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Discussion Starter #1
Let's say you're playing Sister Sadie.. in bars 5-8 the chords go G7 G7/B l C7 C#o7 l G/D l D7#9 G7...this is a really common sequence, right? It's got that B...C...C#...D movement going on. What do you guys do here? I usually just spell the chords using different inversions and some leading tones, or use the "appropriate" scales on each chord, but I find that my playing gets real repetitious over several choruses. Is there something to blow over this whole thing so it doesn't sound so "blocky"; in other words, something that fits but doesn't emphasize the chord movement so much? Thanks in advance
 

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I like a lot of movement when this comes around. Say the movement from c-c# starts happening, I really like to get some kind of run going on. Holding a note can be wonderful, but when the listener isn't anticipating a chord change, blowing something interesting can be fun...even if it doesn't match the structure :D.

I like to blow runs in F when the piece is keyed in Bb, you just have to feel it, ya know?
 

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You can use G minor pentatonic over all of that.
 

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...or a G blues scale works (gm pentatonic with c#).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well you guys just opened up a big door in my brain with that suggestion. Thank you VERY MUCH ! Back to the shed.....
 

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How about playing around with the upper extentions of the chord or you could use a tritone sub on the G7. A G diminished (whole/half) would work nice over the G7 in the first bar. It's a nice place to bust out some cool licks.
 

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Just play the blues.
 

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Against the G,B,C,C# pattern, play the opposite sequence heading for the D.
G,F,E,Eb.

Or play a third above. The chords with that sequence are often as you said:

G,G/B,C,C#dim

So you can play:

B,D,E,E

Or below:

D,G,G,A#

Don't always just play these notes, though. Play them accented in your line with passing tones in between.

Once you are familiar with the changes, you'll just hear lines that fit without worrying about which notes fit which scale, chord, whatever.
 

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Just play the blues.
....YUP! You can go crazy worrying about all those upper extensions, tri-tone subs, et. al. But when it gets down to it "Sister Sadie" is really a blues tune. I'm pretty sure it's NOT 12 bar blues, and I think it has a bridge - whatever - it's still a blues(y) tune. Listen to some recordings - cop what you like - if you can pull it off. Be musical, not "advanced"

Anyone, how do I get my quote to cite the author (BlueNote) while I quote him??
 

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matty said:
....YUP! You can go crazy worrying about all those upper extensions, tri-tone subs, et. al. But when it gets down to it "Sister Sadie" is really a blues tune. I'm pretty sure it's NOT 12 bar blues, and I think it has a bridge - whatever - it's still a blues(y) tune. Listen to some recordings - cop what you like - if you can pull it off. Be musical, not "advanced"
There is a bridge, but the question concerned the A section, I think.

matty said:
Anyone, how do I get my quote to cite the author (BlueNote) while I quote him??
Use the html tags. They're visible in the 'reply to thread' window.
 

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matty said:
Be musical, not "advanced"
Matty, you seem like a smart guy. Let us think about this logically. If Horace Silver had intended for you to "just play the blues," why would he spend all that time writing specific chord changes? Why make all bluesy tunes sound the same? Why not explore the possiblities and breath some life into the song?

To me, the statement that I quoted above completely contradicts itself. Being advanced is part of being musical. "Just playing the blues" is a cop-out I hear often, it's a justification for not practicing. How can you really expect to bring the tune to it's full musical potential without comletely understanding the tune? To me, it sounds like you can do step 2 before step 1. Think about it like a car. You have a buch of parts to a ferarri sitting on the floor (the chord changes), you can't just attach a seat to some axels to a seat(the blues scale) and expect to go 120 MPH (play a good solo). "Just playing the blues" is a trap, don't fall into it. If you don't strive to be advanced, why do you even bother practicing?

Just my two cents.

