#1
Hi all, well I'm finally finished this semester at Uni studying guitar/music, and my marks have come through, time for holidays! Unfortunately my marks were less than satisfactory, so now over these holidays more than ever, I need to really spend a lot of time practicing so my playing can be in tip top shape for next year.

While I've no problem with discipline and sitting down with a guitar to practice long hours, I do have some problems when I actually start practicing. Over these holidays, I'm going to try and stick to a four hour routine minimum.

As this currently stands it is

1 Hour Working on Rhythm Changes in the Abersold book. Rhythm changes have always dogged me as something I find impossible to solo over, I did a lot of work on them in the semester, but let some of that slip as I got close to other exams and other work needed doing. Im trying now to just revise a lot of the old ones I learned, and learn some new ones

1 Hour Chris Potter All The Things You Are Solo
This is a solo on the tune All The Things You Are by saxophonist Chris Potter, a mammoth solo, 12 minutes long, around 18 pages of transcription, so it's a lot of work, I'm up to about page 4, which is not to bad considering have to read and transpose as it's written in concert Bb for Bb sax, but I'd really like to get it finished by the end of the holidays.

1 Hour working on tunes for next year
Next year I have to do my firs open performance exam I've already decided what I'm going to play, but some of the repertoire is quite above and beyond me at this stage, for instance Rumples by Adam Rogers/Chris Potter

1 Hour on technique, split up into 30 minutes on picking (usually alternate) 30 minutes on legato. My technique is quite shocking, desperately in need of improving

Here, I'll get on to specifically what areas of practice I am struggling with.

In my technique practice, as I stated, I try and split it up into two areas, 30 minutes each. In each 30 minutes lot, I'll try and practice two exercises for around 30 minutes.

In practicing technique, I figure I should focus on a lack of tension/relaxation, economy of motion and a good sound. (Anything else?)

The most common Alt picking exercise I usually focus on is this one a guitarist who showed me them, called them Star Trek shifters, as he used to play them while he watched Star Trek

-1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6-7-8-9-10- etc

For my work on picking, does anyone have any other useful exercises, can you direct me to some? Should I work on different types of picking (economy, sweep, at all in my picking time allotment?

Also, I'm a little unsure about how I should practice. I usually practice very slowly (no tempo) focussing particularly on proper pickstrokes and economy of motion. Is this okay practice, should I mix it up with some up tempo practice?

As far as Legato, I usually practice the first two exercises from the John Petrucci Rock discipline book, that is

-7-9-7-6- working specifically on fingers 1 2 and 4

and

-6-7-6-4- working specifically on fingers 1 3 and 4

Again with legato, I usually practice slowly (no tempo) working on sound and economy of motion. Should I be focussing on any different things and practicing at different speeds, why?

In my rhythm changes practice, I figure I can probably practice these exercises three ways.

1. Slowly, looking down at my picking hand when I need exact pickstrokes
2. Slowly, but focussing more on the line itself and not worrying about exact picking
3. Medium to fast tempo. Not as focussed on the pickstrokes, notes, but the line comes through clearly.

Usually I practice the number 1 method. So the line I've been dealing with lately is a simple one:


-8-5---------5-8-6--------------6----
------6----6---------8---------8-----
---------7--------------8-5-8--------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------

etc


Now, I've got written out the picking pattern than I use for this, which is

D U U U D D U, D U U D U D D

and at the points in the line where my pick will not be travelling in the same direction to pick the next note I need to pick, I make sure to stop it at the edge of the string, so for instance, after my initial downpick, I have no more notes that my hand would need to continue in the same direction for, so I make a point of stopping that pickstroke close to the other side of the string. To do this I usually need to look down at my picking hand to ensure I am moving it right. That is how I mainly practice.

Other than that, I just look at the notes and the strokes I need to play and play them and if my hand moves to far, big whoop.

Sometimes I'll practice medium to fast tempo but not often.

Are there any of these practicing techniques that are worth scrapping completely? Some that are worth focussing on more than others. Any feedback is greatly appreciated as I find myself struggling a lot with this. Thanks for reading (if you did)
Last edited by jesse music at Nov 29, 2011,
#2
Sounds like a pretty serious practice schedule, it might be a little too much but if you have the time to seriously focus on each area it'll work out. As for legato, Rusty Cooley's "Legato Workout" is good for achieving finger strength and independence. For alt. picking make sure you incorporate some exercises that cross strings and some that feature a different number of notes across the strings, Paul Gilbert has tons of great alt. picking stuff.

