Gilad Hekselman’s music is one of the only things that’s been in steady rotation on my iPhone since around 2010. I listen to One More Song if I want to get fired up in the mornings, or This Just In before I go into the shed. Often, I’ll end a jazz practice session by jamming along to Eye in The Sky. Last month I posted a Facebook video of me playing along, but the quality was low and you couldn’t hear what I was listening to in my headphones.
How do you get better at improvising and start to develop your own voice? In my Asia clinics (sometimes in front of a cadre of 4-5 hard-core fans, lest anybody think I’m bragging;) I spoke about the two “poles” we’re trying to join: at one end, there’s practicing only other people’s vocabulary, from transcriptions or books; at the other, there’s only working on abstractions like Stick Control. How to join the two together?
Listening back to my own playing in the Facebook video, I realized there were several licks I kept coming back to - a few that I was nailing, and a few that needed some work. From my own recording, I picked out several unique things I was doing that needed more work, and I started working on them. In essence, I transcribed Myself.
To bring the two threads together, two of those licks are the subject of this week’s lesson.
And for those of you still reading, I still want to do a small clinic in New York during the first two weeks of January. Interested in attending, and/or know of a venue? Just hit “reply” or comment below the blog post, and let me know!
See you soon killaz,