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Fiddle Lessons: Basics of Improvising - The Worked Out Solo

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Oh, the people would come from far away.
Now that is a quote.
A quoted solo, which is one of the great,
worked out.
Worked out as I say written without having
actually been written down.
Worked out solos and bluegrass as it's of
course the the fiddle part to Uncle Pen.
And that was worked out by Vaster
Took them about six hours in a hotel room.
He taught that to the fellow that played
it on the record, Gordon Terry, and
that has been the part.
That is the, the, the part when you hear
that solo you know that it's uncle Penn.
You knew Uncle Penn was ready to go as the
lyrics say.
So in bluegrass, there's a lot of support
for the worked out solo because these
solos are short and they, they're kind of
Some of these solos are very iconic.
I can quote quite a few of them.
And it's good to know these solos because
it really puts you in the,
the space of the music.
You know, it, it really gets you into the
You know, to learn these solos.
There's a great Chubby Wise solo.
Very simple, beautiful solo.
Sweetheart of Mine Can't you Hear me
And it's really good to learn, and in some
cases you might wanna transcribe them.
Most of these solos are not that
difficult, but just to learn these
solos by heart and you know just that will
help you learn what,
what the rules are, you know, for any, for
this particular style of music.
And that's true in any style of music.
To transcribe solos and, and learn,
especially ones that you really like,
you know, in jazz it's very common to
transcribe other people's solos.
And that way you pick up vocabulary, you
pick up details of phrasing, you pick up
all kinds of details about the music that
you may not normally otherwise learn.
And that's considered fine.
You know, that's a, you know, in addition
to being able to improvise or
compose your own solos, that's also a very
important part of the whole thing.
But it is a part, and you know, it's also
important to compose your own
solos with you know, as long as you know
what you're doing, you know.
As long as you know are, am I gonna play
something in the style or
am I gonna play something a little bit off
from the style, or
am I gonna go completely away from the
But the point is, that you know what
you're doing, whether or not you.
What no matter what you do,
and it's certainly cool to work out a solo
ahead of time.
That's pretty great.
You know, and then play that for a while.
There is a trap to that, is that if you
play the same solo again and
again you're gonna get stuck in that and
that does tend to That'll limit your
growth to some extent.
So usually something like that would be
cool to, you know, what.
Ideally, you know, you play the same solo
for, you know, what, six months, a year,
and then like, try to write something new
or start improvising, and changing it.
Usually that happens anyway.
People, people's brains change, you know,
their body changes,
things are gonna change.
You might use somebody else's solo as a
jumping off point.
You might go.
So I was taking the first part of Chavez's
solo and playing that.
And then the second half of the phrase I
was playing something a little bit more
I don't know, shall we say intense?
You know?
And you could go the other way.
You get to take an intense solo, smooth it
out on the end.
Something like that.
So, you've sort of constructed your own
question and
answer by quoting Chubby, and then you're,
you know?
You might have something like your
personal answer to that.
You know, where you're saying, okay, this
is another way.
And then there's my angle.
So there's all kinds of ways to structure
a solo,
that is not necessarily gonna be
completely improvised.
It could be partly written, partly
You might have an idea of where you wanna
You might say, okay, well I'm gonna start
the solo down on the lower two strings.
And then of course go up to the higher
string for the second part.
then [LAUGH] for the final crushing blow.
Something like that,
which is very much in the bluegrass form
where you, you place fairly simple.
The first three phrases are, are fairly
simple and
then at the end you go kinda crazy, all
We, we talked about that earlier in the
beginning part where you know,
generally you, you're trying to stick
close to the melody, and
the first three phrases with slight
variations and then the,
the last phrase is the place where you
kinda go nuts and play all your hot licks.
All right, so it'd be like.
Right, so I was constantly weaving in and
out of Chubby's melody and then at the end
You know, making little variations.
Going up, going down, but just trying to
come back to Chubby's and then at the end,
of course, playing the the madcap all
Jumping off my horse.
And riding off in all directions.
So there's another way to think about