If you stumble when it”s your turn to play a musical solo, then taking a few simple steps can make your performance much easier.
Music is like the English language. When you speak you do not think about each word, you just say what you want to say. When you play music it is the same. Theory is useful for learning and getting out of a jam, but do not let it rule what you do. Just do it. The act of going for it and seeing what happens is the root of a lot of wonderful music.
Let”s take a look at five simple tips that will help expand your skills so that people will get excited when it is your turn to solo.
1. Solo using only one note.
What is left once you take note choice away? You can use rhythm, space (silence and dynamics (louder and softer). Free yourself from the notes and concentrate on the other aspects of playing music.
2. Play the wrong note.
Play the wrong note and use one note only. Use the three tips from number one (rhythm, silence, and dynamics) to make it sound good.
3. Take a solo using only wrong notes.
Use this technique in a solo and when you return to the right notes, they will sound better.
4. Play a familiar rhythmic phrase.
Pick a familiar rhythmic phrase. It can be anything from a nursery rhyme to a popular song. Play your solo using the familiar rhythmic phrase and then put a rest in it. Just stop playing where people expect you to play. They will stop talking and start listening.
5. Get ideas from other things.
Listen to other instruments and use them to get other ideas. Then just listen to things. The dripping of a water faucet, a plane going overhead, or birds chirping will all give you ideas. Listen to the rhythm of sounds and play them on your instrument. Learn the melody and play that back.
Last words of advice:
Think of the first time you played with an instrument that you were not familiar with. A person will normally hunt and peck at the notes until they find something that sounds good. The problem is once we learn more theory and technical skills, we forget to continue to hunt and peck. Rediscover how to hunt and peck and your musical world will be opened once again.