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  1. #1

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    I have been trying to play jazz properly every so many years.
    It never worked out.

    I switched to piano a bit, as I got sick of the idea of playing alone (no people to play with in 2000 people town).
    Then I switched back to guitar as I got sick of forgetting the classical pieces I had in my muscle memory (I don't read music fast enough).

    One of my problems is that I only love the most super-advanced music.
    Holdsworth, di Meola, Shawn lane. Liszt, Scriabin, Sorabji.

    All I basically did for years was pick up the guitar every couple a months and see if I could still race through the major scale.
    And see if I still knew all the seventh chord voicings with the roots on the E and A strings.


    I tried to play changes using the arpeggio method. I think I still have them half memorized. I tried memorizing the degrees of all the notes and visualize the scale patterns change.

    Sick with memorizing stuff, I today tried to just play changes by ear. I did ear training years ago. I don't hear it (anymore). I remember when starting out, I couldn't hear at all what key I was in. Now if something is diatonic, I quickly find at least 5 or 6 of the notes I need. Usually it is the 4th I sometimes still have trouble with (Ionian vs Lydian).
    I remember that (in)famous taped recording of Pat Metheny giving a private lesson, where he says he can hear all notes over all chords, except the flat 9(?). I have no idea if I can hear anything. I remember doing ear training over and over, to the point where I could finally recognize the minor and major third in a chord. That was hard. For months, I would always pick major if the notes went up to pitch relative to the interval I practiced just before that one.
    I tried hard to get IV V, I V IV and I ii V I memorized so that every song I ever heard, I would instantly recognize the chord progression, without effort. It never worked out. I should have been able to force myself to that level, but it never happened.


    I also cannot play chords or simple song. Ask me to play a song. I can't, because I don't have any memorized as I don't care for them. At the start I took guitar lessons every week. Every month or so I would learn some random pop song. I had no love for those songs, but I practiced them over and over. Every one in a while, I still hear one on the radio and I remember playing it over and over.

    Strum chords, comping, I can't do it at all. All I can do is play my seventh chord voicing, plucking them with my fingers on the beat, then muting the strings and waiting for the next beat while I move my chord shape.

    Now, I live in a university town. I know someone who plays jazz. He plays trumpet. I am thinking about asking him to play together someday. I have never played with another musician.
    I think he will be impressed when he sees me move fast and cleanly though the major scale.
    I think he will be baffled when he learns I can't do basic stuff like accompany him.


    I can't go though soulless exercise schemes anymore. I just want to play and have fun. Just improvise, and memorize nothing.
    I am very busy and will be more busy the coming years.

    I look at Youtube where people explain their way to play chords or their way to improvise. They are all different.

    I have read like 10-15 books on classical music theory. I've read Schoenberg's treatise on harmony, though I must have forgotten everything. I tried to write sonata, write 3, 4, 5 voice fugue's while following proper voice leading rules. I tried to improvise chords on piano. Now that is hard! For every chord, the fingering changes. You have to memorize all notes of all chords and find them without thinking.
    At least on guitar I can forget theory, play random chords, and I somehow select some that don't sound terrible together.

    So All The Things You Are was my favourite jazz standard to practice playing changes on. When I load a backing track on youtube, and start in the proper key, I just try to focus on what chords they play and what 3rd and 7ths I need to hit. I can't do it. Can't hear it. Sometimes I think I hit the right notes, but I have no idea if I am right or wrong. Pretty sure they play extensions on those chords, move into chords chromatically and whatever else spicy stuff they use to enrich the backing track.


    I guess I am looking for advice, but I am sure everyone has something different to say.
    I guess I have a very strange brain when it comes to music. In school, they tried to teach everyone a bit of music. I was never able to play 3 notes correctly in a row.
    But now, select a classical piece from the 150 GB of music I once had, and I can sing the melody. Even if I haven't heard that piece in years.
    Can I play something that normal people relate to? It is very difficult. I have to force myself into a simplistic mindset. All I want to do is play like Shawn Lane. Which is basically why I quit. What I play sounds like complete trash. I can't even do a proper vibrato. One that has a constant amplitude and constant period. (then again, neither can 70% of all famous guitar players). I guess I am extremely critical.
    For years, I didn't touch my guitar. Instead, I tried singing and whistling. No mechanical barrier or memorized scale patterns. Whatever I heard/wanted to produce, that came out. I tried to get that way on guitar, trying to sing what I heard and play what I sang. Never worked out. When I didn't touch my guitar for months I was even incapable to predict what it was going to sound like what pattern my fingers where making. Because that is how I play. Patterns dictate what sounds I am going to make. Not the other way around.


