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Discussion Starter #1
Hi experts,

Just want to share to you guys my experience when playing on gigs and jam sessions. Not sure if its just me or its normal.

When I play tunes with my band, I started off by playing the melody of the song, sections A-B-C for example. Then, when its time for me to do a solo, I literally forget everything I've learned about the tune and just improvise. I can't explain it, but my mind always goes blank and I can't think of anything else except melodies in my head that I've never heard of.

Off course during my practice at home before a gig, I try to internalize the tune from the progression to scales to melody etc. But when I do solos, I gorget about them and I just try to play whatever's in my head. Surprisingly, I can play most of them. Is this something normal? When you do your solos, do you still think about scales, arpeggios, triads etc?

Please advise.....regards.

Jessie
 

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If you are playing melodies that fit the structure where's the problem? It's people who can't come up with a melodic line and can only "play the changes" who have a problem. They endlessly bash their audience with meaningless exercises that only communicate that have technical ability. Worst are those who think that audiences want to see some sort of ego exhibition and go on for several minutes saying nothing musical at all. People here at SOTW talk a lot about vocabulary, which is essential, but like spoken vocabulary is meaningless unless one uses the vocabulary to communicate a thought, feeling or story.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys for the advise. So its clear to me now that as long as the melodies I play fits the structure of the tune I play and put a story behind my lines, I'm ok. Well I guess I don't have to worry about me when I lose myself and just play.
 

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..it's ok to lose yourself in the performance of the tune but you still need to be aware of what's going on around you. Chord structure, how the rest of the band is playing, and is what you're playing complimenting the song/performance. Don't just blindly play anything....but I'm sure that's not what you meant anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes for sure. I always keep myself in check of everything especially the chord structure. However, I don't really think about chords, I tried to listen to its structure and where its leading me. That's basically where I get my melodies.
 

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You should record yourself in those instances and listen back so you can double check youre doing what you intend, and also hear what worked great and what you don't want to do again.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I have very little knowledge of theory in general and harmony in particular. In one of the bands where I play....... they spend endless hours talking about what to do and when. They know lots of things that I have no notion about BUT I am, without any doubt one of the best improvisers among them and they always think that I know the things that they know and I know them better.........but I don't!

I play exactly as one would sing . Of course playing gets better if you know the tunes because you feel more free when you know a tune.

It might be a sour grapes thing because by and large I am musically ignoramus, but what I miss in modern musicians is exactly the fact that everything seems to come from the brains and not so much from being then ad there and doing it on the spot.

The progressive intellectualisation of music and musicians has produced great technical results but , at the same time it has, in my opinion taken away the natural spontaneity which must have been where all this came from.

In the end it is not important how you do it but that you do it. Keep on doing it!
 

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...You're doing EXACTLY what you should be doing on the stage...Performing, not practicing. That's what we all strive for, hopefully...
+1. Do the thinking part in the shed, practising. In fact a lot of people ( including me sometimes) have a hard time NOT to think and just play.
So don't worry , you're doing just fine IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you guys for the good advice. I'll probably take a video of myself and the band playing just to make sure I sound right as per musiciscool. I just realize the potential for jazz is limitless when an improviser get to the point where rules doesn't make one feel limited, its skies the limit as long as you sound good. Wow that's crazy!!

Cheers;

Jessie
 
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