Sunday, May 17, 2009

Improvising Kit Bag 1 - Key of A

To start packing the improvising kit bag, here are a couple of simple turnarounds in the key of A. The first can be used wherever you have two bars of E resolving to A, and the second, where you have just one bar of E. This is typical in a song like Hallelujah I'm Ready or dozens of others, where the longer V chord falls in the middle of the verse and the shorter one comes at the end. If you're just following the melody in that song, you've got nothing to say over the long E in the middle of the verse unless you're prepared. Think about where the melody falls in that tune, and then try slotting these licks in at the appropriate places. Then try them in all the other suitable tunes you know. Try them next time you're in a jam or playing a show. It's the only way to expand your kit bag.

Notice how each lick contains a little element like a slide or a blue note that gives it its character and flavor. Unless a phrase has something unique and memorable, it doesn't belong in your kit bag.

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