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Home Alt Forums Music Theory Ending Improvisation on the Tonic note of the scale "What Does It Take"

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    Michael Bishop

      Hi Johnny,
      As a general rule of thumb, isn’t it always a good idea if we can end our Improvisation/very last note we play in a song on the Tonic note of the scale? I was playing around with different kinds of combinations for the very ending/very last measure of “What Does It Take”–one of those included the 1-3-5-7 of the chord in different combinations, another I played with was the 1-3-5 Arpeggio, and so on. It felt/sounded okay to land on the 7th, that little x on the last measure 🙂 It did not feel very “satisfying” at all to land on the 5th, which was going to be a low D on the scale, also part of the Chord/Arpeggio. In any scale I’ve been playing with, it always seems like the 5th is much better to create a lot of tension, and the only place I can seem to relieve that tension (to my ears anyway) is the tonic. For the entire section where it says “solo out” I used only one thing that you played in your solo, but even at that I’m going to play it differently because I don’t want my solo to sound exactly the same as your’s….please don’t misunderstand me when I say that LOL It can be all too easy to get “lazy”, look at what you do and copy it exactly. But rather, I think it’s much better to be “creative” and play it differently v.s. doing it exactly the same as someone else does.


        Yes, it’s by experimenting with the different chordal tones that you’ll discover your favorites. sometimes the tonic is perfect for an ending and other times it’s a boring choice depending on the type of song, ending chord etc.
        as for copying other people, it’s how I learned to play. everyone does it. even the greatest players when they were starting out copied those they admired so don’t feel weird or like you’re cheating by copying. having said that, when you can throw down some of your own licks then that’s a beautiful thing and what we’re ultimately striving for.

        Michael Bishop

          Oh yeah…I watch you/other players all the time. In fact, I found the perfect “inspiration” for my Blues Brothers Instrumental that I’m working on right “under my nose”…..a video demo that Trevor James Saxophones posted on the very model of Saxophone that I bought from them LOL The only difference in the video is the RAW model they show v.s. my Alto which is the Gold lacquered. I “borrowed, stole” a few licks/riffs from this video, from yourself, other Saxophone players, my own licks/riffs, etc.. with the aime of applying what you told me from the Green Onions to “play less=says more” My Instrumental is coming along pretty cool 🙂 It should be done pretty soon. The Improvising starts at about 1:05 on the timer

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