    So much for my 15 year journey through music. I had and will continue to have a lot of fun, but also lot's of frustrations.
    Last edited by Almeisan; 04-30-2016 at 09:56 AM.

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  3. #2

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    Hey it's good that you went into so much detail because it's not hard to identify why you are not making progress.
    Here is the first question you will need to ask yourself before any advice will help. Are you willing to do "unpleasant" and structured work to get better? Because that is as simple as it is. You can keep going about it this way for a lifetime and never get better.

  4. #3
    When I was still serious, all I did was structured practicing. In my own practicing, I never learned a song or a piece, ever. And I played for years. All I did was practice chord voicings, scales and arpeggio's and play with a metronome. Then again, paying over changes was never the main goal.
    I would loop a ii V I and try to memorize the arpeggio patterns in the scale for each chord. Stuff like that.
    Last edited by Almeisan; 04-30-2016 at 10:01 AM.

  5. #4

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    Here is the problem, a lot of the things you are skipping over or dismissing are fundamental to being any kind of player. To illustrate very simply why I doubt your practice is or has been structured is because you say you can't strum a chord. Now it is possible you are physically incapable but since you take pride in how fast you can play a scale and can still pick the chord it sounds a lot more like you have not put in the time and effort every guitarist has to put in somewhere at the start. Learning how to hold a guitar so you can reach the strings without muting others.

    Your post is genuinely littered with things that if you read them should be red flags even to yourself.

  6. #5

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    If you don't learn to play songs what do you expect to be able to play?

    Practicing voicings, scales and arpeggios for years without actually learning to play songs is much like buying a hammer and saw, driving nails into boards, cutting them in two then wondering why you haven't built a house.

    Chords, scales and arpeggios are tools, not music.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    One of my problems is that I only love the most super-advanced music.
    Holdsworth, di Meola, Shawn lane. Liszt, Scriabin, Sorabji.
    Personally, Al DiMeola or Shawn Lane leave me cold, and I think Liszt and Scriabin are composers who are largely of interest to pianists. But that's my personal taste :-)

    I suppose I am not 'super-advanced.'

    Anyway, if you can't play something normal people can relate to, may I suggest you need to start thinking about rhythm in a serious way.

    Also play with other musicians, as much as you can. That's literally the most important thing... Oh and be open to constructive criticism.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-30-2016 at 01:14 PM.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    When I was still serious, all I did was structured practicing. In my own practicing, I never learned a song or a piece, ever. And I played for years. All I did was practice chord voicings, scales and arpeggio's and play with a metronome. Then again, paying over changes was never the main goal.
    I would loop a ii V I and try to memorize the arpeggio patterns in the scale for each chord. Stuff like that.

    Obviously when you start you need to learn the basic skills, but stereotyped practice can go on for too long.

    Practicing serves one purpose alone IMO - to prepare you for the gig.

    When you don't have gigs you need to practice the things you need to have together to have a gig. This can depend on the tradition you belong to - the area of music you wish to become conversant in.

    To play a gig, you generally need to know the songs for the gig (unless you are a brilliant sight reader of course.)

    That's how I learned. (I also practiced loads.) I was out there with 4 or 5 chord shapes and a pentatonic box shape... And I got better.

    I'm always amazed that there is such a thing as a guitar player who sits in their bedroom and practices for hours on their own. The fun bit was always getting together with other people and being a BAND.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-30-2016 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I'm always amazed that there is such a thing as a guitar player who sits in their bedroom and practices for hours on their own.
    The thing that amazes me is discovering that there are enormous numbers of people in the world who spend years in their bedrooms practicing scales and exercises who think that they will one day awaken to find that they have become a musician. Nay, a great musician! Hope springs eternal.

  10. #9

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    I did the sit and practice for hours thing, but I was also 15 and didn't have a girlfriend. But I practiced TUNES. I figured if I lacked the social skills to talk to girls I could at least impress them by being a human jukebox.

    It actually only impressed other dudes like me, but hey...

    Anyway, scales. What can you liken them to...I dunno...pitching in baseball? Yeah, there's a ton of different pitches you can throw...guys might know HOW to throw a bunch of 'em...but then the greats master two or three and bam, you're out.

    I dunno, I like analogies

  11. #10

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    I believe that, while one can learn from many different methods and approaches, the most important practice issues are

    - learning the major and minor diatonic scales as a first step along with learning notation.

    - orienting practice around real songs. One can fashion exercises from the elements of a song. But the essential part of learning chord voicing is within each song and so is theory. Studying in the abstract compartmentalizes everything too often. Without working toward something musical and thought out, some of the incentive is gone.

