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How to Play a Jazz Solo

Learn how to play a jazz solo with this keyboard tutorial from Howcast.


Hi. This is Stephanie Sanders from Tomato's House of Rock, and I'm going to show you how to play a jazz solo. So when you're thinking about a jazz solo, there are tons of options. There are tons of scales to use. There are tons of techniques. There are tons of rhythms.

So, rather than get too overwhelmed with that, I want to just focus on one concept, which is starting someplace new. We all sort of have our tendencies. We all have our habits of where we like to start. For instance, for me, if this is our cord pattern here, one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four, I always like to come in on the two.

So I might play... That's my natural place to start. So when you're taking a jazz solo, don't worry too much about fancy licks or thinking about all the scales in your mind. Instead, just try to start someplace that feels a little bit uncomfortable. So maybe you think about starting on a different beat of the measure than you normally start on.

Maybe you think about starting what you're playing in a different part of the scale than you would normally start on. This is going to allow you as your solo goes on, you're going to be able to expand. Then as you're really heating up, then you can go to the place where you do feel really comfortable and it won't feel stale because it'll be the first time that you've gotten there in your solo.

So, for an example, instead of doing my normal thing of one, two, three, four, two, two, three, four, one, maybe I want to start on the "and" of three. So that would be, one, two, three, right? You can hear it already opens up so many different avenues to try.

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