Memorize Solos?

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by Scotty R, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    Fundamentally I'm wondering if Is it critical to memorize the solos in SWS.
    I'm trying to find the value and I hear things like: visualization, patterns, improvisation, etc.
    I'm getting lots of value there... and am seeing patterns, root notes etc.

    So with that If I can play the solos at 100% with Griff using the tab in front of me, does that suffice?
    Or should I press on to memorize the solos?
     
  2. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    Whether it's Griff or anyone else, I think that when someone teaches a soloing technique they're primarily offering suggestions rather than carved-in-stone "How to's". They're demonstrating various patterns, styles and phrasings to show what can be done with a given tune but the goal is not to have someone copy their ideas note-for-note, but rather to get someone to understand the boundaries and then have them add their own touches.

    David Gilmour once said in an interview that many people can copy his solos, but they can't copy his personality and that's what a solo essentially is -- an expression of one's personality. Even Gilmour doesn't copy his solos. For example, anyone who's heard more than one performance of "Comfortably Numb" knows that each time around the solos are different. He makes sure that the essential hooks are there because they make the song what it is, but he plays them as well as the body of those solos in ways that reflect his mood at the time and he's not concerned with making them always "sound like the album".

    Learning to read tabs and emulate someone else's playing can certainly help in terms of developing technical proficiency and understanding how phrasing works or when to change from minor to major keys and other such things and there's certainly nothing wrong with any of that. But to me, a solo is a personal thing and I'd rather focus my efforts on developing a style I can call my own rather than trying to perfectly replicate what someone else has played.

    Anyway, that's my opinion, for what it's worth.

    Cheers! :Beer:
     
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  3. BoogieMan

    BoogieMan Blues Junior

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    Well said!
     
  4. Scotty R

    Scotty R Blues Newbie

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    That's a good answer JP.... and for what it's worth I agree with that stance as well.
    I'd meet you in the middle on this one and say that there is value in having some solos in your back pocket. Eg. Shuffle in G, Slow in A

    I'll ask the question a different way. Should I put the time in memorizing the SWS solos vs some of the other solos that might be more "adaptable". Keep in mind that some of these 24 bar solos will use a lot of brain power to memorize, and the brain's not getting any faster if you know what I mean.

    Eg. The solos in BGU seem to be very adaptable to plug in to a number of popular blues songs. Do you think there's the same value here or should I be more focused on the licks, the patterns, and how some of them fit together?
     
  5. twbuff

    twbuff The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!

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    Unfortunately I have not yet secured a copy of this particular course, but I would take issue with "the brain's not getting any faster . . " - maybe more full and harder to recall certain bits of memory, but certainly it is not like Sherlock Holmes used to characterize as an attic with only so many places for storage! Since we use only about 7% of our brain at any time, we should have an infinite resource.
    Given the solo question, I agree with JPsuff about guidance and making the solo your won rather than a perfect copy of another. I heard it said the Griff never plays the same solo once, much less twice !! and I think that is apt for this type of music.
    My 2 cents!
     
  6. JPsuff

    JPsuff Satisfaction is complacency

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    Let's face it, we ALL borrow from other players and other styles so there are bound to be instances where we sound like someone else and I agree that it's a good thing to have a collection of solos in your back pocket so that if you're not feeling particularly creative, you'll still be able to play something interesting.

    But there's no reason why those "off-the-shelf" solos can't be your own.

    For example, I'm a huge Gilmour fan and I have learned a collection of his licks that I like to add to various tunes and in some cases I use them in a note-for-note way. But in most cases I use them as a part of what I already have in my own mind in terms of what I want to play and those licks are there to sort of tip my hat to his style (which I love) but it's more along the lines of "channeling" than copying.

    In terms of memorization, making licks your own makes remembering them far easier than trying to remember what someone else played because YOU thought of them and there's a certain pride that goes with that which makes them special and thus more memorable.

    Anytime you create something you commit it to memory almost by default.

    I have a plant stand in my den that I made from some scraps of maple I had lying around from a bigger project. What's special about it is that unlike many things I've built, I didn't plan to build it at all. I was cleaning my garage and collecting the maple scraps and began to wonder if I could use them for something and so I began to cut things and then glue things and so on. Long story short, the table turned out great (we have a big potted plant sitting on it), and every time I look at it, I can remember every cut, every glue joint and even how many coats of linseed oil I used on it because it's something I created out of thin air with nothing to go on but imagination.

    Obviously the skills I needed to build that table were learned from others who, over the years, taught me how to use tools and how to work with wood (just like learning to play guitar) and even though there will always be a little of "them" in whatever I build, I always end up with something original and something I can call my own - which is always far more memorable and far more satisfying than all of the "exact copies" I could ever hope to produce.

    I hope that makes sense.:confused:

    Cheers!:Beer:
     
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  7. HotLks

    HotLks Blues - it's in me and it's got to come out.

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    Good stuff here guys. Sound advice. I think we've chosen a difficult pursuit. Very challenging.

    See you down the road! :thumbup:
     
  8. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    I agree with the direction this thread is going 100%! I believe we should all be striving to develop our own sound/style that is unique to each of us. That means making things that you "borrow" or "steal" or "copy" have your own stamp on them.
     
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