This week we’re going to take a look at the 1st half of a solo I played on Mean Mother Blues from when Julian Lage and I appeared on Music City Roots in 2013. It can be seen here: https://youtu.be/kLH7gk0sJfk.
The important take away from this lesson, I think, is that when you are improvising you needn’t be playing things completely spontaneously off the cuff and that you’ve never thought of before. Instead, you can employ a handful of gestures that you know work in various parts of a solo. For instance, I almost always start out my solo on this tune with some variation of a Doc Watson lick. The exact lick might be a different from performance to performance, but I like the gesture of a classic flatpicking lick to start things off. I also often get into playing ascending chromatic notes around the E major chord. The exact notes or their duration might change from performance to performance, but the gesture is a good one and I know that it will work. No less than Miles Davis used to approach his improvising this way. Try to figure out some gestures that you like for songs in which you are the improviser!
Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Solo
Loop 0:27 Introduction to Lesson
Loop 3:48 Slow Practice Loop of Solo
Loop 4:40 Breakdown of First Part of Solo