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  1. #1

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    Interesting series of articles, this one featuring Ben Eunson

    How Successful Musicians Practice: Guitar, Bass, and Bows – Soundfly

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    practice...a personal time to see where you are with your instrument and music..the technique and the creative ..

    moving voices..chords..intervals..harmonic and melodic relations..

    learn something NEW each day..incorporate it in my playing..in several keys and positions..

    Preparation. Up at 6am then to a coffee house with my staff book..and work away from the guitar .. rip apart chords scales - melodic/harmonic ideas / write them out in one octave eighth notes..then play with the rhythm..displace notes an octave up or down .. see if the line will fit in something Im already working on..then to my studio to see how the ideas work and sound..about two hours of concentrated work..

    then go over tunes and review technique exercises..melodic patterns still give me new ideas and are a daily exercise

    its usually a four to six hours of playing day..if I hear an idea at 3AM I will get up and work that idea around a bit..I play at very low volume and my neighbors are cool..other wise I would play unplugged..

    progress comes in batches sometime..and breakthroughs are still miracles to me. listening to chic corea and ben monder..scofield and many others - a constant source of inspiration..

  4. #3

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    Thanks for sharing the post. It's really very informative!

  5. #4

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    Well i try to play at least one hour a day (I know it isn't a lot but I'm still at high school, and of course I'm not a professional musician). Actually if I organise well my time I'm able to do a lot of things in 1.30 hours, usually from 9.30 to 11 pm every day. The most important thing for me is to listen to jazz before improvising, so it's easier to play in that specific language. What about you guys?

  6. #5

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    I practice first thing in the morning, usually for 90 minutes. I play again later and may actually spend more time playing in the evening---circumstances permitting---than in the early morning, but that morning practice session is the most serious and focused one.

    For the past several years I have spent a large and (often) frustrating amount of time working on my picking. Technical stuff, but foundational. I'm finally getting where I wanted to be, but boy, did it take me a long, long, long time to find out what works for me.

    Now I'm working more on tunes and solos / etudes by Jimmy Raney, Mimi Fox, and Frank Vignola. (These are all much improved because my picking has improved.) When I was a kid and couldn't play that well, I wrote lots and lots of songs. I still play some of them but don't think much about writing tunes (or lyrics) these days. That may come back but it's not on my radar.

    Bruce Forman---a truly great guitar player---has a list of what he calls "mother tunes" that every jazz player needs to know. It's a short list which varies from time to time but it includes a few tunes I haven't learned: Just Friends (which I'm learning now), Green Dolphin Street (which I don't really care for, but I guess I need to learn it anyhow), and It Could Happen To You. Learning those should keep me busy for awhile...

    I expect 2017 to be a year of learning tunes, working on rhythm, and also "graduating" from some exercises / riffs / heads that always gave me trouble but now I can play right and up to tempo. Phew!

  7. #6

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    In my previous life I had a business making things- mostly counters and sinks- out of concrete. I did a really big job in Chris Wood's house. Very cool guy, we talked a lot about music. I never heard him practice much because he wasn't home all the time and I made a lot of noise, but one day he went into the basement and ran scales a million different ways for about 4 hours. He made it sound like music and when I told him how surprised I was to hear him doing that his response was that it's essential.

  8. #7

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    beware the wonders of family life

    i used to do over 10 hours a day....

    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    practice...a personal time to see where you are with your instrument and music..the technique and the creative ..

    moving voices..chords..intervals..harmonic and melodic relations..

    learn something NEW each day..incorporate it in my playing..in several keys and positions..

