So What - Miles Davis - Trumpet Solo 


With permission from Bert Ligon, and using PowerTabs, I've adapted Bert's wonderful transcription of Miles Davis' trumpet solo to the guitar and into tablature.

While adapting it for guitar I've used the "8va" signs to keep the notation in a more "readable" area. This is also to keep the notation as close to Bert's as possible. The tablature's guitar pitch is correct to Miles' pitch on the song, or in the correct octave.

After refining some of the positions for the phrases, this is how I laid it out and what seemed to work best without changing positions throughout phrases..

Without giving too much of a breakdown...

It's amazing how much music Miles gets out of a Dm triad, as well as the Dmadd11 arp!

When it comes to scales Miles sure uses the "these are the notes you might want to use" more so than the "you can use all these notes" approach that many guitarist seem to miss when it comes to scales, and music in general.

As a task it's good to see why Miles chooses the notes he does, as well as why he avoids the notes he doesn't use as much. It will teach you a lot about playing over Minor Chords.

Sometimes his solo's are lessons in "what not to play" as much as they are "what to play".

I know a lot of people consider this as a "Dorian tune", but it's clear that this is a GREAT Minor tune in general. For instance, over Dm7 Miles seems to use the M7 almost as much as the b7, hinting at D Harmonic Minor, or even D Melodic Minor. Not in a strict sense, but it seems he also avoids the notes that are in common between D and Eb Dorian. Check it out, it's not 100%, but it's worth observation.

Bert, thanks for your dedication to bringing so much great works to our music stands!

I plan on doing more of these so stay tuned.

Use this link for the MIDI file (there's no click so remember it starts with a pick on beat 3 of the first measure)

Use this link for the PowerTabs file



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