Focusing on the sound and dynamics of each pick attack is great as well as starting slow, but you may want to use a metronome to gain speed and chart progress. For the sweeping exercise I think you added one too many upstrokes on the first one.

All in all practice routines are good to stay focused and disciplined but it's not going to be a miracle worker for your playing, and make sure you stay musical so you might want to add some theory practice while your away from your guitar. Since I don't know what level your playing is at I guess the best advice is don't bite off more then you chew and don't shortcut or cheat yourself.
The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
#3
Thanks for the reply. I think I've got Rusty's legato workout in GP, so I'll check that out, as well as some of Paul Gilberts stuff. I'd really dig some adivce on how fast to practice these exercises, in tempo or not, how much of each it's helpful to do.

I recieved a comment from Freepower earlier in the year,

"You should be doing some practise at this speed and focusing on relaxation and economy of movement, but you also want to do some practising at a slow tempo and then doing some stuff that tests your stamina and strength (even if it's just jamming for ages )."

A question I have is how much time should I spend on the slow stuff, the medium stuff, and the fast stuff, and on the different things I should be focussing on when I'm practicing in these different ways.

"Focusing on the sound and dynamics of each pick attack is great as well as starting slow, but you may want to use a metronome to gain speed and chart progress."

In regards to this, are you talking about focussing on accents or even-ness in tone and volume of picking

In regards to the comment about theory, I'm not trying to brag, but I am pretty confident with theory, that's not to say that I'm not trying to learn more, everyday I actively transcribe everyday (I'm working on John Scofield playing over Stella by Starlight at the moment, as well as some ii - V licks). Whenever I go out, I usually bring with me some theory book to read.

That thing wasn't a sweeping exercise, it was the first rhythm changes exercise, and I just wrote out the picking patter that I think works best for it.

Thanks again for the reply, I'll try and upload some clips of my practicing later on in the week.
Last edited by jesse music at Nov 29, 2011,
#4
4 hours a day? What about job and stuff?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Your schedule looks pretty fine to me. I would perhaps focus even more on timing. Even if you're playing at very slow speeds (which is fine), you could have a metronome ticking to make sure you're in time. Especially with legato you might notice it's harder when you have to play in time (do this slowly). Also, with legato you might want to try different kind of dynamics. Some say that the picked note should be just as loud as the hammered/pulled notes. Of course you could try legato without picking at all as well, it's great for your index finger.

Alternate, economy and sweep picking are all good, but I find it useful to practise downpicking as well. Some riffs and licks sound better with strict downpicking thanks to easier dynamic control.

It's looking good though, keep doing it and you'll improve quickly.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#7
Thanks for the reply. Part of the problem I find with metronome practice, is that when I put on a metronome (mine only goes as low as 30 bpm) even at that slow speed, it's actually too fast for me to get the next note properly with correct sound, economy of motion, technique etc.

I usually practice legato entirely seperately, but I'll look at intergrating it with picking. The idea about just practicing downstrokes is a good one as well, thankyou for your ideas.
#8
Quote by jesse music
Thanks for the reply. I think I've got Rusty's legato workout in GP, so I'll check that out, as well as some of Paul Gilberts stuff. I'd really dig some adivce on how fast to practice these exercises, in tempo or not, how much of each it's helpful to do.


I wouldn't worry about speed as much as making each note loud and even.

Quote by jesse music


A question I have is how much time should I spend on the slow stuff, the medium stuff, and the fast stuff, and on the different things I should be focussing on when I'm practicing in these different ways.


This is really something that's trial and error and everybody's different. I think he gave great advice about relaxation and economy of movement.

Quote by jesse music

"Focusing on the sound and dynamics of each pick attack is great as well as starting slow, but you may want to use a metronome to gain speed and chart progress."

In regards to this, are you talking about focussing on accents or even-ness in tone and volume of picking


Both and remember to practice on a clean and distorted tone. Don't just crank the gain.

Quote by jesse music

That thing wasn't a sweeping exercise, it was the first rhythm changes exercise, and I just wrote out the picking patter that I think works best for it.


