In this lesson I demonstrate on alto how to solo over some simple pop type grooves. Sometimes the simple grooves are the hardest to solo over, because it’s hard to come up with new and inventive ideas. This type of two chord vamp is extremely common in everything from Pop, to Funk, Latin and Big Band solo breaks. In fact, for many players, their first experience in taking a solo is over a vamp style groove just like the ones I demonstrate here.
In this lesson I take two background tracks that a member sent me to get help on and demonstrate the different things I would use on them. Both of these tracks just alternate between two chords. The first track is Tequila, which just alternates between G7 and F every two beats. The second track, a Latin Cha Cha style vamp, is similar but alternates between E-7 and A7 every two beats.
I talk in depth about the devices I would use on solos like this, including…….blues scales, triad pairs, pentatonic, approach notes, altered scales, harmonic minor scales and bebop scales.
I discuss playing the groove itself in an appropriate style and how to avoid getting caught up in the fast moving chords.
Depending upon the style of the tune you’re soloing over, you can choose from any one of these approaches and even combine them to give you an endless variety of solo ideas that fit the style of the tune.
I demonstrate how you can use many of the scales, licks, ideas and concepts you’ve learned in my other lessons, over these groove type tunes.
Often when taking a solo break on these types of tunes you might only have an 8 bar solo break or maybe one chorus. You don’t have a lot of time to build a solo and have to be able to come up with a blazing solo right out of the gate. I discuss how to start your solo with high energy and demonstrate tips and tricks you can use to play a ripping solo right from the first bar! I discuss the use of high notes, growls, fast runs and other ideas that will help you raise the roof and keep them screaming for more.
Sometimes you will get the chance to stretch out over these types of grooves and for those occasions, I demonstrate a whole variety of approaches you can use to take the solo outside and add a whole new color and dimension to your solos.
I discuss and demonstrate the idea that simply changing your point of reference, even whilst playing the same notes, can totally alter the sound and feel you get over these grooves and I show you how you can do this very simply to great effect.
There are approaches and ideas here for all levels of players. For the beginners taking their first solo break in the school band I discuss using basic chord tones and blues scales. The Intermediate soloist will find the approach note and altered scale ideas both challenging and rewarding. Whatever your current level, there’s something here for everyone.
Although the lesson is centered around these two background tracks, these concepts can be applied to many more pop and funk tunes. (Audio)