Didier Lockwood’s solo on Barbizon Blues in 4 steps

Didier Lockwood’s solo on “Barbizon Blues”


My passion for music has often led me to seek unique ways to assimilate and integrate iconic solos into my violin playing. Recently, I embarked on a fascinating journey to note Didier Lockwood’s solo on “Barbizon Blues”. In fact, a jazz violin student at the Berklee School played this solo so well for her exam this week that it immediately made me want to dive into this solo!


4 Steps to Mastering a Solo: A Step-by-Step Approach


I went back to my usual solo learning process, which I will describe to you in this article. Throughout my years of studying jazz violin, this process has not only been enriching but has also transformed the way I approach improvisation.

For this solo by Didier Lockwood, I used a YouTube video which includes a score, but I only deciphered it at the beginning to get some bearings, but I quickly gave up reading it. Indeed, I myself interpreted certain notes and rhythms differently from the score written on this video. But I liked the fact that the video starts at the beginning of the solo and stops at the end, and that’s mainly why I used it.

Here is the support I used:

Here are the four steps I took to master this iconic solo.


**1st Step: The Voice – Capturing the Essence**

The starting point of my journey to assimilate this solo was the voice. By singing it slowly at first, I sought to absorb more than just the notes. I sought to capture rhythmic placement, sonic subtleties, and distinctive ornaments. By synchronizing with the soloist in this way, I was able to truly immerse myself in the essence of the solo.


**2nd Step: Violin with headphones and mute at 50% – Slow Progression**

Then I switched to my violin, but at a slower speed of 50%. Equipped with my headphones and mute, I reproduced the solo, focusing on every nuance – the sound, the rhythm, and the characteristic ornaments. This step allowed me to consolidate my understanding of the solo while giving me time to gradually adjust to its complexity.


**3rd Step: 75% of the Speed with the soundtrack on speakers, always muted – Integration in the Context**

I then increased the speed to 75% while playing the solo with the original soundtrack playing through my speakers. This helped me ground the solo in its original musical context while still using my mute to stay focused on the nuances and interpretation.


**4th Step: The Finale – Total Integration**

Finally, the last step was to play the solo with Didier Lockwood himself, without the mute. At this point, I had soaked up the solo so much that my playing had transformed. This total immersion in the work of the soloist opened new doors for me in my approach to improvisation.

This process takes time and patience, but it has revolutionized the way I assimilate and integrate iconic solos. Far from being limited to reading a simple score, this approach allowed me to capture the soul of Didier Lockwood’s solo and to make it resonate in my future improvisations. Every note, every ornament, and every rhythm merged with my playing, enriching my musicality in an unexpected and valuable way.

Ultimately, this in-depth learning transcended simple reproduction to become a true transformation of my musical expression.




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