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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-28-2001, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Modal soloing...need help - what's your approach?

I have to learn jazz for an audition and one aspect is modal soloing (as opposed to diatonic soloing). Each chord change must have the corresponding mode played over it which is a royal pain in the ass when the chord's switch every measure or every two measures.

What are some ways you guys get through multiple chord changes and make the solo sound incredibly jazzy? Oh yea...I've been instructed to look at this from a parallel approach (a scale with altered tones) as opposed to the derivative appproach (relating the mode back to the major key). Thanks guys!

by the way...I know all my modes with the root starting on the low E string with the first finger but I quickly found out that's not enough. I've been working on many fingerings for each mode (3 or 4 so I can cover the entire fret board).
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2001, 04:05 AM
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Modal soloing...need help


It can be confusing at first as to what the hell you are supposed to do with modes. But what you are talking about is not technically modal soloing.

Modal jazz music doesn't traditionally have many chord changes. The idea of modal improv was to think melodically rather than harmonically. So there tends to not be many chord changes. Miles Davis "So What" is the archytipal example of what I'm talking about.

I think you mean playing THROUGH the chord sequence instead of over them. There is a huge differnce. Just beacause the chords are changing every bar doesn't automatically make it modal. Look for key centres, if it is jazz then there will be lots of II-V-I progressions even if they are modulating every other bar.

If you need more help let me know and I'll try and do a lesson on this sort of thing. IF I have got the wrong end of the stick and you are talking about something else SORRY and ignore me 8-)


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2001, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Modal soloing...need help

sorry if i wasn't clear.

I mean this technique is used to solo over non diatonic progressions. The idea is to make the solo sound like the chords...if there's no accompaniment you can still hear the chord changes as you play the solo because the note choices define a specific chord. I know arpeggios are heavily used when approaching music like this but this one book I have says to use modes so you can define and color each chord in the non diatonic progression. Make sense?

Edit: for example this progression.

G Maj7 * * * *B7 * * *Emin7 * * A7 * * Amin7 * * Cmin7 * * Bmin7

Bbmin7b5 * Amin7 * D7 * * * *B7 * * Emin7 * * Amin7 * * Ab7

G Maj7 * * * D7

(taken from one of my jazz books)

solo suggestions over progression (from book): G inoian or Lydian -> B Mixo -> E Dorian or Aeolian -> A Mixo -> A Dorian or Aeolian etc...

seems to me that one would have to be able to think incredibly fast if they want to keep up with that progression and solo through the correct modes. What would your approach be?

Last edited by chilln2music; 09-17-2008 at 04:50 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2001, 06:00 PM
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Modal soloing...need help

Wow, that progression is all over the place.

A knowledge of the fretboard helps above anything else (i.e., learning every note everywhere, and being able to think of scales all over, rather than in "patterns" ). In addition, you could stick by those modes and figure out good ways to transition smoothly from each to each. (For example, you shouldn't jump more than a few steps to the next note on a chord change).

You don't have to stay diatonic to each chord (that's what jazz is all about, right? ) by any means. Although what I'm about to suggest here won't make it any easier than it is, regardless, I would recommend also studying each chord so you can add tensions (altered tones, as you mentioned above) to make the harmony more interesting. I.E., playing Bb over that A7 would imply, for as long as you play the Bb, an A7b9; B7 + G# = B13, etc.

But the most important thing is the melody. If your solo just sounds like a bunch of notes strung together (whether it follows the harmony or not), it of course has to sound good.


...and solo through the correct modes.
Remember, a wrong note is never a wrong note if played with conviction.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-29-2001, 06:34 PM
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Modal soloing...need help

Here's a quick analysis:

Imaj7 *V7/VI * VI-7 * V7/V * II-7 * VI-7 *III-7

bIII-7b5 *II-7 *V7 *V7/VI * VI-7 *II-7 *SubV7/I

Imaj7 *V7

Here's the chord scales for each chord:

Imaj7: Ionian
V7/VI: Mixolydian (b9, b13)
VI-7: Aeolian
V7/V: Mixolydian
II-7: Dorian
III-7: Phrygian
bIII-7b5: Locrian
SubV7/I: Lydian b7

Play each scale from the root of the chord. *It is a daunting task at first. *Try playing the guide tones (3rd and 7th) of each chord as you have another player or a sequencer playing the changes at first.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-03-2001, 11:02 PM
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Modal soloing...need help

If you get in trouble just play the chromatic scale...You're bound to hit a few good ones! *:biggrin:

* Sorry, just trying to lighten it up a bit.
jeff l is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-04-2001, 07:38 AM
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Modal soloing...need help

sixstringphoenix is offline  

fret board , miles davis

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