Help with soloing over a couple of non-single mode progressions (Duffy - Warwick Avenue, etc.)

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imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 705
Hello all,

I've been asked to fill in at short notice for a friend's band and a couple of the songs have me struggling a little in terms of how to approach the lead breaks (not that I'm convinced they're needed but...)

First, Duffy - Warwick Avenue, the solo looks a bit like this:

Bb     Fm7sus4       Db      Eb
Cm7        Bb7        Ab     Gm
Cm7     Gm7     Fm7   Fm7    Eb !
[ Dm  Dm7      Gm7 ]  
[ Cm  Cm7      Eb(F) ]   
Eb    Eb         Bb 

It starts off with what I might play Bb Mixolydian over (appreciate the Db strictly work) but then disappears off somewhere else.

Can anybody offer any suggestions on how to break this down?  It's about time I learned how to do this sort of thing.  Any help welcome!

I'll add in other songs if I can get my head around this first.

Cheers
So far...so good..so what!?

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  • vizviz Frets: 5436
    edited April 4
    If I were wanting to take the easy way and jam in shapes (rather than play lines of melody), I’d probably play in the Bb minor penta box (6th fret) for the first 4 bars, then move down to the G minor penta box (3rd fret) with for the next 4, then up to C minor penta box (8th fret).
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  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 557
    edited April 3
    My approach would be to look at the notes in each of the chords, and see if there are shared notes. If you use these notes plus the Root of each chord, that you're playing over, then you can end up with reasonable choice. Interestingly, looking through this progression, Ab, Bb, C, Eb, F, G can be used throughout : i.e Bb Mixolydian with the note D removed if you want to look at it that way.

    You can then mix it with the @viz approach above.
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  • BradBrad Frets: 228
    Learning to play changes is a bit of a rabbit hole and it can be hard work, so I don’t want to go into too much detail. As with the advice above, it’s important to clock which chords are related and which are not as this will help inform note choice.

    I highly recommend getting your note choices in a 5/6 fret area and do some continuous scale/apreggio exercises. This will help with smooth connections in your phrasing, particularly to non diatonic chords. 

    Focus on the bits that give you grief. 2 bars at a time and extending the length of the chords if needed. Move to 4 bars and so on until you feel confident enough to tackle the whole section you need to play over. 

    Half the battle is really knowing the fretboard so don’t be afraid to compose a solo! By doing so, you’ll naturally re-work it and it’ll orangically develop in your playing while giving you something definite to play. 

    This is a more long term approach and you might not see results in time for your gig. But it’s well worth the effort in the long run. Good luck.  

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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 705
    Thanks, all.  I need to find time to work on this then I'm sure it'll be much easier!
    So far...so good..so what!?

    Trading feedback info here
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 1240
    edited April 6
    viz said:
    If I were wanting to take the easy way and jam in shapes (rather than play lines of melody), I’d probably play in the Bb minor penta box (6th fret) for the first 4 bars, then move down to the G minor penta box (3rd fret) with for the next 4, then up to C minor penta box (8th fret).
    I agree with this except the first 4 bars IMHO should be Bb major. EDIT of course mixolydian would work nicely as suggested by OP.

    2nd edit - acutally I'd try full C natural minor in bars 5-8 or maybe even something like G phrygian dominant - you need to make that Ab work.
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  • vizviz Frets: 5436
    edited April 6
    viz said:
    If I were wanting to take the easy way and jam in shapes (rather than play lines of melody), I’d probably play in the Bb minor penta box (6th fret) for the first 4 bars, then move down to the G minor penta box (3rd fret) with for the next 4, then up to C minor penta box (8th fret).
    I agree with this except the first 4 bars IMHO should be Bb major. EDIT of course mixolydian would work nicely as suggested by OP.

    2nd edit - acutally I'd try full C natural minor in bars 5-8 or maybe even something like G phrygian dominant - you need to make that Ab work.
    Both Bb mixo and Bb minor penta work - mixo is more rocky, minor penta is more bluesy - they way I play it at least! Just trying to put the simplest possible set of shapes. What I actually do is play musical phrases that my heart wants to hear over the chords (and yep definitely draw out that Ab) but that’s difficult to describe on here :)
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  • imalrightjackimalrightjack Frets: 705
    G Phrygian dominant? I’m au fait with the basic modes but don’t stress me!  :o
    So far...so good..so what!?

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  • vizviz Frets: 5436
    Go with phrygian is you’re not sure - it’s got a minor 3rd anyway so will work well if penta is too basic :)
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5628
    viz said:
    viz said:
    If I were wanting to take the easy way and jam in shapes (rather than play lines of melody), I’d probably play in the Bb minor penta box (6th fret) for the first 4 bars, then move down to the G minor penta box (3rd fret) with for the next 4, then up to C minor penta box (8th fret).
    I agree with this except the first 4 bars IMHO should be Bb major. EDIT of course mixolydian would work nicely as suggested by OP.

    2nd edit - acutally I'd try full C natural minor in bars 5-8 or maybe even something like G phrygian dominant - you need to make that Ab work.
    Both Bb mixo and Bb minor penta work - mixo is more rocky, minor penta is more bluesy - they way I play it at least! Just trying to put the simplest possible set of shapes. What I actually do is play musical phrases that my heart wants to hear over the chords (and yep definitely draw out that Ab) but that’s difficult to describe on here :)
    So, you're saying you would think about the chords and a melody, but not what scales or modes that melody is coming from because you're just focusing on the notes over the chords? 
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  • vizviz Frets: 5436
    edited April 15
    viz said:
    viz said:
    If I were wanting to take the easy way and jam in shapes (rather than play lines of melody), I’d probably play in the Bb minor penta box (6th fret) for the first 4 bars, then move down to the G minor penta box (3rd fret) with for the next 4, then up to C minor penta box (8th fret).
    I agree with this except the first 4 bars IMHO should be Bb major. EDIT of course mixolydian would work nicely as suggested by OP.

    2nd edit - acutally I'd try full C natural minor in bars 5-8 or maybe even something like G phrygian dominant - you need to make that Ab work.
    Both Bb mixo and Bb minor penta work - mixo is more rocky, minor penta is more bluesy - they way I play it at least! Just trying to put the simplest possible set of shapes. What I actually do is play musical phrases that my heart wants to hear over the chords (and yep definitely draw out that Ab) but that’s difficult to describe on here
    So, you're saying you would think about the chords and a melody, but not what scales or modes that melody is coming from because you're just focusing on the notes over the chords? 


    Well basically yes, because there comes a time when playing the 'right notes' - ie notes that don't clash with the chords (or at least if they do it's intentional) - is totally automatic for anyone who can improvise at a reasonable level, even if one's never heard the song before. Unless it's Giant Steps or something. 


    It's playing a satisfying melody that’s not just a generic noodle that's the goal, and it feels great when you achieve it and play something really stunning and unique.


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