Funky sister – soloing resources

So here are Doctor Rob’s theory notes for soloing over his tune Funky Sister.

The piece is in G concert, so A for B flat instruments and E for alto saxes.

It’s a mixture between mixolydian (G to G on the white notes – flat 7 major 3) and blues scale in the A section. This means you can flatten 3 and 5, especially on descending melodic phrases, but don’t mess with that 7. It should always be flat.

So I recommend thinking about, and maybe learning,  a mixolydian scale with flattened 3rds and 5ths added:

G A Bb B C Db D E F G

The chords for A are a repeated four bar sequence:

G    F   G   F/c bass   

So those notes in the scale I’ve given you work for all that, you might just want to change the notes you emphasise if you want to give the feel of fitting around the chords.

The contrasting B section is more definitely mixolydian and less bluesy – as it is all on the dominant chord D7 – all the way through the section. 8 bars of D7.

That’s all you need to solo really – once again it’s the rhythm you play that will make the solo you create sound funky and fit the context of the piece. The beat is what is often called ‘shuffle-funk’ which is (to my mind) like having fast and slow art the same time. The swing is at the level of the semiquaver or 16th notes which means each beat having four sub-beats per notated beat long-short-long-short (although the difference between long and short is infinitesimally small).

Anyway. You’ll all bring your personal style and creativity to it so my advice is just for those that want some. Have fun with it; that’s the main piece of advice.

Play along with backing track

You can choose to play along to either the solo backing or the head backing:

Solo backing

Head backing

Sheet music for the tune