Sunday, May 24, 2009

Improvising Kit Bag 2 - Key of A

Here are two more endings in the key of A, both of them over a standard I-V-I chord sequence. The first is in the A chop position, with your index finger at the fourth fret, and second is in the open position. For the third bar of the first example, try to maintain your position and use your pinky if it's up to it. If not, you can reposition your first finger up to the fifth fret. You can hear very similar licks to these used on many professional recordings.

The best way I have found to try to incorporate new licks into my improvisations is to first practice the lick so I can play it at almost any speed in isolation, working with Band In A Box or a metronome. Then I try it out in breaks that I do regularly, playing along with recordings of my band. And then I try pulling it off in a live situation.

When you're working on building a new lick into your reportoire, I don't think there's any shame in slipping it into as many solos as you can, just for a while. You may bore your bandmates for a few weeks, but they'll be grateful in the end to have a more versatile mandolinist. At least, that's my theory.

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