Duke Robillard

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In A Mellow Tone


Solo

Duke Robillard Lesson >

In A Mellow Tone > Solo

Hello Folks,

For this weeks lesson we are learn the first chorus of solo for In a Mellowtone. I have composed two choruses of solos for you that will help you learn how you can solo on this tune. So if you learn these they should help you find a starting point for your own ideas. In the first chorus we pretty much stay down in the lower end of the fretboard. I love Ab because it has such an easy access to all areas of the neck without having to go too high up the neck.

You should all have fun with this one.

Enjoy,

Duke

 

 

 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Swing

Backing Track

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of In A Mellow Tone Solo

Loop 1:30 Breakdown of In A Mellow Tone Solo

Loop 10:08 Practice Loop of Solo

 

Download the Sheet Music PDF

  

Loop 11:48 How Duke Solos and Closing Thoughts

Comments

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Marty Perry
Marty Perry Dec 26, 2017

Hi Duke,

 
Here's my run at the solo. I've been working on my own take but your lines just sound so sweet it's hard not to play them! I am learning how your lines lead to the chord tones and why they sound so good. It's it ton of fun to learn this stuff. Thanks for another great lesson.
 
Marty
 

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 14, 2017

I am still working on this. A labor of love. 

I understand i still need to relax some. I am happy with what i have put together for the 1st A section of the solo. The B section is still under construction but it is there albeit loosely. 

A part of this i attribute to frustration with my recording equipment which i have yet to find a balance in recording the track. no whinning here tho :)

Cheers

Steve

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 08, 2017

Here is a progress report. I am still working on this. Thanks Bruce for reminding me of the chord analysis and circle of 5ths. 

I will persevere. 

Steve

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 08, 2017

My pleasure, Steve! Sounds great. I can really hear you building ideas and playing through the changes on the improv section. Nice work! Bruce

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 08, 2017

Thanks Bruce

I am up to the Db before going back to the 1. The Db is 4 bars, but here i am listening to the bass for a cue and i fumbled. 

I am not done yet. 

Duke is in town Wednesday. My wife and I have tix. I will say hi. 

Cheers

Steve

 

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 09, 2017

Cool! Please pass along my regards to him if you get a chance. Have fun! Bruce

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 09, 2017

Will do Bruce

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 03, 2017

Help

At around 2:20 Duke begins to explain the keys to solo over. I am not sure i hear Duke complete his instruction. So i started to plot what i understand in respect of solo keys per bar. The A section and B sections are 16 bars (right?). I have the first 8. Can I get some help filling the rest of the bars?

A section

Ab (1) | Ab (1) | Bb7 (II) | Eb(m7?) (V) |

Ab (1) | Ab (1) | Em7/Ab13 * | Db (m7?) (IV) |

  ? | ? |  ? | ? |

  ? | ? |  ? | ? |

B section

Ab | Ab | Bb7 | Eb(m7?) |

Ab | Ab | Em7/Ab13 * | Db (m7?) |

  ? | ? |  ? | ? |

  ? | ? |  ? | ? |

 

* Duke says here you can just play over the 1 (Ab).

 I think this would really help me here. 

Cheers

Steve

  

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 03, 2017

Hey Steve, mind if I offer my 2 cents?  The A section actually starts on the Bb7 for one bar, Eb7 for one bar, then Ab6 for two bars.

A section (first 16 bars)

Bb7 | Eb7 | Ab6 | Ab6 | Ebm7 | Ab7 13  (Ab7 b13) | Db6 | Db6 |

Db6 | Dbm6 | Ab6 | F7 | Bb7 | Bb7 | Eb7  (D7) | Eb7 |

and here's the last half of the B section (the first 8 bars are the same as the A section)

Db6 | Do7 (diminished) | Ab6 | F7 | Bb7 | Eb7 | Ab6 | Ab6 |

 You can also get these chords from Duke's first lesson on the PDF transcription. I put parens around chords that you don't really need to think about so much for soloing. 

