Overplaying in Jazz..is there such a thing?

:blush: hi – I wonder if there is such a thing as overplaying in jazz?
or does this happen only to those who don’t know much about jazz yet? How would one know?

Thanks very much! :purple_heart:

Hey Kristeta :wave:

Interesting question.

Yes I can see a couple of areas where this can happen:

1) "Over-reharmonising" A Tune

When arranging a tune it can be tempting to add too many reharmonisations and in the process, the melody and motifs of the tune can become a little lost in a sea of overly-rich harmony.

Coincidentally, I will be discussing this exact topic in my live seminar later this month on the tune “Moon River”. The tune has a delicately constructed melody and harmony, and not much reharmonisation is needed to create a beautiful arrangement.

In the session we will explore some subtle but effective reharms, and also lots of tricks and techniques to add tasteful melodic embellishment. Add to your calendar here:

2) Overplaying When Improvising

It’s very common for beginner improvisers to ‘overplay’ by not leaving any space in their solos. This is something I’m always trying to focus on in my improvisations as leaving space allows a solo to ‘breathe’.

I would recommend listening to Stan Getz who has a sublime sense of phrasing and he leaves space very tastefully so that you can really connect to his improvised phrases. I discovered this record a few weeks ago which I like:

One of the all-time great tenor saxophonists, Stan Getz possessed one of the most beautiful tones in all of jazz. He was also among the greatest of melodic improvisers, melding lush romanticism with jazz’s sense of physical toughness.

Spend some time listening to Stan Getz!


Yay! listening to the Stan Getz link as I write here! I love it!

Thanks so much for the detailed response! all these are invaluable information :purple_heart: :heart_eyes:

and surely will help others (me included!) that may have the same question :blush:

Looking forward to the LIVE seminars! excited to prepare and send some beginner questions too! hehe…

Thanks very much! Hayden


Awesome - see you in the seminar Kristeta.

Also if you like Stan Getz’s style, you might like to check out this bossa nova album which contains some of his most popular recordings:

His improvisational lyricism and tasteful phrasing is a joy to listen to :star_struck:


oh wow! it’s got my favourite songs in it!!!
this is going to be my background music today haha…
Yay Thank you again Hayden! :blush:

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@Kristeta Here is really one of my favourite antidotes to overplaying!

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hahahah! Fredrik - I love it!!! Thank you for sharing :grin: :grin: :grin: