Solo of the Month (SotM) #32

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stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 773
edited January 15 in Making Music
This is the 32nd solo of the Month (SotM) Challenge and is being run by @stratman3142 and @TTony. ;;;;

The challenge is now open, and remains open for submissions until 11:30pm on 24th January 2018

Here's this month's backing track (you can download it from soundcloud). Record your solo over the top of it and then submit it to us.


Send your tracks (in mp3 format) to solos@theFB.co.uk 


Discussion:
This is an attempt to create a track that sounds a bit 'Steely Dan'.

It's slightly tricky (at least it is for me) but I expect it will be 'walk in the park' for any jazz guitarists.

The aim is to get as many as possible involved. If we can promote discussion and help others to get involved then that's the most important thing.
Feel free to ask any questions. You can message me but you'll probably get the best answers on the forum. Everyone's in with a chance and often the simple melodic approach wins the day.

The chords are in a pdf at the link below, if you want to refer to them. Let me know if you have any problems and if you spot any errors or typos.
https://app.box.com/s/oujsh2twlcohqz1xvnv1cr95ayg0thtb


Voting will start soon after the submission deadline of 24th January 2018, with each voter selecting their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.
First choice gets 5 points - Second choice gets 3 points - Third choice gets 1 point
Voting will end on 11.30pm 31st January 2018
The order and scores of the three people with the most votes will be announced soon after the voting ends. Although it's not really about winning and there are no prizes. Think of it as forum team building, learning from each other

Entries so far are below in the order I received them:

https://soundcloud.com/thefretboard/sets/sotm-2018-01

It's not a competition.
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Comments

  • Are people OK with me posting entries as I receive them (as Antique_Guitars used to do), or should I hold off until the end?

    I'm inclined to post Sotm entries as I receive them, as it keeps the thread more alive, but I'll go with the majority view.
    It's not a competition.
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  • I'll be happy for you to post my entry when I get around to recording it.

    As a newbie to this forum I'd like to ask if there's an etiquette to these things as far as other platforms go - e.g. is it okay to also upload it with thefretboard in descriptions to our own Soundcloud / YouTube channels?
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  • ...As a newbie to this forum I'd like to ask if there's an etiquette to these things as far as other platforms go - e.g. is it okay to also upload it with thefretboard in descriptions to our own Soundcloud / YouTube channels?
    I'm just the monkey not the organ grinder, but I've consulted with management and apparently that's OK :)

    It's not a competition.
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  • Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
    edited December 2017
    Going to have a go at this one when the holidays are over. There, I’ve said it, that means I have to get on and do it now.

    If you post the entries as they come in that’ll encourage me to get on and get mine sorted and in!!
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  • Sent!!!  I haven't played on one of these in ages.
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  • Sent. I think I've created a new genre called Jizz!
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  • That makes two I've received already. Very quick off the mark. I'd better get my finger out and have a go myself.
    It's not a competition.
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  • @stratman3142 I personally think you should post all the entries when it comes time to vote.  I think this gives an opportunity for equal listening time for all entries.  
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  • That makes two I've received already. Very quick off the mark. I'd better get my finger out and have a go myself.
    Or it means some of us have churned out something quick for the sake of it and expect to spend most of January learning to program midi drums for the composition challenge! 
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  • Done mine.
    It's not a competition.
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  • markvmarkv Frets: 167
    Going to try and get myself back into these after about a year off. I like the backing track and I love Steely Dan. So all I need is my new(ish) SA2200 and some of Carlton's talent ... hmmm

    Uploading all submissions at voting time would be a change to previous practice but not necessarily a bad change - it was always noticeable that early entries got more listens, but I don't know whether that ever translated into more votes. I'd have to crunch the numbers ...
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  • Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
    If it helps anyone save time syncing to your DAW its 105bpm.


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  • markv said:
    ...Uploading all submissions at voting time would be a change to previous practice but not necessarily a bad change - it was always noticeable that early entries got more listens, but I don't know whether that ever translated into more votes. I'd have to crunch the numbers ...
    It would be great to hear your entries again. I liked your understated melodic approach.

    From this and the other challenge threads, people seem to either not mind or would prefer submissions at voting time. So, for now, I'm going to go with uploading the submissions at voting time, unless I hear a strong body of views to the contrary.
    It's not a competition.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 773
    edited December 2017
    Rowby1 said:
    If it helps anyone save time syncing to your DAW its 105bpm.


    Yes that's correct. It's bang on 105bpm.

    If you need the tempo of future SotM's and the chords I'll always post a link to a chart which includes the tempo (as I have for this one in the first post).

    I didn't post the chart to be immediately visible on the forum because I know that some prefer not to know the chords.

    It's not a competition.
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  • Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
    Rowby1 said:
    If it helps anyone save time syncing to your DAW its 105bpm.


    Yes that's correct. It's bang on 105bpm.

    If you need the tempo of future SotM's and the chords I'll always post a link to a chart which includes the tempo (as I have for this one in the first post).

    I didn't post the chart to be immediately visible on the forum because I know that some prefer not to know the chords.

    Oops, only just spotted the chart.....doh!!
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  • markvmarkv Frets: 167
    You're too kind @stratman3142!

    This strikes me as akin toThe Nightfly-era Donald Fagen - like a cross between "Ruby Baby" and "New Frontier" (rhythm from the former, that E7/E7sus4 thing from the latter). I have no idea what the right scales/modes would be but if a simple blues scale is good enough for Larry, that's good enough for me.
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  • @markv - E blues would work. I ended up going with E blues for the E/E7sus4 "verse" trying to play more of E major part. I switched to the Em pentatonic part of the blues scale for the "chorus" and it seemed to work. 

    I should however warn you that I had never listened to Steeley Dan and decided not to before entering as I thought it better just to give it a go... I have since realised that playing far too many notes and using the neck pickup was probably not the right approach! 
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  • Sent mine.
    Conformity is the new Rebellion.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 773
    Just a reminder. Get your entries in by 11:30pm on 24th January 2018

    So far we've got entries from (in the order I received them):

    @bingefeller ;
    @flying_pie ;
    @stratman3142 ;
    @Luxxman ;
    @Bellycaster ;

    Let me know if I've missed anyone.

    It's not a competition.
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  • Rowby1Rowby1 Frets: 371
    edited January 9
    Mine’s in now.

    Was a tricky one this, somewhat outside my comfort zone.

    I wanted to try the Larry Carlton thing but I think it’s ended up sounding more like incidental music from an ‘80s US sitcom  3
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  • Just a reminder. Get your entries in by 11:30pm on 24th January 2018

    So far we've got a total of 6 entries, which are from (in the order I received them):

    @bingefeller ;;
    @flying_pie ;;
    @stratman3142 ;;
    @Luxxman ;;
    @Bellycaster ;;
    @Rowby1

    Let me know if I've missed anyone.
    It's not a competition.
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  • DefaultMDefaultM Frets: 1981
    I like how theres a PDF. Does anyone have the theory knowledge to be able to list the scales we could use over each chord?
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  • DefaultM said:
    I like how theres a PDF. Does anyone have the theory knowledge to be able to list the scales we could use over each chord?

     I'll put some stuff together on how I approached it and I'll try to PM it to you later today . But don't assume I have any definitive answers. My approach is very simple.

    I think it would be good to discuss how people approach things on the open forum. Then it becomes more of a collaborative effort than a competition and we can learn from each other. What do others think?

    It's not a competition.
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  • DefaultM said:
    I like how theres a PDF. Does anyone have the theory knowledge to be able to list the scales we could use over each chord?
    Bear with me. It might take a bit longer. I started to write something and it ended up sounding far too complicated when put down in words, whereas it's quite simple in my head.

    It's not a competition.
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  • BellycasterBellycaster Frets: 2614
    DefaultM said:
    I like how theres a PDF. Does anyone have the theory knowledge to be able to list the scales we could use over each chord?

    For the main riff, the Chords being E7 and E7 sus4. I decided to approach it the way I'd "construct" a Blues solo, as in, treating the E7 as the I Chord in the Blues. So, I used notes in the E minor pentatonic, but mix in some of the Major pentatonic as well. Tritones are always good over a 7 chord too.

    For the changes, I concentrate more on the chord tones, simply using the notes in the chord with some passing notes. I tend not to think strictly in scales though. I'll not normally play a solo straight off the bat. But rather just use the scale as a basic map and experiment with the chord notes in the changes to see what the tastiest combination is.

    I always like to produce "phrases of notes" rather than just think about running through part of a scale. I can't describe it any better than that I'm afraid, but just have a go, it's fun to experiment with it. I'm sure you've come up with some tasty stuff on here before @DefaultM ;

    :)
    Conformity is the new Rebellion.
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 357
    Great...it's first time I have seen this ...where can you hear the posted tracks people have submitted ?
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  • Barney said:
    Great...it's first time I have seen this ...where can you hear the posted tracks people have submitted ?
    They're held every month. This challenge is open until 11:30pm on 24th January 2018 and the tracks will be posted for voting shortly after that.

    Why not submit one yourself. There's still plenty of time to enter. No prizes. It's just for fun.

    It's not a competition.
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 357
    stratman3142 gsaid:
    Barney said:
    Great...it's first time I have seen this ...where can you hear the posted tracks people have submitted ?
    They're held every month. This challenge is open until 11:30pm on 24th January 2018 and the tracks will be posted for voting shortly after that.

    Why not submit one yourself. There's still plenty of time to enter. No prizes. It's just for fun.


    Thanks ..Yeah I will do... :)
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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 357
    just emailed mine :)
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 773
    edited January 13
    DefaultM said:
    I like how theres a PDF. Does anyone have the theory knowledge to be able to list the scales we could use over each chord?

    Here are my thoughts. It would be good to get other views as well so I can learn. Don't assume I know what I'm doing. This is just a personal perspective. Having had a sneak preview of the Sotm submissions so far, as I check and collate them, there are solos that I prefer to mine.

    My thought process is very similar to that of @Bellycaster. I also try to create "phrases of notes" (melodic lines). So if I use the word "scale" to describe things, I'm really referring to something that gives me a bunch of note options from which to find 'lines'.

    E7 and E7sus 4 section
    Over the bit with with an E7 and and Esus4, I'm thinking (and hearing) notes based around a E major pentatonic framework, but then adding notes to that. I think this is similar to @Bellycaster, but I'm centring my thought process around E major pentatonic instead of E minor pentatonic. There's more than one way of looking at these things.

    With the E major pentatonic as my framework, I can then start adding notes (if I want to) based on what my ear (and theory) tells me. Adding the b7 and 4th gives me note options that lie within the E Mixolydian mode (to put a label on it). Adding a flat b3 (i.e. G) gives things a bluesy inflexion. At this point my note options could be thought of as a combination of the major and minor pentatonic (to put a label on it). 

    Then I could add the b5 (tritone) which could be thought of as a part of the E blues scale. 

    So now I think I'm back to essentially what @Bellycaster said, but I've arrived at the same place from a different direction


    Change Section
    Like @Bellycaster I think more 'on the chord' for this section. Often I'll try to use the same scale throughout and adapt it a bit to fit the chords, because following the chords too much can sound a bit contrived to me. This backing track seems to force me to think more 'on the chord'. Probably owing to my inability to write a smoothly transitioning collection of chords.

     As pointed out by @flying_pie, it's possible to play Em pentatonic over the complete section (if you choose your notes carefully). There's a lot to be said for that and I'll come back to that at the end.

    Here are my thoughts on a list of possible scales for the 'change' section. Just food for thought and probably complete overkill.

    For this particular backing track, in the change section, I mainly think in terms of basing things on the corresponding pentatonic scale for each of the chords, but try to blend the lines together. When I say 'pentatonic', I use that as a 'catch all' term to include the basic arpeggio, which I visualise as a sub-set of a pentatonic scale. 

    Below is how I think about my note options, not that I used them all. I must stress that I'm only thinking simple pentatonics (or arpeggios) with optional extra added notes.

    For the G(add2) chord, I think G major pentatonic
    Then there's also the option of adding the C# and F# to the pattern. I'll avoid referring to the mode those notes create, because it ends up making things sound even more complicated.

    For the F(add2)/D chord, I think of a D minor pentatonic (or F major pentatonic)
    Then there's also the option of adding a B or E to the pattern

    For the A(add2) chord, I think of an A major pentatonic
    Then there's also the option of adding a D or an G to the pattern This pattern contains exactly the same notes as the pattern I described for the G(add2) chord.

    Another way I might look at it for the change section
    Coming back to Em pentatonic. What I've written above could also be thought of in terms of taking an Em pentatonic (as suggested by @flying_pie) and adding notes.

    For the G(add2) and A(add2), a C# and F# could be added to Em pentatonic to create the Em Dorian mode (to put a label on it).
    For the F(add2)/D, the C and F could be added to the Em pentatonic to create E Phrygian (to put a label on it). Using that approach is another way of getting to the same notes described earlier for the chords in the change section..


    What I've written seems way more complicated than it is. I'm really just thinking (and hearing) in terms of major or minor pentatonic framework patterns.

    Anyone else like to post their approach to the solo?

    It's not a competition.
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