String Theory with Jimmy Brown: A Modern-Sounding Soloing Approach for John Coltrane's “Giant Steps”

by Jimmy Brown
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at 3:48pm

These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

Last month, I presented an original 16-bar solo played over the chord changes to tenor saxophonist John Coltrane’s jazz standard “Giant Steps.”

With it, I demonstrated some melodic devices Coltrane employed to outline the tune’s quickly changing chords. These include the application of four-note “cells,” or tetrachords, and the tried-and-true use of arpeggios, scales and chromatic passing tones to target chord tones and “connect the dots.”

This month, I offer a second 16-bar chorus of single-note soloing that introduces another cool melodic device, arpeggio substitution, or superimposition, which can be used to modify the sound of the underlying chord qualities and make them sound more “modern” and “fusion-y.”


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