    Preparation. Up at 6am then to a coffee house with my staff book..and work away from the guitar .. rip apart chords scales - melodic/harmonic ideas / write them out in one octave eighth notes..then play with the rhythm..displace notes an octave up or down .. see if the line will fit in something Im already working on..then to my studio to see how the ideas work and sound..about two hours of concentrated work..

    then go over tunes and review technique exercises..melodic patterns still give me new ideas and are a daily exercise

    its usually a four to six hours of playing day..if I hear an idea at 3AM I will get up and work that idea around a bit..I play at very low volume and my neighbors are cool..other wise I would play unplugged..

    progress comes in batches sometime..and breakthroughs are still miracles to me. listening to chic corea and ben monder..scofield and many others - a constant source of inspiration..

  9. #8

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    Wow, so I guess you guys take it more seriously than me ahahah. You know I've always asked myself if playing more really means improving faster... For example rosenwinkel says he used to play for 8 hours a day when he wasn't berklee, while others (like Moreno) say that you don't have to force yourself. I saw an interview where Moreno said he has always exercised for a maximum of 2 hours...

  10. #9

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    *he was at berklee. My teacher says it's never a good thing when you completely forget to live life playing obsessively, and he's one of those who has done it for a period of his life..chat do you think guys? Could it be a matter of talent too?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppe
    *he was at berklee. My teacher says it's never a good thing when you completely forget to live life playing obsessively, and he's one of those who has done it for a period of his life..chat do you think guys? Could it be a matter of talent too?
    Talent is the ability to love what you do enough to practice hours a day and master it.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunksman
    In my previous life I had a business making things- mostly counters and sinks- out of concrete. I did a really big job in Chris Wood's house. Very cool guy, we talked a lot about music. I never heard him practice much because he wasn't home all the time and I made a lot of noise, but one day he went into the basement and ran scales a million different ways for about 4 hours. He made it sound like music and when I told him how surprised I was to hear him doing that his response was that it's essential.
    Was that Chris Woods the black sax player or Chris Woods the flute player in Traffic?

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Talent is the ability to love what you do enough to practice hours a day and master it.
    Great post. I have always felt that way about it, probably because I didn't have a lot of "natural talent". A large part of talent is fascination with process. Annoys me when kids get impatient with wanting to play something I played and they comment about ...talent, being easy for others, coming "naturally" etc.

    "Who are you to think you should be able to do something without putting in the hours that other people put in to get there?"
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 12-08-2016 at 02:56 PM.

  14. #13

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    Chris Wood- the bass player in Medeski, Martin and Wood (and sometimes Scofield) and The Wood Brothers

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Talent is the ability to love what you do enough to practice hours a day and master it.
    Great line! Someone here once quoted Jesse van Ruller as saying, "Talent is that you just keep doing it, right?" I made a note of it.

  16. #15

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    25 minutes hangin with Tommy Emmanuelle in the most ridiculous guitar shop I have ever seen in Tokyo.

    He makes some poignant comments for the young fella's wanting to have a crack at the big time (if you do not know Tommy grew up living in a bus travelling from town to town performing in outback Australia, no accident that he and his brother are so amazing)


  17. #16

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    ... but the question for the 80% of us that are middle aged kids job, how much and what. What is the priority.

    Personally I do not do anything on technique, I figure transcribing on slow downer and bringing up to speed is learning technique. My practice is:

    1. transcribing - tunes, lines
    2. go over tunes I know
    3. jam on tunes I know
    3. singing and then playing the line
    4. some harmony stuff - lately trying to get head, fingers, ears around augmented scale for the v chord in a blues or work on a tune I cannot yet improve on or chord melody arrangement
    5. if i am having a longer sesh writing a tune

    Every day I jam orally to music.

    If I can get 30 mins per day in consistently happy, but it tends to be an hour hear 90 minutes 4 days later. I try and play at least one line per day but even that is hard time wise. Grhhhh!
    Last edited by gggomez; 12-08-2016 at 05:12 PM.

