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  1. #1
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    January Self Assessment - things I like about my own playing

    Done a stack of gigs and 2 sessions in January which is weird (nothing now for a month lol) Things coming up, things I like, things I don't like, things I have no idea about.

    Here are just the things I like. The idea here is not to go 'hey I'm great' but rather think, what things do I like in my own playing, and would like to hear more of?

    I started doing this because I heard that's how Walter Becker and Donald Fagan worked with John Herrington in the studio - hey we loved this about that take, could we have more of that? It's a feedback process, not simply empty compliments, but it's purely positive... Pretty cool.

    So I thought I'd post here. Feel free to post your own list of things you like about your playing. Not here to critique other players, but love to hear yours.

    Things I like

    When I do triplets really in time
    When I do floaty chords at the start of a solo or even in the middle, esp in a burning tempo
    When I did some harmonic and let it ring for 4 bars on a tune in G
    When I go back to straight four comping after playing a locked in single note line on a Gypsy Jazz tune
    When I do crotchet triplets
    When I play right in the middle of the drummer’s snare beat & the rhythm guitar sounds cooking
    When I do that tremolo chord glissando thing but come down on the chord change smack in time!
    When I mix up the bop lines with some cool angular chord shape shit
    Diatonic 7ths and 4ths in lines
    When I play 4’s with myself chords/single note lines
    When the amp is SLIGHTLY hairy, usually Spark boost into the Princeton. Tech 21 has a lot of hair, be careful.
    When do a little comp in between lines on heads etc
    When I bend the string ever so slightly sharp slowly & just once on a long note
    When I take my time
    When I use a lot of variety in my lines and ideas
    When I use a lot of dynamics
    When I look like I am having fun while playing, looking up, laughing, sharing moments with the audience & band

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  3. #2
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    I guess everyone here hates everything about their playing then :-)

  4. #3
    Just saw this...

    Hmmm....what do I like about my own playing?

    I don't play too much, and I can play the blues like the blues.

    I can sit down and play music with no accompanyment for my own enjoyment, so I guess I got that going for me...which is nice.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  5. #4
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    Many items on Christian's list are about time feel; I also feel good about my playing when it is right in the pocket, which is not always unfortunately.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I guess everyone here hates everything about their playing then :-)
    not exactly, but I am very self-critical. I guess as soon as I can do a particular thing reasonably well, I immediately want to do it better, so then I don’t really think it’s that good any more!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    not exactly, but I am very self-critical. I guess as soon as I can do a particular thing reasonably well, I immediately want to do it better, so then I don’t really think it’s that good any more!
    What do you hear in your playing that you would like to do more of?

  8. #7
    I keep doing solo guitar stuff at the moment, so I suppose I want to get better integration and more of a natural flow when switching between chords and lines. Actually I think I am slowly improving at this, if only because it’s what I’ve been working on most over the last year or so.

    Apart from that, I want to improve my time, and make my lines more melodic. I was listening to Zoot Sims the other day, and it was just an effortless flow of wonderful melodic phrases. I would love to get nearer to that!

  9. #8
    It would be a lot easier, and a longer list, of things I don't like. But, I guess that's a different thread.

    I'd say the main things I like are these.

    1. I think my playing is easily recognizable.

    2. If a few planets line up, I can communicate emotion with my playing.

    3. I've become a good enough reader to handle big band gigs. Far from perfect, but I can manage.

    4. More often than before, my time is accurate. The horn band charts which voice guitar as another horn really helped. Nothing was as effective as having to read stuff in rhythmic unison with guys who can actually read.

  10. #9
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    I like that I have a musical ear and feel, and regardless of the limits of my technique, I can find a way to sound good and add to the music I am involved in.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    It would be a lot easier, and a longer list, of things I don't like. But, I guess that's a different thread.

    I'd say the main things I like are these.

    1. I think my playing is easily recognizable.

    2. If a few planets line up, I can communicate emotion with my playing.

    3. I've become a good enough reader to handle big band gigs. Far from perfect, but I can manage.

    4. More often than before, my time is accurate. The horn band charts which voice guitar as another horn really helped. Nothing was as effective as having to read stuff in rhythmic unison with guys who can actually read.
    I think most players are critical of their own playing. I know I find it much easier to get annoyed about mistakes, poor timing, missed opportunities, repetitious material, bad technique, poor stage presence, bad tone etc etc, but so does everyone else lol.

    So, I would encourage you to be really specific. Take out a recording of yourself and find something, maybe just a couple of bars, even just one note.

    Then, see if you can do more stuff like that...

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I think most players are critical of their own playing. I know I find it much easier to get annoyed about mistakes, poor timing, missed opportunities, repetitious material, bad technique, poor stage presence, bad tone etc etc, but so does everyone else lol.

    So, I would encourage you to be really specific. Take out a recording of yourself and find something, maybe just a couple of bars, even just one note.

    Then, see if you can do more stuff like that...
    Agreed. I'd add that I started making some progress in this area when I stopped trying to do things that came really hard and decided to focus instead on stuff that I could hear pretty well. So, in effect, I just accepted the way I hear the music and stopped trying to sound like a classic jazz player (I love that stuff, but I knew I'd never be able to do it that way). That allowed me to get a little further.

  13. #12
    Played 6 nights in a hotel gig in Janurary. all 3 hours/3.5 hours long. Only with a double bass player.
    Things I liked - my playing is sound more like bebop than it 6 months ago.

    Did a gig with my own band doing original music, turkish/greek music also in january.
    Things I liked - I can play almost all of them without charts
    It's a great change from playing standards, forces me to try new/different things. Makes me more spontaneous.

  14. #13
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    I'm not the only person who's had a weirdly busy January then.... no idea what's up with that.... Unless of course that's quiet for you Oz? ;-)

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'm not the only person who's had a weirdly busy January then.... no idea what's up with that.... Unless of course that's quiet for you Oz? ;-)
    It was quite a surprise to be honest. Haven't had a gig since the 20th Jan. Got one coming up this Friday though.

  16. #15
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    I've got bugger all in Feb.... Just the Ritzy...

    Starting my MA in Music Education at Trinity later this month though.... First steps on a long (part time) road....

    Also got to write the rest of my album.... So prob just as well...

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I've got bugger all in Feb.... Just the Ritzy...

    Starting my MA in Music Education at Trinity later this month though.... First steps on a long (part time) road....

    Also got to write the rest of my album.... So prob just as well...
    Nice one man.

    I got invited to 3 auditions in america. 2 in NYC and one in Miami. The rest are video auditions so I'm quite excited. I leave on the 19th.

  18. #17
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  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Break a leg!
    thanks man! slightly shitting myself, but mostly excited. First time heading over there!

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