Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum
27,647 Posts
Tenores - first just so we're not going down the wrong path - "Jammin' with Charlie" is not a minor blues. It's a basic 12-bar blues in (concert) Bb.

If I remember correctly, the book that has the tune in it also explains the blues scale and has some exercises using it. As far as what to use melodically, I would stick to that. While the progression has several different chords, I'm sure you've discovered that you do not have to run different scales on these chords (in this blues) but that you can use the same scale throughout. This lets you concentrate on rhythm.

On the rhythm, listen to blues, rock and jazz solos and listen for any rhythmic ideas you like and that you can use. Keep your rhythmic patterns simple for now, maybe no longer than one measure's worth, but move that rhythm around melodically.

Keep the form of the tune in your head. Yes, it's 12 bars, but that's really 3 sets of 4 bars each broken down like this:
4 bars - - - - - (I7 chord)
4 bars (2+2) - (IV7 chord X2 then I7 chord X2)
4 bars 1+1+2) (V7 chord - Iv7 chord - I7 chord X2)

That form is supported by the simple changes in chords and if you keep the form in your mind, you'll be able to give your solo some shape that, 1) will help the listener follow your solo and, 2) help keep you from getting lost. :bluewink:

So, also when you are using your simple rhythmic riff, keep also the form of the tune in mind and move your riff melodically around compatible to the form and the chord changes.

In my experience, the weak point in most beginners (and intermediate for that matter) solos is rambling. You can play too many notes and it just obscures your solo. Keep it basic, use some space (i.e. rests) when you play, use the blues scale, and work on one or two rhythmic ideas.

One last thought. There is a ton of things you can learn about playing the blues. There's a tendency in our times to be overwhelmed by information overload. IMO it will be much better for you at your stage to take one thing at a time and build on it. Don't try to do too much. Do less but do it better. :thumbrig:

14 Posts
Give Tenores a break! They are probably just asking help because they were assigned a solo for a middle/high school concert. Besides the wealth of information, Tenores, provided above, just try to remember these five basic principles for such simple (and fun) improvisation:
-Confidence, confidence, confidence. Even if you're squeaking and missing notes, you'll still look presentable with confidence.
-Practice the scale for that solo over and over. The notes will just fall into place after that. In example, for that song, C Eb F F# G Bb C. Practice Unit A.
-Rhythm. I can't stress this enough. Somegood rhythms for a solo could come from the rhythm studies.
-Location. Its always helpful if you know how much longer so you can end your improvisation. Just get to know the feel of the song.
-Creativity. Aside from the common idea that soloists should differentiate, incorporate fun and exciting techniques into your playing, i.e. altissimo, GROWLING!, bending, and so on.
Try these ideas everyday in jazz band (force yourself to take solos) and you will eventually get comfortable with soloing.
Beyond all else, in your solos, just try to be tasteful. If that doesn't work, people will also remember you if you show off.
This is coming from, believe it or not, a midul skoolir.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.