#1
Hi guys!

Well, I have been playing and teaching myself guitar for a bit more than 2 years, and I love hard rock and heavy metal music. Lately I've been trying to make a routine/well-scheduled practice session for myself, and was looking at articles by Tom Hess. One in particular talked about being able to "apply and integrate" your musical skills.

Here is the link to the webpage:
http://tomhess.net/Articles/PracticingGuitarSelfDisciplineOrFun.aspx

and this is the paragraph:

"Find ways to apply your musical tools. The easiest way to have fun while practicing is through application of skills to real music. This sounds obvious, but far too many students think that practicing should be all about "learning new things". Because of this, they don’t schedule time for application, integration and mastery of what they already know. As a result, many end up with lots of isolated things “they can do”, but no ability to actually use their skills. Learning more things is important but it shouldn't be your top priority all of the time. It is also not much fun to practice things that you can not really integrate with your other musical skills in a real musical context. Great players aren’t great because they ‘know more’, it’s usually because they can integrate and apply more than the common player."

My question is simple: I think I know what he means, but can anyone help me clearly define being able to "apply" and "integrate" your skills, and what it really means? How can I start practicing application and integration?

Take care.
#2
It means to stop viewing things you learn as exercises and to actually use them as music.

Say, for example, you learn a sweep picking lick, it would mean to actually use that within a song or your improvising. Integration is a bit different, Hess means to stop using techniques independently and to be free to flow from one technique in to another so, say, a big sweep in to a long picking lick with some legato and tapping in it rather than just being very much "Ok, here's the sweeping section, now there's a tapping bit, this is a picking bit" and so on.
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#3
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
It means to stop viewing things you learn as exercises and to actually use them as music.

Say, for example, you learn a sweep picking lick, it would mean to actually use that within a song or your improvising. Integration is a bit different, Hess means to stop using techniques independently and to be free to flow from one technique in to another so, say, a big sweep in to a long picking lick with some legato and tapping in it rather than just being very much "Ok, here's the sweeping section, now there's a tapping bit, this is a picking bit" and so on.

This. Excellently put, and just what I was thinking.
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#4
One way to do this is to make sure that you practice your lead techniques over back tracks that have interesting chord changes in them, so you're not playing in a void - you're tying your lead to the underlying music.
#5
Quote by HotspurJr
One way to do this is to make sure that you practice your lead techniques over back tracks that have interesting chord changes in them, so you're not playing in a void - you're tying your lead to the underlying music.


Even standard, boring changes would work pretty well for that purpose
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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#6
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Even standard, boring changes would work pretty well for that purpose


true

some of the greatest solo's ever have been played over the most simplest boring chord changes. Infact, my favourite solo is played over no chords


Back on subject, this is the reason why many players hate stuff like chromatic exercises because you will never ever be able to play them during a solo without sounding like shit. practice stuff you can easily integrate into songs.
#7
Chromatic exercises are overrated.
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#8
Quote by mrbabo91
Back on subject, this is the reason why many players hate stuff like chromatic exercises because you will never ever be able to play them during a solo without sounding like shit. practice stuff you can easily integrate into songs.


Not entirely true, you can make chromatics work but it's quite a rare thing that they really work well in my opinion.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
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