Play The Melody . . .Or Improvise?
I don’t limit myself to one side or the other. If I did my career would have ended years ago. There are many valid approaches to recording songs, neither negates the other.
In new and old music when someone improvises a solo, that’s cool. Towards the end of the Dire Straits tour, fans were singing along with my originally improvised solo at the end of “On Every Street”. So when I improvise a solo that connects with the folks as this one did, I will often go back, learn it, and play it until they don’t respond.
On the other hand, I could try to write a very hooky counter melody ( melody within a melody ), that’s also cool. The intros to Night Life and Proud Mary are perfect examples of musicians composing a melody within a melody. Those intros had nothing to do with the songs melody, they were compositions, not improvisations…Those intros became an important part of what listeners now remember. Every direction we choose can and will work well.
There really is no rule beyond “pleasing the boss” – the audience – and they are more sophisticated than they are credited.
(from the Paul Franklin Method Facebook Group)