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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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Discussion Starter #1
the single greatest thing i notice that is missing from my playing is the ability to play solid linear lines (moving effortlessly from one scale to the next in a vertical fashion).

Right now i'm working on the contour lines section of Dennis Taylors Amazing phrasing and some various transcriptions that "fit the title" but other than that are there any books or online studies that have helped your line playing?

This is proving to be the hardest thing for me as I've always had a blues or R/B background and always been more of a "lick player"

any help is very much appreciated
 

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The Omnibook is also great, as is transcribing any bebop or post-bop player. Do you listen to much Joshua Redman or Chris Potter? Those guys are really melodic but still have great lines.

The thing is that your request is a little vague - there are heaps of different styles, lots of which involves lines to some degree, and the notes, swing, articulation, time, and rhythm (plus tonal colours) all combine to make it more than the sum of its parts.

Running up and down scales generally sounds like crap although some guys (like Desmond) could make a major scale sound cool.

What I find has helped me is to play at a comfortable, even slow, tempo, and think of the lines I hear, and construct new and interesting lines that I don't hear. However, I assume you're in the first stage of this development and if you haven't immersed yourself in listening to bebop and post bop - do it. You can't play what you can't hear.

If you have the lines in your head, work at being able to translate them onto your instrument.

Does that help at all?

-Dan
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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J.S. Bach. Two part inventions translated for sax or even just get a keyboard or violin book. Studying these materials will open up how to make linear lines flow.
 
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