Musical mileage from a single idea was the subject of this week’s lesson.The general concept is to use a musical idea in a number of different ways so that the lines I play will have a smoother flow.
We started with the Blues Scale, which was not my choice, but is probably a good idea.Students that are working on soloing have heard my Minor Pentatonic/Blues Scale rant.I will not write it here, but let’s just say that I avoid playing these two in their natural state.
I am using these scales from different key centers and the sounds are greatly different from what one usually hears, especially from guitarists.This is exactly why I wanted to take lessons from a player of a different instrument.
Learning ‘guitarisms’ is very important at the beginning and intermediate levels of playing.There is much more to attribute to the difference in sound from a saxophonist and a guitarist than just their instrument’s sound.Playing concepts fitted to a different instrument’s physical structure will give a player unique ideas outside of what will feel most natural on one’s own instrument.If you are interested in this pursuing this idea further, the best way to do so is to play a transcribed solo from a different instrument such as piano, saxophone or trumpet.
I was also given a CD of rhythm tracks over which to play.I have suggested this for all students working on soloing concepts because one must hear the notes being played in some sort of context.Notes by themselves to give us an idea of a harmonic background, but this background is most likely the simplest background available in our minds.It can certainly be no more complex than those harmonic ideas to which we are already acquainted.
To me, all of this is really exciting to be playing and discovering.I am very pleased with all of the new sounds I am getting from such a familiar group of notes.Better mileage indeed.