Sorry about that it's way too late/early.


edit:30bpm is too fast? something might not be right there.
The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
Last edited by tootall at Nov 29, 2011,
#9
I record some clips and put them up hopefully to give you more insight into what the problem might be.

So, as far as some changes that might be useful, working not only on strict alternate picking, but also on straight downpicking, string skipping etc.

Working on accents or on even-ness in sound, tone, attack, and volume

Doing mainly slow practice where I would focus on economy of motion, sound, relaxation and good technique, but also practicing at medium tempo, where I would focus on relaxation, timing and it wouldn't be so far removed from the tempo of playing, and also some at fast, to build in relaxation at faster tempos, working on endurance, timing and again it's not so far removed from playing.

Im just confused about in tempo practice vs out of tempo practice, wheather it's recommended to do both, how much each?

How slow is too slow for practicing? Should you be practicing at different speeds?
Last edited by jesse music at Nov 29, 2011,
#10
Quote by jesse music
Hi all, well I'm finally finished this semester at Uni studying guitar/music, and my marks have come through, time for holidays! Unfortunately my marks were less than satisfactory, so now over these holidays more than ever, I need to really spend a lot of time practicing so my playing can be in tip top shape for next year.

While I've no problem with discipline and sitting down with a guitar to practice long hours, I do have some problems when I actually start practicing. Over these holidays, I'm going to try and stick to a four hour routine minimum.

As this currently stands it is

1 Hour Working on Rhythm Changes in the Abersold book. Rhythm changes have always dogged me as something I find impossible to solo over, I did a lot of work on them in the semester, but let some of that slip as I got close to other exams and other work needed doing. Im trying now to just revise a lot of the old ones I learned, and learn some new ones

1 Hour Chris Potter All The Things You Are Solo
This is a solo on the tune All The Things You Are by saxophonist Chris Potter, a mammoth solo, 12 minutes long, around 18 pages of transcription, so it's a lot of work, I'm up to about page 4, which is not to bad considering have to read and transpose as it's written in concert Bb for Bb sax, but I'd really like to get it finished by the end of the holidays.

1 Hour working on tunes for next year
Next year I have to do my firs open performance exam I've already decided what I'm going to play, but some of the repertoire is quite above and beyond me at this stage, for instance Rumples by Adam Rogers/Chris Potter

1 Hour on technique, split up into 30 minutes on picking (usually alternate) 30 minutes on legato. My technique is quite shocking, desperately in need of improving

Here, I'll get on to specifically what areas of practice I am struggling with.

In my technique practice, as I stated, I try and split it up into two areas, 30 minutes each. In each 30 minutes lot, I'll try and practice two exercises for around 30 minutes.

In practicing technique, I figure I should focus on a lack of tension/relaxation, economy of motion and a good sound. (Anything else?)

The most common Alt picking exercise I usually focus on is this one a guitarist who showed me them, called them Star Trek shifters, as he used to play them while he watched Star Trek

-1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6-7-8-9-10- etc

For my work on picking, does anyone have any other useful exercises, can you direct me to some? Should I work on different types of picking (economy, sweep, at all in my picking time allotment?

Also, I'm a little unsure about how I should practice. I usually practice very slowly (no tempo) focussing particularly on proper pickstrokes and economy of motion. Is this okay practice, should I mix it up with some up tempo practice?

As far as Legato, I usually practice the first two exercises from the John Petrucci Rock discipline book, that is

-7-9-7-6- working specifically on fingers 1 2 and 4

and

-6-7-6-4- working specifically on fingers 1 3 and 4

Again with legato, I usually practice slowly (no tempo) working on sound and economy of motion. Should I be focussing on any different things and practicing at different speeds, why?

In my rhythm changes practice, I figure I can probably practice these exercises three ways.

1. Slowly, looking down at my picking hand when I need exact pickstrokes
2. Slowly, but focussing more on the line itself and not worrying about exact picking
3. Medium to fast tempo. Not as focussed on the pickstrokes, notes, but the line comes through clearly.

Usually I practice the number 1 method. So the line I've been dealing with lately is a simple one:


-8-5---------5-8-6--------------6----
------6----6---------8---------8-----
---------7--------------8-5-8--------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------

etc


Now, I've got written out the picking pattern than I use for this, which is

D U U U D D U, D U U D U D D

and at the points in the line where my pick will not be travelling in the same direction to pick the next note I need to pick, I make sure to stop it at the edge of the string, so for instance, after my initial downpick, I have no more notes that my hand would need to continue in the same direction for, so I make a point of stopping that pickstroke close to the other side of the string. To do this I usually need to look down at my picking hand to ensure I am moving it right. That is how I mainly practice.

