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Saul Rubin Three Chorus Guitar Solo (:58-4:47)


Chorus #1 (:42) Blues and Bebop

Saul starts off with simple melodic phrases bookended by generous space.


As the chorus moves on, Saul plays smooth, longer bebop phrases of mostly eighth notes.


In the second half of the chorus, Saul adds some tasty blues phrases over the D minor harmony.


After blues licks, Saul repeats technical, vertical sounding phrases before ending the chorus with more blues.


Chorus #2 (1:20) Triplets

Saul starts off the second chorus with a melodic, repeated motif, before overtly quoting the standard, “Laura”.


Saul increased the intensity through repeating improvised melodies over consecutive eighth-note triplets.


Coming off the triplets, he played broken diminished chords, representing altered dominant chords.


After playing some more blues phrases, Saul ornaments phrases by playing the melody in octaves.


Chorus #3 (2:01) Extra chorus?

Saul perhaps was going to end his solo, but no one came in at the beginning of the chorus. It felt like the rhythm section, in decreasing their intensity, might have also thought that another soloist was about to begin. In the absence of sound, Saul comped chords and eventually re-engaged with melodic improvisation.


Saul then plays a single-note, ornamental guitar lick before changing to smooth, muted eighth-note phrases, weaving serpentine through the chord-changes.


At the end of chorus #3, I interpreted Saul to be sending a clear signal to the band that he was ending his solo.


TIP: If, in your solo, you’ve been phrasing a lot with eighth note shapes, experimenting with both straight-forward and tied-over triplets can be a fun challenge. Besides providing a different rhythmic pulse, it’s 3 over 2 polyrhythm has intensity. Triplets can be played in quarter or eighth notes.


TIP: If a solo goes in a direction that you didn’t plan, relax and ride the wave. This is an opportunity to use your ears and communication skills to think on your feet and create. Saul did a great job of jumping back in after no musician proceeded him in soloing. Without outward emotion or surprise, he simply began playing again.