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Author Topic: Feedback On My Solo?  (Read 458 times)
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Krazzikk

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« on: May 21, 2017, 09:18AM »

 On my highschool's concert last Thursday I performed a completely improvised solo. For those of you who remember my post on asking about how to start learning improv, this is the fruit of my labor. All the other solos I've had were adlib for the most part, including when I was featured in Tall Cotton earlier in the school year (Great trombone solo btw), so I'd like some feedback and what you guys think. I've done a good amount of improv in class and in practice but this is my first time creating a solo live in concert. The tune is called Splanky by Count Basie.

Anything you think I should work on?
Note choice? Phrasing?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/avolenyoeeduanz/improv.mp4?dl=0
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 10:43AM »

I think you did just fine. You jumped right up and got into it. You seemed relaxed and in the groove. Was it perfect? No, but it was jazz and if you were my grandson, I would be damn proud of you.

Three things I liked were your rhythm, your enthusiasm and not letting yourself get locked into a monotone. You weren't afraid to explore and find notes up and down. Nice tone; nothing wimpy, apologetic or timid. THAT is a HUGE first step you had the courage to take! 

Keep going!

...Geezer
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afugate

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 04:04AM »

Nice.  Geezer used the word "enthusiasm" and I like that.  You showed great attitude with your playing.  The bone is capable of showing real flash and flair and, yes, attitude.  It's part of what makes the horn so special.  My friend, Exzaclee, is the master of that.  He speaks with great authority with the horn, both in what he says and how he says it.  The latter is arguably at least as important as the former.  For me, it's often what makes a solo memorable.

Keep it up!  I enjoyed your performance and hope to hear more.

--Andy in OKC
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I'm an optimist.  Some day, I'll sound like Bill Watrous.  And, I'm still waiting on that darned growth spurt!
sonicsilver
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 02:33PM »

I agree with Geezer that your rhythmic feel is strong. I also think you get a great jazz trombone sound: robust and crackly but solid. And your articulations often have a nice rasp to them. Another good point was the overall shape of your solo which started low-key and built up gradually. Straight away, that puts you ahead (in my opinion) of thousands of jazz musicians up to and including well-known pros who noodle aimlessly over several choruses and then just stop.

You suggested note choice as a thing to work on and I think you're right. A little too much over-reliance on the minor 3rd. Don't be afraid to play "wrong" notes and resolve them. I saw a brilliant tip online from Steve Armour who suggested practicing by trading fours with yourself, alternating singing and playing. Repetition and sequencing are useful tools to give your phrasing coherence. A commonly used approach is to start with a very very small, simple motif and gradually develop it through the changes, however seems interesting to you.
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Krazzikk

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 03, 2017, 04:07AM »

Here's a link to a video from when I performed Mack the Knife at a jam session they do near me earlier this week if you'd like to see more :)

https://youtu.be/7LS5rqCysLE
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uncle duke
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 03, 2017, 08:38AM »

I see one good thing and one bad thing.  The good is that you are not gun shy.  Not everyone can get on a stage in front of people.  The bad is I don't see you using your sheet music and stand.  You kinda ran out of gas towards the end - no ideas.  If you notice the others they are using their sheet music.

If you can afford lessons and the piano player in the video is willing hit him up for improvising lessons. 
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Krazzikk

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« Reply #6 on: Jun 03, 2017, 01:46PM »

I see one good thing and one bad thing.  The good is that you are not gun shy.  Not everyone can get on a stage in front of people.  The bad is I don't see you using your sheet music and stand.  You kinda ran out of gas towards the end - no ideas.  If you notice the others they are using their sheet music.

If you can afford lessons and the piano player in the video is willing hit him up for improvising lessons. 
I actually didn't have sheet music since I learn by ear and was confident in my knowledge of the song when I went. I think they were using a real book or ireal pro. I think a big reason I had so much trouble forming ideas after the key change was because I was going from F major to F# major. Now the problem is that I've always thought of that key as Gb major but in the moment, on that night, with whatever was going through my head, all I was thinking was: "oh my god I've never played in the key of F#"; I didn't even remember that being a key (since it's enharmonic), but I didnt have time to think about it so I just tried to use my ear as best I could.

If you can afford lessons and the piano player in the video is willing hit him up for improvising lessons. 
It's funny you mention that actually because that piano player ended up offering to pay for three lessons with the trombone player. The group is part of an organization called the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society and their mission statement is "to promote the growth, appreciation and performance of Jazz and Blues ~ two great American Music Art Forms ~ through annual scholarship awards, educational workshops, clinics and master classes, weekly jazz jams, tri-annual Waterside Blues Festivals, Mardi Gras and Jazz Week celebrations and community outreach programs." After the show I spoke with most of the members who I performed with and when I talked to the piano player, who happens to be the president of the organization, he ended up offering to pay for a few lessons for me since I said I wasnt taking lessons because I don't have a way to support it, and he saw potential in me. Giving to the community is just what do I guess.

So, it was a pretty cool night. I'm really thankful for him offering that to me. I had my first lesson this past Thursday and he showed me a warm-up routine, modes/scales to practice, and read through a trombone duet he arranged over the changes to All Blues, that we're supposed to be playing at the next jam.
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