show up” when I’m in the zone or?
And one more, I really have trouble figuring out the chords of from that recording, since I’m not too good at jazz comping and stuff.

Thank you for your time

Answer by: Marc-Andre Seguin (admin)

Hello Milos,

First of, congratulations on taking the time to learn classic jazz solos. This is tremendously important in coming up with an original voice in improvisation.

As far as “what to do after”, here are a few suggestions :

-Learn the chords. As you were having a hard time figuring them out, find sheet music or ask a more advanced musicians. You’ll be glad you did. (-:

-Take part or parts of solos you have memorized and transpose them to other keys.

-Try to play along with the solos “karaoke” style : play 2 bars, rest 2 bars (listen), play 2 bars, etc. This will show you how much you really know the solo.

-Play a whole solo faster and/or slower than on the original recording.

-Improvise your own solo “in the style of” … try to imitate your favorite soloist ideas, time-feel or tone.

I hope this helps,
Marc-Andre Seguin

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