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Discussion Starter #1
Whilst improvising, I've been concerned with resolving whatever phrase I'm playing and believed it to be really important, ever since I started improvisation. This logically resolved phrasing started to bug me recently. It began to sound predictable and boring. So I really thought about this and didn't really know what else to do.
But answers to problems invariably turn up. I decided to just let a phrase hang where it sounded complete without my resolving it on purpose, as a matter of course. In the process, I discovered that resolving a phrase with logical thinking isn't necessarily the best option. I've found that a phrase will resolve itself naturally as a consequence of playing it. It really is hugely liberating.
 

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My challenge is that what comes naturally, causes me to end a solo on top of the beginning of the next verse. They're great endings (sometimes) but they fall in such a way as to step on the vocalist or whoever comes next as you would do in the ending of a song. I have to really think near the end of a solo to avoid this. The problem is that conscious thought sometimes messes with my flow.
 

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My challenge is that what comes naturally, causes me to end a solo on top of the beginning of the next verse. They're great endings (sometimes) but they fall in such a way as to step on the vocalist or whoever comes next as you would do in the ending of a song.....
And then of course you'll have to continue for another chorus, or leave things hanging with just the rhythm section playing (which can sound good, but the vocalist won't know what to do, lol).
 

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Since I'm reading through this book on Jazz Solos by Les Wise, I will quote directly from the book :

"When you're soloing over a chord and you reach the next chord, you must resolve properly. This means you must choose a note of the new chord that will lead the listener smoothly from the preceding chord. You should strive to move only a half step, either lower or higher, to get to a chord tone of the next scale. This makes for an uninterrupted line and smooth resolution.

A lot of players think that the root note of a chord is the best resolution tone, but the root is actually one of the weaker tones. The strongest tones to resolve are the fifth of the chord, followed by the third. Another strong tone is the ninth. Tones to avoid - the weaker ones - are the sixth, the flatted seventh, the major seventh and the root."
 

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Just like in spoken sentences in conversations, each phrase does not need a definite resolution. Some phrases end with questions...others with an idea that sets up the next phrase or the next soloist. When your musical idea is not resolved completely, that just means the journey is continuing.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
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Discussion Starter #9
As in always end on the tonic?
Yes, but not necessarily. My logical mind telling me I need to "wrap up" whatever phrase I'm playing in a nice little package with a nice little ribbon around it. Boring and predictable.

My challenge is that what comes naturally, causes me to end a solo on top of the beginning of the next verse. They're great endings (sometimes) but they fall in such a way as to step on the vocalist or whoever comes next as you would do in the ending of a song. I have to really think near the end of a solo to avoid this. The problem is that conscious thought sometimes messes with my flow.
Yeah, that could be tricky alright.

I think you explained it perfectly. And I agree. "Stop before you are finished" is a quote attributed to Miles...
Thanks. I was a bit worried it sounded like gobbledegook. MD is right - as usual.
 

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And then of course you'll have to continue for another chorus, or leave things hanging with just the rhythm section playing (which can sound good, but the vocalist won't know what to do, lol).
It's just a note or two and its obvious I'm wrapping things up. In some cases, it's even appropriate but other times it's just over the line. With my Corp band, the singer just has to deal with it, as solos are set at 8 or 16 bars depending on the tune. I do better with it on the Jump / Boogie band. That guy is happy with endless solos. I'll blow 48 and he's saying, "Go man! Go!" I end up resolving solos several times in the same solo waiting (praying) for him to take over. :) He doesn't understand that sometimes I've said all I have to say.

He will do the same thing to the drummer and bassist but he comes by it honestly. He takes 48 bars to get going himself but he is a talented enough guitarist to pull it off where as my sax vocabulary is still in it's infancy.

Sometimes I just give up (or out) and drop into the rhythm. It's nice in that it challenges me but it's tough for the same reason.
 
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