Strategic Soloing

Updated: Nov 23, 2021


Approach


Let’s take “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix; should I learn the song note-for-note I will successfully be able to play “Purple Haze”. However, all the time invested results in limited knowledge; the knowledge we gained is only applicable to this one particular song.


What if, instead of jumping into the song head-first, I analyzed it and noted that the opening lick is played within my Pentatonic Position (4), then rehearsed that segment while frequently playing the scale up and down as well as in intervals?




Consequences


Not only does this reinforce our knowledge of scales,

but, we can now add these licks to our personal toolbox

and use them or variations of them for future songs / solos.

Secondly, with your musical knowledge of the song from a

diatonic* vantage point, I recommend learning the song in

multiple keys. This will break down many barriers both

mentally and on your instrument.




Rehearsal Strategies:

  • Keep a Print-Off of your Pentatonic or Major Scales Finger Patterns*

  • Print off your tabs or sheet music so you can bracket sections and write in their position numbers

  • Once you have learned the original, practice in at least (3) different keys





Diatonic: Of or using only the seven tones of a standard scale without chromatic alterations.

Pentatonic vs. Major:I recommend starting with your pentatonic scales until fluent enough to make the switch.



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