Other than that, I just look at the notes and the strokes I need to play and play them and if my hand moves to far, big whoop.

Sometimes I'll practice medium to fast tempo but not often.

Are there any of these practicing techniques that are worth scrapping completely? Some that are worth focussing on more than others. Any feedback is greatly appreciated as I find myself struggling a lot with this. Thanks for reading (if you did)



Somewhere in there try to fit in some time where you just pick up the guitar, play it, and enjoy the act of doing it. Practicing is important, but alot of people in their dire quest to become awesome forget about playing, which is also very important.

Try spending a session like this...

ask yourself "what do I feel like playing"?

play the hell out of it, and have fun.

A good balance between that and focused practice on specific concepts is what I would recommend.
shred is gaudy music
#11
I'll go through your post now and I'll try and answer each question.

I'd strongly suggest that while full-tempo practise isn't that important for technique, you do need to build significant strength and stamina to play well. It's easy to underestimate how much physical development there needs to be. So, if you only have the guitar in your hands 4hrs a day, some of that time needs to be full tempo. If you do 4hrs practice and also randomly jam for an hour, you're probably fine.

The most common Alt picking exercise I usually focus on is this one a guitarist who showed me them, called them Star Trek shifters, as he used to play them while he watched Star Trek

-1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6-7-8-9-10- etc

For my work on picking, does anyone have any other useful exercises, can you direct me to some? Should I work on different types of picking (economy, sweep, at all in my picking time allotment?


That's an okay exercise for finger separation but it's a terrible exercise for picking. You need to drill string crossings extensively. I would suggest you stick to one picking method until you feel confident with it. It seems you would normally be economy picking while improvising (from your example lick) and jazz tends to be pretty arpeggic, so I would probably say, practice how you plan to play.

I have some exercises I would recommend here - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8285311F648D6999&feature=mh_lolz

I would suggest you do all of the first three for 5-10mins each after warming up. Let me know how it goes!

As far as Legato, I usually practice the first two exercises from the John Petrucci Rock discipline book, that is

-7-9-7-6- working specifically on fingers 1 2 and 4

and

-6-7-6-4- working specifically on fingers 1 3 and 4

Again with legato, I usually practice slowly (no tempo) working on sound and economy of motion. Should I be focussing on any different things and practicing at different speeds, why?


You should also be working on dynamics with legato, focusing on a loud clear tone.

Good legato technique requires slow practice and fast, it's extremely dependent on finger strength and stamina, which you just won't build at slow tempos. Spend 10mins a day doing it at a slightly strenuous speed until you feel a bit of burn (not pain!), shake out, rest a few seconds, repeat. Exercise 2 on that playlist should help.

A question I have is how much time should I spend on the slow stuff, the medium stuff, and the fast stuff, and on the different things I should be focussing on when I'm practicing in these different ways


That's a good question. Generally I see it like this -

Slow stuff - for fixing or learning technique, or working on the subtlest details

Medium speed - building up new techniques, or learning challenging repe
rtoire, anything where conscious thought or calculation is needed in tandem with playing (eg, exploring new ways of navigating the fretboard)

Normal speed - maintaining chops, building strength and stamina, working on phrasing

So, you choose the tempo based on the material and your current standard.

If you feel you need to concentrate on the pickstrokes and articulation with your current picking style, then practising it no-tempo is absolutely the correct decision.

In my rhythm changes practice, I figure I can probably practice these exercises three ways.

1. Slowly, looking down at my picking hand when I need exact pickstrokes
2. Slowly, but focussing more on the line itself and not worrying about exact picking
3. Medium to fast tempo. Not as focussed on the pickstrokes, notes, but the line comes through clearly.

Usually I practice the number 1 method.


You're practising licks and improv right? I would definitely suggest using 2 and 3. If you're using this time to build technique as well then a mix of all three would be good, but if the goal is working on improv you should be doing it slow but working on your lines (connecting chord tones, working on your ability to hear and play over the changes) and doing it full speed (that's how you're going to play it, right?).

edit:30bpm is too fast? something might not be right there.