(part 2 coming up!) 

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 03, 2017

(part 2)

One of the techniques I use for soloing over a lot of chords is to think about dividing the song into "tonal centers". When the chords are all diatonic to the key, like Ab6, Bbm7, Cm7, Db6, Eb7, Fm7, etc, you don't even have to think about those so much as different scales, because they all use the Ab major scale (i.e. play over the I chord). There are better notes and worse notes to use for the chords, but the notes will all sort of fit for the most part. So the Bb7 that starts the tune off is not diatonic, but close. The only difference is that it uses a D natural instead of a Db, making the Bb major instead of minor. If you played a Db by accident, it would sound a bit bluesier than you might want in this tune, but you could always just slide up to the D natural. So I think of the first four bars as being basically in the Ab major tonal center and the second four bars as being in the Db tonal center. The Ebm7 to Ab7 is a II-V that brings us into the new tonal center of Db. So you could play the first four bars in Ab and the second four bars in Db and it'll be pretty close. But if you know some good II-V licks to play over the Ebm7 to Ab7, it really helps to emphasize the change in tonal centers. 

Does that make any sense? I hope it helps! Looking forward to hearing that sweet vibrato of yours on this. 

Best, 

Bruce

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 03, 2017

Thanks so much for your feedback Bruce. It is really appreciated. I'll dig in again tomorrow on this. 

Cheers

Brother Steve

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 04, 2017

Hey Bruce 

Yes, I remember those "tonal centers" exercises from my brief Berkeley studies 100 years ago. Thanks for reminding me.

Duke goes to what he describes as Ebm at bar 5. The notes he is using here sound like the Ab major scale (root 5). Here is where the 2/5 passing phrase can be used to go to Db correct?

the next 8 bars don't fit the 'tonal centers" analysis. I'll take this up again tomorrow. 

Thanks again.

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 04, 2017

Hey Steve. Yup, the Ebm is in bar 5 (I have it marked as Ebm7) and it is indeed the II of the upcoming Db. You could easily get away with just playing an Ab7 (dominant 7 like in blues) over both bars 5 and 6. Bar 9 is still in Db major and in bar 10 as long as you play the Fb (or E natural) on the Dbm6 it's easy. The next part goes through a small section of "cycle of 5ths". You can actually play that a bunch of ways; you can substitute chords with the same tri-tone, which happens to always work out to be chromatic. For example,  Ab | F7 | Bb7 | Eb7 | could be played as Ab | F7 | E7 | Eb7 , going down chromatically to make it easier.  The tri-tone in Bb7 is D and Ab, where D is the 3rd and Ab is the 7th. Where on a E7, Ab (or G#) is the 3rd and D is the 7th. Functionally they both work and you can intermix them to get a really interesting sound. Sorry, I get very geeky when I talk about music theory, I've always found it pretty fascinating. Regards, Bruce

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 04, 2017

Thanks again Bruce. Appreciate the info. 

Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 01, 2017

Mmmm

I spent sometime on this today. Changing keys evrey 2 bars (or so) is a stretch for me, but not the main issue. I should be able to hear the changes - not so far. And that is likely the main barrier for me here. I'd rather not memorize solos. I should be able to comp over changes. 

Another day. 

Little by little, bit by bit

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Sep 10, 2017

Hey Duke! Thanks for noticing that I was quoting the opening to the solo from the original. ;-) I love that phrase. I really fell in love with this tune when I heard Lambert, Hendrix and Ross do it. They do an amazing version, copping the solos almost exactly while adding Jon Hendrix's amazing lyrics. Annie Ross sings that phrase as "Mellowly, mellowly mellowly..." and I melted when I first heard her do it. This tune really is a lot of fun to play and it's been great for my playing. I would love to hear what you think about this one! Take care and thanks for the great lesson! Bruce

PS here's the Lambert, Hendrix and Ross version, in case you don't know it. I really think it's quite brilliant. 

 
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