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Thread: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

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    Default Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    I've done some searches on the forum for books on this subject and apologize if this is a rehash of an old subject. A lot of these books cover fiddle tunes and I'm more interested in learning "singing song" breaks. Not how to improvise. I just want to memorize some breaks and participate in local bluegrass jams. Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    go to mandozine.com and search through the rather large selestion of songs. Most any bluegrass tune you know will be there....not all but a lot. Once on mandozine, under the quick links (middle, right have of the page) click on TablEdit File and go from there. You will at the very least need TableEdit Viewer which you can download for free.

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    Quote Originally Posted by mandodan1960 View Post
    I just want to memorize some breaks...
    I'd suggest playing the melody of the song for the solo. Working it out is a really
    good exercise. Even if you don't get it exactly right. [Having some variation is a
    good thing.] IMO memorizing interchangable breaks makes for a "vague" sound.
    There are mandolin players who build their solos on a small number of licks though...

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    Check out Designing Mandolin Solos for Bluegrass Songs, by Paul Kramer (a former Winfield national mandolin champion). He presents breaks for several standard BG songs which you could just memorize and play. But more importantly, as Joel mentioned, he teaches you how to isolate the melody of each song, find the chord tones and build interesting breaks of your own that stay close to the melody.

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    The two best books I have seen for TEACHING the development of instrumental breaks for BG vocal numbers are Matt Flinner's "All-Star Bluegrass Jam (Mandolin)" and Joe Carr's new "Bluegrass Soloing" (School of Mandolin series). Of the two, Joe's book is the more pedagogical, which is exactly what I need at this point in my own development, but Matt's stuff is where I want to get to eventually. The breaks are relatively simple, and the melody is clearly stated.

    Also check out Brad Laird's "Soloing In Moveable Positions," in which he lays out a nice pattern break for Nine-Pound Hammer. Also, "Bluegrass Solo In 2 Keys" for a nice break on Sitting On Top of the World (compare to Matt Flinner's break).

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    Another good one is by Ray Legere (see his website), presents 12 or so standard vocal numbers, with hip mandolin breaks. Notes and tab. Good stuff.

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    Default Re: Best book for hot solos/breaks for singing songs

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    Another good one is by Ray Legere (see his website), presents 12 or so standard vocal numbers, with hip mandolin breaks. Notes and tab. Good stuff.
    Thanks Alan. Very good indeed. There's some examples of his Ready to Jam DVD on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P91Nt...feature=relmfu

    Very helpful that have the chords presented as he's playing.

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