This blog post is for you if you are struggling with soloing over chord changes. You’re either totally lost, or if you’re like me you understand and enjoy analysis and theory but have trouble applying it to a chord progression, especially ones that change keys like in jazz or jazz fusion.
I’ve explained many techniques in the past such as chord tone soloing (target chord tones on strong beats), superimposing arpeggios and other methods but they all require one thing: that you create your own lines from the basic concepts. In general I’ve found that most people are not able to do this, in their stage of development. It’s not your fault because the stages of learning should be imitation, assimilation then innovation, in that order.
So it’s time to get out of your own head and get back to the music. Transcribing or learning solos from the masters is the most inspiring and effective way to learn to improvise. And it’s the most direct – bypassing all the teachers, misinformation, extraneous exercises and lessons. The answers are on the cds! So if you’re struggling with a chord progression, find a solo you like and learn the phrases. This is really easy in jazz as the standards have been played by all the greats. And many of the progressions are similar so you can reuse and tweak the ideas you learn on multiple songs.