The score form allows you to see how Sonny retained and reworked material from one solo to the other. In some cases (measures 23-25), Sonny plays an identical phrase to begin with and then finishes the phrase differently. In another case (measures 9-10), he starts a phrase similarly, but displaces the idea by a beat. In measures 41 and 42, he keeps the idea of using a whole tone scale, but displaces the phrase by a full measure.
In this part of the lesson, we examine a method of internalizing Sonny's jazz language while simulataneously ingraining the harmony of the tune. The first task is to identify phrases in the solos that are particularly appealing. For illustration purposes, I extracted 6 lines from Sonny's solos for further practice. You can download a summary of the phrases here. These lines should be memorized in all 12 keys.
To maximize practice time, it is possible to learn the phrases while memorizing the harmony of the tune at the same time. To do this, identify a phrase to be learned and play that phrase throughout the tune, transposing as necessary. The phrase can be altered as needed to fit the harmonic rhythm (for example, a ii-V-I phrase can be truncated to fit places where there is a ii-V that is not followed by a I chord).
Although I have written out all the phrases and transposed them through the keys, the goal should be to play the exercises from memory rather than merely reading them off the page. In this way, you internalize the phrases and the same time you are reinforcing your knowledge of the tune's harmony.
To aid your practice, I have created a MIDI fileand a Band-In-The-Box file that has the exercises as the melodic line along with a rhythm section accompaniment (right click on the link and select "Save Target As" to save the file to your computer). To begin with, I created the file with a metronome marking of 155 bpm. The eventual goal would be to play the phrases at the speed of Sonny's original solo (~280 bpm!). Part 3:
Having analysed Sonny's solos in Part 1 and internalizing several phrases in Part 2, it is now time to examine the lines and look for ways to transform them so that you are creating new lines based on Sonny's original material. As an example, download this sheetthat shows the original line and a suggested transformation.
For line 1, the phrase is modified to start on the 3rd of the minor seventh chord (as opposed to starting on the root in the original). The line ends the same way as the original.
Line 2 starts the same way, but is modified by introducing the altered scale over the dominant chord.
Similarly, line 3 starts the same way, but in this case, the diminished scale is used over the dominant chord.
Finally, line 4 is modified by introducing a common diminished scale pattern over the dominant chord and concluding with a different phrase on the major chord.