  18. #17

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    Well I totally understand your view on "talent", but I meant the natural affinity to something.. that's why some people have to study for days while others need 5 minute of practice, I was talking about that
    anyway thank you very much for sharing your ideas with me

  19. #18

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    I have been thinking about how to approach the guitar in terms of practicing for a long time, even when I practice.. It can be frustating experience because there are so many possibilities (at least trying to look at things in the long term). But just last night I had a eureka moment when it comes to knowing what to do with the guitar while learning tunes by ear. It is a very satisfying feeling especially after one ponders so much with no satisfying conclusion.

    After this there is little to no question on what I should or shouldn't be doing, just dive in with no hesitation. I guess it is possible to actually have a firm set goal in mind while learning jazz guitar in this day and age but it will take a very long and hard pondering on some people's part.

    My point I guess is to never stop pondering.. Who knows maybe you'll get to that other point through your own ideas someday. (Keep playing though!)

  20. #19

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    I'm not a particularly successful musician, but here's one of the ways I practice.

    I have IRealPro on my phone.

    I connect it to a headphone amp and blend the guitar in. I generally do it at night, with a solid body guitar using headphones, so it's quiet.

    Then, I pick a tune and I set it for 13 repeats, changing the key by a fourth each chorus. You pick a tempo, a rhythmic feel, an interval for the key changes and you can adjust the mix -- I like to hear more bass and less piano.

    I pick the tune based upon something about it that's hard for me, so I need to practice it.

    For example, lately, I've been playing Gentle Rain. That's because it uses different m7b5 chords and I wanted to drill myself on those chords.
    '
    I play the tune at a normal tempo. Then, I slow it down to the point where I can play it in sixteenths.

    Anytime I can't do something, I'll slow it down and loop the hard section.

    The program (which I paid full price for and I'm not shilling) costs about $10 and, to my ear, has pretty good rhythm parts and the flexibility I want to mix the instruments, change the tempo and edit the chords.

    It has also been a life saver on gigs. I don't know all that many tunes and I suck at transposing chords, but it's rare that anybody calls at tune that IRealPro doesn't have (you have to d/l the tunes, but there's lots available). Find the tune, pick a key and you can read the changes. No melody. I do it on a Samsung 4S. It's small, but it's readable and it's lit up.

    I downloaded some backing tracks set up as exercises, but I prefer just practicing with the tunes.

  21. #20

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    Successful musicians do practice regularly. Time and discipline is important for this. If you practice because you remember you have to or you're bored and have nothing to do, then there is no room for success for you. Zeal should start within you.

    What I did before is asking myself some questions such as: Why should I do this? Do I really want to be a musician? How could I be? There are a lot of questions to ask and these have helped me realize who am I with music. These lead me to spend time regularly with music.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I practice first thing in the morning, usually for 90 minutes. I play again later and may actually spend more time playing in the evening---circumstances permitting---than in the early morning, but that morning practice session is the most serious and focused one.

    For the past several years I have spent a large and (often) frustrating amount of time working on my picking. Technical stuff, but foundational. I'm finally getting where I wanted to be, but boy, did it take me a long, long, long time to find out what works for me.

    Now I'm working more on tunes and solos / etudes by Jimmy Raney, Mimi Fox, and Frank Vignola. (These are all much improved because my picking has improved.) When I was a kid and couldn't play that well, I wrote lots and lots of songs. I still play some of them but don't think much about writing tunes (or lyrics) these days. That may come back but it's not on my radar.

    Bruce Forman---a truly great guitar player---has a list of what he calls "mother tunes" that every jazz player needs to know. It's a short list which varies from time to time but it includes a few tunes I haven't learned: Just Friends (which I'm learning now), Green Dolphin Street (which I don't really care for, but I guess I need to learn it anyhow), and It Could Happen To You. Learning those should keep me busy for awhile...

    I expect 2017 to be a year of learning tunes, working on rhythm, and also "graduating" from some exercises / riffs / heads that always gave me trouble but now I can play right and up to tempo. Phew!
    Do you know the complete list of Bruce Forman essential tunes? It'd be of much interest to me! Thanks thanks