Real World Skills
If there’s a local music scene in your town or city, you’ll probably be aware of the handful of guys (or gals) that get all the session gigs precisely because they have this skill. Laying down the perfect solo is not something that’s difficult to develop, as long as you incorporate it into your practice routine. The truth is that it’s not something that guitarists generally practice, so if you want to be a step ahead of the rest, you know what to do.
I’ll admit, it’s hard to find this kind of backing track, so here’s one I made earlier by throwing a couple of samples together using the app Music Maker Jam.
What I did was arrange a tune that includes a section for you to solo over. The solo section runs from 1:15 up to the drum solo at about 2:00. It’s only 45 seconds but the challenge is to make them count! The tune is in D minor, so you don’t have to think about scales or changes too much, just concentrate on playing something that a) serves the tune, and b) fits with the style of the track.
Here’s the tune entitled, ‘My Kind of Jazz’, which you can also download as an mp3, and was a bonus track that didn’t make it into our latest book, ‘Let Go of What You Know – How to Improvise Freely on Guitar‘.
I like this kind of exercise because it makes you think about things you wouldn’t normaly consider when you go to wail over a backing track. It makes you dial in a tone that fits the song, stick to a certain style, and channels your energy into creating something specific. It also puts you in that frame of mind for coming up with parts for a tune which, if you’re thinking about getting into session work, is an essential skill to have.