Connect with us


Good Solo…Bad Solo?



Mark Stefani’s Step #6 – Arranging Model Solos to Put It All Together 

The second solution that I discovered is one that has been working for me for close to 30 years now. It also stemmed from a sense of frustration, because certain tunes and progressions would frequently beat me up. Good solo one night. Bad solo the next. Then it dawned on me that even the greatest jazz players in history (Bird, Trane, etc) depended on favorite solos that they had developed over the years. In the case of Bird (Charlie Parker), his improvisations were so good that they became popular melodies that today all other jazz musicians play, like Ornithology, Scrapple the Apple, K.C. Blues, Anthropology, etc. Since I had acquired the language but knew I would never have the obsession to play jazz 24/7 like them, I concluded that the next best thing would be to arrange model solos that represented the best effort I could deliver, then practice the solos to both master the chord progression and get the core language under my fingertips. 

Do I play these model solos during live performance? No, but I do play the language and parts of them unconsciously nowadays, using the components as a creative springboard in the same manner that Bird and others did in the past. In other words, mission accomplished. My bad solos today are like my best solos of yesterday. 

Watch for the NEXT STEP in the SERIES!

And check out more from Mark Stefani.

Continue Reading

Join the JGT Newsletter

Featured Luthiers