Depending on what you're working at, it can definitely be too fast. I've had to take some stuff down to whole notes at 60bpm to really nail it. Some of those advanced legato coordinations require extreme precision, controlled force and multiple precise actions by fingers. You can't concentrate on it all at once any faster than that.


Hope that helped!
#12
For technique I recommend you find your maximum BPM for each exercise you practice... and by maximum I mean the point where your playing gets sloppy/tense... Then practice at 60% of that speed... working your way up from there...

If you ever hit a speed where your playing gets sloppy/tense move back some BPM and practice at a speed where you are most comfortable at for a session or two before moving back up.
#13
Quote by Freepower
I'll go through your post now and I'll try and answer each question.

I'd strongly suggest that while full-tempo practise isn't that important for technique, you do need to build significant strength and stamina to play well. It's easy to underestimate how much physical development there needs to be. So, if you only have the guitar in your hands 4hrs a day, some of that time needs to be full tempo. If you do 4hrs practice and also randomly jam for an hour, you're probably fine.


I'm all fine to do some full tempo practice on my technique stuff, mostly because the exercises are rather short and simple. I think on something like the rhythm changes lick I wrote out, that's something where I actually need to watch to make sure I'm still playing the right pickstrokes, because it's not programmed sufficiently into my muscle memory yet.

I think maybe if on my tech practice if I do some no tempo practice, slow speed metronome practice, medium speed metronome practice, and than just some full tempo practice.

On the stuff where I have to observe pickstrokes that aren't in a fixed pattern, I don't know if it's going to be as advantageous to go full tempo because I still can't play that pickstroke pattern automatically. If I practice that no tempo, slowly speed metronome and medium speed metronome.

Quote by Freepower

That's an okay exercise for finger separation but it's a terrible exercise for picking. You need to drill string crossings extensively. I would suggest you stick to one picking method until you feel confident with it. It seems you would normally be economy picking while improvising (from your example lick) and jazz tends to be pretty arpeggic, so I would probably say, practice how you plan to play.

I have some exercises I would recommend here - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8285311F648D6999&feature=mh_lolz

I would suggest you do all of the first three for 5-10mins each after warming up. Let me know how it goes!


Thanks for that, I'll check out some different exercises.

Quote by Freepower

You should also be working on dynamics with legato, focusing on a loud clear tone.

Good legato technique requires slow practice and fast, it's extremely dependent on finger strength and stamina, which you just won't build at slow tempos. Spend 10mins a day doing it at a slightly strenuous speed until you feel a bit of burn (not pain!), shake out, rest a few seconds, repeat. Exercise 2 on that playlist should help.


As aforementioned, in my technique practice, because a lot of the exercises are so short and simple I'll definately try to put in some no tempo, slow, medium and fast on the picking and legato especially.

Quote by Freepower

That's a good question. Generally I see it like this -

Slow stuff - for fixing or learning technique, or working on the subtlest details

Medium speed - building up new techniques, or learning challenging repe
rtoire, anything where conscious thought or calculation is needed in tandem with playing (eg, exploring new ways of navigating the fretboard)

Normal speed - maintaining chops, building strength and stamina, working on phrasing

So, you choose the tempo based on the material and your current standard.

If you feel you need to concentrate on the pickstrokes and articulation with your current picking style, then practising it no-tempo is absolutely the correct decision.



You're practising licks and improv right? I would definitely suggest using 2 and 3. If you're using this time to build technique as well then a mix of all three would be good, but if the goal is working on improv you should be doing it slow but working on your lines (connecting chord tones, working on your ability to hear and play over the changes) and doing it full speed (that's how you're going to play it, right?).


It is improv I'm working on, but not in the sense that I'm just improvising over a form like rhythm changes. I'm going through some of the musical ideas in the Abersold book, trying to get them under my fingers and pick. Though I don't know that I'd be able to play them at rhythm changes tempo without stuffing up yet. If I can though I'll try playing it along with a slower backing track.

Quote by Freepower

Depending on what you're working at, it can definitely be too fast. I've had to take some stuff down to whole notes at 60bpm to really nail it. Some of those advanced legato coordinations require extreme precision, controlled force and multiple precise actions by fingers. You can't concentrate on it all at once any faster than that.


Hope that helped!


