I never used to in other kinds of bands, but in surf I like playing solos. I get my 8 bars or 12 bars or whatever and it is a challenge to do more with less. We cover a Mancini tune lately that has me going in weird directions that I always look forward to. The songs really calls for the solo to start off in E but I invariably wind up going to G something-or-other then to variations on the extended C6 chord form; I usually almost lose the whole f-ing thing, but then somehow find my way back home. It is a scary ride. Love that feeling. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the tune has the rhythm section playing a really fast, jazzy Manciniesque chromatic two-bar melody of E-B-E(octave)-Eb-D-C#-C-B. The tune has a built-in trainwreck factor so all bets are off with this vamp. It is our only truly (intentionally) dissonant number, and I think it works pretty much.
That said, nothing better then a tasteful solo using the minor pentatonic scales. I like to do it the old-fashioned way. Do it right (stay away from the fast arpeggios, bending up minor thirds, and half-octave dive bombs) and you've got a real early-'60s vibe happening instantly. Lately, I like to play the minor pentatonic in keys other than the chord root. Over a minor chord, try a minor pentatonic that is a step or even a 5th above the root. Fun!
Last edited: May 06, 2011 21:07:43