~Zach
 

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I'm just saying that many cats try to be "advanced" and it sounds like a** Play what you hear. I practice tons, and have been guilty of not heeding my own advise. Horace Silver, perhaps, wrote the changes to spice up the melody a bit. My thinking is that melody trumps harmony every time - just how I approach playing. I work on my tri-tone subs, diminished whole tione scales, all of it. But when the gig comes, I play what I hear. In the case of Sister Sadie I hear a darn blues. If what comes out of my horn is tri-tone subs, then so be it, but I don't intentionally try to sound "advanced", because I think that ends up being unmusical. The original poster wanted to sound less repetitious, and I think that there are zillions of ways to play the blues without being repetitious. If you think about it like inversions and approach tones all the time it seems to me to be pretty darn scientific, which, to me, is all that music ISN'T about. Being "advanced" has nothing to do with being musical. Playing advanced ideas in a musical way....that's another story, and perhaps what we're all aiming for......ok have at me
 

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On the first 16 bars, G7, I work a D-7 over it a lot, through in some b5s, b3s...etc. blues notes.
 

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On the original recording Blue Mitchell, the trumpet player, does not get off the blues scale for the entire first A section. A good place to start. Develop from there.
 

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saxymanzach said:
Matty, you seem like a smart guy. Let us think about this logically. If Horace Silver had intended for you to "just play the blues," why would he spend all that time writing specific chord changes? Why make all bluesy tunes sound the same? Why not explore the possiblities and breath some life into the song?

To me, the statement that I quoted above completely contradicts itself. Being advanced is part of being musical. "Just playing the blues" is a cop-out I hear often, it's a justification for not practicing. How can you really expect to bring the tune to it's full musical potential without comletely understanding the tune? To me, it sounds like you can do step 2 before step 1. Think about it like a car. You have a buch of parts to a ferarri sitting on the floor (the chord changes), you can't just attach a seat to some axels to a seat(the blues scale) and expect to go 120 MPH (play a good solo). "Just playing the blues" is a trap, don't fall into it. If you don't strive to be advanced, why do you even bother practicing?

Just my two cents.

~Zach
I wasn't implying that you should avoid shedding the changes when I said "just play the blues". Definately learn them and be able to play them, but do what you want with them after the fact. Listen to Wayne Shorter's solo on "Speak No Evil" -- there's nothing but blues in his playing. He sure as heck knew the tune inside and out as what it was first, though... but made his own with it once he understood the tune. We have the liberty of doing the same to anything we play and write, but understanding the harmonic structure first is critical for us to be able to explore the possibilities of what we can play.
 

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BlueNote said:
I wasn't implying that you should avoid shedding the changes when I said "just play the blues". Definately learn them and be able to play them, but do what you want with them after the fact. Listen to Wayne Shorter's solo on "Speak No Evil" -- there's nothing but blues in his playing. He sure as heck knew the tune inside and out as what it was first, though... but made his own with it once he understood the tune. We have the liberty of doing the same to anything we play and write, but understanding the harmonic structure first is critical for us to be able to explore the possibilities of what we can play.
Ahh, but nobody said anything about shedding changes or anything, I only erad "just play the blues." And as far as the Wayne Shorter reference goes, that solo is very modal and I hear little "blues" in it.

~Zach
 

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matty said:
I'm just saying that many cats try to be "advanced" and it sounds like a** Play what you hear. I practice tons, and have been guilty of not heeding my own advise. Horace Silver, perhaps, wrote the changes to spice up the melody a bit. My thinking is that melody trumps harmony every time - just how I approach playing. I work on my tri-tone subs, diminished whole tione scales, all of it. But when the gig comes, I play what I hear. In the case of Sister Sadie I hear a darn blues. If what comes out of my horn is tri-tone subs, then so be it, but I don't intentionally try to sound "advanced", because I think that ends up being unmusical. The original poster wanted to sound less repetitious, and I think that there are zillions of ways to play the blues without being repetitious. If you think about it like inversions and approach tones all the time it seems to me to be pretty darn scientific, which, to me, is all that music ISN'T about. Being "advanced" has nothing to do with being musical. Playing advanced ideas in a musical way....that's another story, and perhaps what we're all aiming for......ok have at me
When I play, it is impossible for me to remember what the changes are unless I am staring at them. I've never met anyone who could think of changes while they are soloing, it would just get in the way. The point in practicing all of the "advanced stuff" is that eventually you will practice it enough to the point where it just comes out without thinking about it. You are right, the melody is very important, but harmony is also very important. You can't the harmony for granted. Most times, the melody only reflects the immediate harmonies dictated by the chord symbol, but there is more to it than that. I suppose it just comes down to how you want to sound.

~Zach
 
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