Definitely, thanks.
#14
One issue I'd take is that you have problems playing rhythm changes and are working on a chris potter solo. First off, transcription is of limited use for developing the ability to improvise. it helps to get a few lines together, but (in my opinion) it is best as an excersize for ear training, and to develop feel (a really ambigious term for the combination of phrasing, articulations and rhythmic acuity/ambiguity) and to speak the jazz language (sounds douchey, but I couldn't think of better way to phrase that idea), moreover, practicing a solo that is already transcribed is only really a useful excersize in reading jazz rhythms/lines--you should work on learning a simpler solo by ear, that will be more applicable to the repetoire you are working on. Like for example maybe learn a clifford brown solo on a blues by ear (pretty easy at half speed, as his lines are really really logical and melodic, and probably more useful to you at the level you are at) and then work on applying some of his dominant seventh vocabulary (which will be better internalized learned by ear then off a page) to the tune. Moreover, if you have technical issues, how the **** are you ever going to play the double time lines in that chris potter solo.
also, I don't know how you practice, but if you can play a bit rhythm changes will get super easy if you practice them like this:
play and sing (using movable do solfege) the roots of all the chords
repeat for 3rds, sevenths, 9ths, 13ths, 11ths and fifths.
play short melodies on the A section that lead from the fifth of one chord to the root of the next (or the opposite), the third of one chord from the seventh of the next (or vice versa) and the 9th of one chord the the 13th of the next.
arpegiate each chord.
run a couple chord/scales for each chord, from root to root, third to third, fifth to fifth and seventh to seventh.
if that doesn't work learn some tunes like Big Nick, Take the A train or the A section to have you met mrs jones (though to be honest, I think medium tempo mrs. jones is easier then way bebop rhythm changes) and some bebop blueses (billies bounce, and nows the time for starters) then come back to them.
finally, if rhythm changes are above your ability, why are you doing chris potter tunes for an exam next year? I love modern jazz, but save those tunes for jamming with your friends, work on easier, more useful tunes like Just Friends, Ornithology, someday my prince will come, Afternoon in Paris, Green Dolphin Street, What is this thing called love, autumn leaves, St. James Infirmary (not a jazz standard per say but easy and fun song), all the things you are and have you met mrs jones. If you want to play something modern go for something like footprints.
one final thought on practicing:
stay away from backing tracks. they are a crutch and a poor substitute for a live band. work on playing solos to a metronome, and make yourself make the harmonic motion of the tune clear in your lines--play as slow as you have to and as few notes as neccesary to do that and keep the form.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Nov 29, 2011,
#15
Quote by tehREALcaptain
One issue I'd take is that you have problems playing rhythm changes and are working on a chris potter solo. First off, transcription is of limited use for developing the ability to improvise. it helps to get a few lines together, but (in my opinion) it is best as an excersize for ear training, and to develop feel (a really ambigious term for the combination of phrasing, articulations and rhythmic acuity/ambiguity) and to speak the jazz language (sounds douchey, but I couldn't think of better way to phrase that idea), moreover, practicing a solo that is already transcribed is only really a useful excersize in reading jazz rhythms/lines--you should work on learning a simpler solo by ear, that will be more applicable to the repetoire you are working on. Like for example maybe learn a clifford brown solo on a blues by ear (pretty easy at half speed, as his lines are really really logical and melodic, and probably more useful to you at the level you are at) and then work on applying some of his dominant seventh vocabulary (which will be better internalized learned by ear then off a page) to the tune.


First of all, thanks for the reply. I do do ear training using a program called Auralia and on the web ww.good-ear.com and Im at a standard where I can identify any iterval pretty much straight away and any standard chord type (Major7, Minor7, Dominant7 (#5, b5, #9 b9, 9 and 13), Minor7b5, etc)

I do struggle identifying polychords, certain voicings, dominant chords with multiple extensions/alterations.

I'll take your suggestion of working on a Clifford Brown solo on a blues, though I don't really see that as a reason to stop working on Chris Potter's solo though.

Quote by tehREALcaptain

Moreover, if you have technical issues, how the **** are you ever going to play the double time lines in that chris potter solo.


