Miles Davis – Freddie Freeloader

Learning Miles Davis’ solos is highly beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Technical Skill Development: Miles Davis was known for his unique phrasing. By learning his solos, we can develop particular technical skills, including articulation, phrase shaping and dynamics.
  2. Understanding of Jazz Language and Improvisation: Miles Davis was a pivotal figure in the development of jazz. His solos often showcase the language of jazz, including bebop and modal jazz. Learning his solos helps you to understand these styles and improve their improvisational skills.
  3. Musical Expression and Creativity: Davis’ solos are celebrated for their emotional depth and creativity. Analysing and playing his solos can inspire you to develop your own expressive capabilities and creativity.
  4. Historical and Cultural Context: Learning his solos offers an appreciation of the historical and cultural context of jazz. Davis was instrumental in several key movements within jazz, and understanding his work provides insight into the evolution of the genre.


  1. Mastering Melody and Harmony: Your primary goal is to gain a deep understanding of the track’s melody and its underlying harmonic structure.
  2. Exploring Miles Davis and Paul Chambers: Focus on learning Miles Davis’ iconic solo and Paul Chambers’ intricate bass line. These elements offer valuable insights into technique, improvisation and expression.
  3. Unravel Scales and Chords: Practice the scales and chords relevant to the track: exercises, patterns, applied harmony, etc.


Here’s a comprehensive plan to help you achieve these objectives:

  1. Active Listening: Begin by immersing yourself in the recording, actively listening to every nuance of the performance.
  2. Transcription Mastery: Transcribe both Miles Davis’ solo and Paul Chambers’ walking bass line. Pay close attention to techniques, rhythms, chromaticism, and phrasing.
  3. Harmonic Exploration: Examine appropriate scale choices that harmonize with the composition, enhancing your understanding of its harmonic landscape.


Put your plan into action with the following steps:

  1. Transcription and Application: Transcribe and play the melody, walking bass line and solo. Go beyond mere mimicry by incorporating what you’ve learned into your own bass lines. Challenge yourself to record your versions of the walking bass and solo, with the support of a suitable backing track.


Here are some quick tips to enhance your learning process:

  • Explore Mixolydian Mode: Recognize that Mixolydian mode starting on the root note can be applied to all the chords. Refresh your understanding of Mixolydian and Lydian b7 modes, as well as the Blues scale.

Paul Chambers Walking Bass (1st chorus)

Miles Davis Solo (1st chorus)

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