How to Solo “Outside”

by | Jazz Improvisation

In this lesson I unravel the mystery of playing “outside” without sounding like you made a mistake or got lost in the changes. Now, if you are new to jazz and have no clue what playing “outside” is, let me just briefly sum it up as temporarily improvising over different chord changes other than those written, in order to purposefully create a strong sense of tension and dissonance.

You  hear this concept in the playing of many post bop jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, later Miles Davis recordings, Herbie Hancock and of course guitarists such as John Scofield and Pat Metheny. But if you’re still not sure what I’m referring to, in the video I solo over the changes to How High The Moon so you can hear me use a variety of outside concepts. After that I show you some of these concepts and give you some tips on how you can convincingly play outside over any II-V-I progression!


The How To Play “Outside” Files can be downloaded for $7.00 (buy me a cup of coffee & a snack?). Your contribution is much appreciated, as it helps support the site and allows me to keep investing the long hours required to produce these lessons. The download includes: a 4 page PDF with both regular notation and TAB featuring all the examples in the video and in addition several examples of other “outside” concepts based on a variety of modulations, Coltrane Changes, the symmetrical diminished scale and more!

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