Embellishing The Melody

Musicians employ this technique when asked to solo over unfamiliar chord changes or, let’s say, a 12 bar blues progression. If coming in cold, and your ear is good enough, you can pick out the main melody and make a contribution to the overall efforts of the band. You get the gig.

When sitting in, and the format is extended, as in a jam session, the strategy would be to hint strongly at the melody on the first chorus, then move away in increments by embellishing the established melody. By the time you hit your crescendo, your solo is your creation. You own this. You keep your gig.

When you are assimilated into an orchestra, or corporation, you would best be advised to stay around the melody line until you are confident, then add little flourishes that will enhance the overall theme. Then your solo efforts will be totally yours and hard to duplicate. If you do it well enough, other musicians will be scurrying around trying to cop your licks. You own this gig.

Ready? On the downbeat…

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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