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  1. #1

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    What leads me to this line of thought is this:

    I have been decent at playing scale derived 4th voicings for awhile now.
    Today I tried something different that made me realize that I had developed a form
    of complacency that was holding me back. When I played harmonized melodies with 4th chords,
    I was doing so within the limitations of what was physically comfortable.

    What unmasked this situation for me today was this:
    I was transcribing a few bars at a time from a Oz Noy teaching example improvising from
    a mixolydian note collection. I liked his phrasing and at first thought it would be a fun warmup
    to play at tempo but I quickly got bored and decided instead to harmonize 1 bar at a time with 4th chords.
    This was technically above what I might normally play with this content. Although awkward at first,
    it would quickly improve. So the moral of the story is that this area of skill had plateaued because
    I had ceased to challenge myself. Makes me wonder in what other musical areas I am doing likewise???
    Last edited by bako; 03-17-2019 at 11:59 PM.

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  3. #2

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    ... and on the other hand we have the times when we feel we raise the bar too impossibly high, where the quest for "improvement" becomes a joyless grind for years and years.

    When we try hard, I think it's important to remind ourselves who we are trying to impress, ourselves or others? If the former, then you should never be disappointed with the effort vs reward ratio. If the latter, then you probably always will be.

    Jazz guitar is a bitch, a curse, a cross to bear, and sometimes I wish I would be content to just play what is easy and fun, but the masochist in me says nope.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    ... Jazz guitar is a bitch, a curse, a cross to bear ...
    This.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Jazz guitar is a bitch, a curse, a cross to bear, and sometimes I wish I would be content to just play what is easy and fun, but the masochist in me says nope.
    Yep, but I'd say... I wish I would be content to just play what is easy and fun, and something that people will enjoy listening to.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  6. #5
    where the quest for "improvement" becomes a joyless grind for years and years.
    While frustration and disappointment are frequent visitors, I have never found music to be a joyless grind.
    I doubt I would of kept at it if I did.

    I was however talking about something different in my mind at least.
    There are times that we know something better than we think we do and are capable of doing more than
    we generally ask ourselves to do. Do we need to do more? I don't know, maybe yes, maybe not.
    I thinking learning music is a dance between expansion and consolidation.

  7. #6

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    I've come to see a duality of players when it comes to the jazz family. There are those who strive to find comfort in a niche where they have good company and a respected canon, and there are those who are endlessly restless in the challenge of redefinition and the illusory mastering of the undiscovered. Oh of course they're not mutually exclusive, but there are strong markers of these divergent camps.
    Yeah I know you Bako, that endless road into the undone... you're addicted to it. Ha ha. I'll catch you at a Ben Monder show one of these days :-)
    David

  8. #7

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    I like to have a few goals on the stovetop at once...

    I never really plan it this way, but I seem to have 3 types of goals I set, and I always seem to have one of each floating out there...

    1. The short term, easily attainable "just have to freaking DO IT" goal.

    2. The longer term attainable but it's gonna take some real work goal.

    3. The longer term "pie in the sky" goal which isn't as much of a goal in itself but a measuring stick to which to set other goals...in other words, it helps me form my #1 and #2's...

    So with this, I have a high set bar, but I have some low hanging fruit that can keep me inspired when I'm "not feeling it," and those smaller things hopefully lead towards the larger. If that makes any sense?
    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

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Yep, but I'd say... I wish I would be content to just play what is easy and fun, and something that people will enjoy listening to.
    That's all I ever wanted to do. I never want to push for a change... unless I'm bored.

  10. #9
    I also love playing easy music. I love it so much that I strive to make as many things as possible
    feel easy and natural. Everything I can't do is hard until I can do it.

    I simply discovered that in this situation, I could do more than I imagined.
    Previously, I used 4th family chords mainly for comping and yesterday I used them to follow the contours
    of simple melodic phrases. I was pleasantly surprised that although it was a bit awkward sounding,
    that it felt to be within reach with a bit more practice.

    Regardless whether you like playing easy or challenging music, did you (in the forum generic sense of the word)
    ever have a similar experience, discovering that you can do something that you didn't know you could?
    If so, what factors delayed your awareness of this ability?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    I also love playing easy music. I love it so much that I strive to make as many things as possible
    feel easy and natural. Everything I can't do is hard until I can do it.

    I simply discovered that in this situation, I could do more than I imagined.
    Previously, I used 4th family chords mainly for comping and yesterday I used them to follow the contours
    of simple melodic phrases. I was pleasantly surprised that although it was a bit awkward sounding,
    that it felt to be within reach with a bit more practice.

    Regardless whether you like playing easy or challenging music, did you (in the forum generic sense of the word)
    ever have a similar experience, discovering that you can do something that you didn't know you could?
    If so, what factors delayed your awareness of this ability?
    I think so. Usually the delay comes from the technical point of view. Once technique is sorted out, the sky is limits. I can't think of good example right now, but yeah, I've been there...

    Ok, like just a few years ago I was scared shitless to play a jazz gig where I'd be the lead instrument, like a duo with bass... Now I am perfectly fine with it, and confident.

    But in terms of learning NEW stuff, damn, the last time I learned a new chord voicing was 5 years ago.. I feel there is so much to be done with little that I know in terms of feel, groove, tone etc. So I guess that's what I meant.