Improvising Intros and Endings

Question by Antonio Loffredo
(Salerno, ITALY)

Hi Marc, my name is Antonio Loffredo, I’m a jazz guitarist from Salerno Italy. I’ve been playing the guitar for 22 years, I play jazz…..Well, I really like your website and I dig you as guitarist and teacher…really! Here is my question: I like playing chords (i love playing in trio) and -i’m really interested in Harmony, what I really find difficult to do is to play intro’s or endings which are interesting and beautiful (at least to me!), I mean, I know harmony and i can improvise chord solos on a tune….but in case of an intro….I don’t know what to do….i find myself always playng a II V I IV, a III VI II V, maybe a #IV VII7 III VI II V, maybe Coltrane Changes….some modulation……but that’s the point….it’s like I don’t know where to go… looks like sometimes I’m lucky and some modulations work….but most of the time they don’t……so I avoid when I do gigs to play intro’s….and I would really like to! I dig what Rosenwinkel does in his intro’s and also Peter Bernstein…I also had some lessons with Rosenwinkel, and one with Bernstein, but they only suggested me to try, try….Rosenwinkel forced me to play and to change key and scales often and said “Yeah!” But I must confess I really can’t play good intro’s…..So do you have any idea of what I could do to learn, to practice this thing? Thank you very much, and sorry for the long question.
All the best,

M-A’s Answer:

Hello Antonio,

That is a nice question. Unfortunately, as long and detailed as it may be, I cannot gauge only by reading this (in other words: I would need to hear you play to give you some advice!)

The only thing I could answer (that will work for sure) is: do a lot of it.

If you like intros and endings, play a lot of them. Have an “ideal sound” in mind and go for that thing with persistence. You (and only you) know what you like deeply about this type of playing…

Practice makes perfect!

Marc-Andre Seguin

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