Good point, I guess I was just hoping I'd fix my technical issues in tandem with practicing the tune iself

Quote by tehREALcaptain

also, I don't know how you practice, but if you can play a bit rhythm changes will get super easy if you practice them like this:
play and sing (using movable do solfege) the roots of all the chords
repeat for 3rds, sevenths, 9ths, 13ths, 11ths and fifths.
play short melodies on the A section that lead from the fifth of one chord to the root of the next (or the opposite), the third of one chord from the seventh of the next (or vice versa) and the 9th of one chord the the 13th of the next.
arpegiate each chord.
run a couple chord/scales for each chord, from root to root, third to third, fifth to fifth and seventh to seventh.


I can play over rhythm changes, just not very well, especially when they are at fast tempos. I just thought considering they're probably one of the most common chord progressions in jazz that it would make sense for me to work over playing over them.

Quote by tehREALcaptain

if that doesn't work learn some tunes like Big Nick, Take the A train or the A section to have you met mrs jones (though to be honest, I think medium tempo mrs. jones is easier then way bebop rhythm changes) and some bebop blueses (billies bounce, and nows the time for starters) then come back to them.

I find A Train pretty easy to play over, Miss Jones obviously the B section I find a bit hard, but I can get through with some patterns and go-betweens. I can't say I know Big Nick, so I'll work on that

Quote by tehREALcaptain

finally, if rhythm changes are above your ability, why are you doing chris potter tunes for an exam next year? I love modern jazz, but save those tunes for jamming with your friends, work on easier, more useful tunes like Just Friends, Ornithology, someday my prince will come, Afternoon in Paris, Green Dolphin Street, What is this thing called love, autumn leaves, St. James Infirmary (not a jazz standard per say but easy and fun song), all the things you are and have you met mrs jones. If you want to play something modern go for something like footprints.


I'm planning to do it because I like the tune. I know the aforementioned standards and have played Ornithology, Afternoon in Paris, What Is This Thing Called Love and Autumn Leaves for previous exams. I'll learn St. James Infirmary. Again, I just thought rhythm changes were a bit more common than the changes in some of the other tunes you mention.

Quote by tehREALcaptain

one final thought on practicing:
stay away from backing tracks. they are a crutch and a poor substitute for a live band. work on playing solos to a metronome, and make yourself make the harmonic motion of the tune clear in your lines--play as slow as you have to and as few notes as neccesary to do that and keep the form.
#16
Also, apologies for the double post, but how would it be if I modified my tech practice to work on say

Picking
15 Minutes: My chromatic exercise/John Petrucci symmetrical exercise
15 Minutes: Joe Satriani/Steve Vai exercise
15 Minutes: John Petrucci Quintuplet Scale Fragment
15 Minutes Working on 3 note per string scales

Legato
15 Minutes: 1 Guitar Techniques Sticky Exercise
15 Minutes:134 Petrucci Legato Exercise in decaplets
15 Minutes: Flutter Power
15 Minutes: Freepower Left.gp4

and work on say two of those aspects in each caterogy every session?
#17
That approach works well for me; personally I break up a large technical block in the same way. If I'm going to work on my alternate picking for 3 hours or so, I have a bunch of stuff that I divide that block into, some being exercises and some being parts of songs that I'm working to get better at. Occasionally you'll get something that you enjoy and it'll break up the routine a bit, but just let it happen. I just spent an hour playing eight measures of a particular piece from anywhere between 35% and 50% and had tons of fun with it; the hour really felt like 5-10 minutes.

Also, as a side note for your alternate picking: make sure you do the exercises beginning with a downstroke as well as with an upstroke.
Last edited by :-D at Nov 30, 2011,
#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
Somewhere in there try to fit in some time where you just pick up the guitar, play it, and enjoy the act of doing it.
A good balance between that and focused practice on specific concepts is what I would recommend.

I second this. It's good to have a "rest day" a day where you give yourself a break from the serious side and relax. It allows your mind time to assimilate what you have been working on. A free day at least once a week can help. Not really a rest day I guess, you would still play on those days for the same four hours but not as regimented.

Then you are far more disciplined than I am. So whatever you do - best of luck man.

p.s. you going to do some dazily ear training over the holidays???
Si
#20
Quote by 20Tigers
I second this. It's good to have a "rest day" a day where you give yourself a break from the serious side and relax. It allows your mind time to assimilate what you have been working on. A free day at least once a week can help. Not really a rest day I guess, you would still play on those days for the same four hours but not as regimented.

p.s. you going to do some dazily ear training over the holidays???


A rest day for sure, maybe one to many some weeks

I do ear training, but more on a whenever I feel like it/have time