Monday, April 17, 2017

Drill: Pass the trash

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The term "pass the trash" is used in a variant of 7-card stud poker.  It's also a good drill to use in soloing with your group.

Essentially, you listen/watch the other person solo before you, and then take some of it to start your own solo.  Maybe there's a distinct riff or pattern that you like, maybe it's a big movement, maybe it's a recognizable sequence you can modify.  It's not all that difficult of a drill, it makes you play things you might not normally play, and it makes you really pay attention to the preceding solo.

One thing that is often overlooked in a drill like this is that as the soloist, if there's someone after me, I have to "pass" something to them.  If my solo is really disjointed, doesn't have phrasing that they can pick up on, is too complex for them to replicate, or is just really off, then what can they use?  In essence, I've messed the drill up for them.

This isn't about copying someone, but borrowing, modifying, adapting.  It's successful when other people can see the two solos and identify what's being used each time.

"Passing the trash" helps create new "launchpads" for soloists, and helps exercise the improvisational muscles.  I highly recommend trying it!

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