    - take advantage of multimedia tools, including YT and Transcribe. I actually don't have Transcribe currently, but at this point I transcribe mostly by ear. If I could be casual with my expenses, I would have a unit by Monday. And somewhere along the line if one is serious, I think you benefit by using notation software. Teaches you something that is hard to learn in any other way.

    - get in the habit of recording yourself or use BIAB or Sibelius to construct arrangements. Takes you deeper (with a teacher if need be) than most anything else, short of playing live jazz regularly. Simple example - carefully play a single note version over a metronome of the melody of the song you are working on or have the teacher do it. Then you can rehearse over that recording, slowing it down if you need to as well.

  12. #11

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    "you got to learn your scales"

    I've never heard anybody adding "... to be ready for you in any key just by ear"
    You have to build bridges between your personal "music engine", ears and fingers.


    Also, when you get frustrated instead of getting pleasantly tired, thats bad. There is always another way.

  13. #12

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    A regular here on the forum and a well respected player has on numerous occasions suggested - " learn forms" . I have been studying sometimes seriously more often casually scales/arps/enclosures, approaches/modes etc etc for a while waiting for the door to open to .............

    Learn forms he said - so I tried - I learned the heads to tunes I enjoyed - starting with one which led to another which led to ......

    Blues in the closet
    Blue Monk
    Chitlins con carne
    Now see how you are
    Blues for charlie
    Midnight blue
    Wavy Gravy
    Blues in Maudes Flat

    Funny thing happened I started noticing that there were connections/structures/sounds that repeated and not always in the same place or way and started to see that the "form"- in my case jazz blues had some basic building blocks that could be rearranged to create a variety of tunes.

    Lo and behold I went from being able to carry zero tunes from start to finish to feeling comfortable with 8.

    Ok what about all that scale/arp etc stuff - suddenly I have a context of 8 tunes which I can use as a framework to play things against - things like melodic phrases based on changes /or rhythmic ideas that play against the melody /comping approaches that are supportive of other players /chord subs that suggest or imply other directions etc etc. I am now exploring all of the above in the context of the tunes mentioned.

    Lots of baby steps lead to the occasional giant leap that leads to more baby steps and on and on ......

    hope that helps - I was about to say - trust the intersection of good advice and your instinct and it will work out - but that sounds like a bit...............)

    Will
    Last edited by WillMbCdn5; 04-30-2016 at 10:56 PM.

  14. #13

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    For years I got stuck in the same level, same things, pentatonics, technique, chords etc. but i really didn't knew what to do with them. There was a moment when I didn't even wanted to play anymore...until:

    1) I got a good teacher who guided me through the learning process (this makes everythig a lot easier...but it has to be a good one)

    2) I started enjoying the process, taking little steps like: how to play rhythm properly, playing the arpeggios through the tune or really learning and understanding the changes and melody of the standards I like, etc.


    After a while I started to realise that everything is connected and every time it's easier to learn a new tune or a new voicing. In some way the fear became mistery in a way that makes you wanna investigate.

  15. #14
    I guess I'll start with simply accompanying that trumpet player. It will be just us as a due. I need to do both the harmony and the rhythm. All I am used is comping as a guitar player trying to badly copy offbeat comping of interesting rhythm. Instead, I have to get a groove going, I guess. Not sure what to copy for that. I can't do the gypsy jazz strumming, right?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    I guess I'll start with simply accompanying that trumpet player. It will be just us as a due. I need to do both the harmony and the rhythm. All I am used is comping as a guitar player trying to badly copy offbeat comping of interesting rhythm. Instead, I have to get a groove going, I guess. Not sure what to copy for that. I can't do the gypsy jazz strumming, right?
    Start with simple elements. Perhaps these 4:

    Straight four (NOT gypsy jazz le pompe - just an even strum on the beat, nice and neat),
    Charleston (1 and 2+),
    Reverse Charleston (3+ and 1)
    Pushes (2+, 4+)

    Practice these and lock them down at different tempos. Concentrate in particular on the off beat placement - the ands. Recording yourself is a good way to work on this.

    Listen to players (pianists & guitarists) comp for other musicians, especially guys like Wes and Red Garland who had a pattern based, simple but swinging style.

    Straight 4's and charleston are mainstays for duo playing. Just keep it steady and simple at first.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by monk
    The thing that amazes me is discovering that there are enormous numbers of people in the world who spend years in their bedrooms practicing scales and exercises who think that they will one day awaken to find that they have become a musician. Nay, a great musician! Hope springs eternal.
    I think it comes down to perspective and expectations. As a 41 yr old full time professional with a family, I have the time to only play in my basement... there is no way I can play with others right now. I still call myself a "guitar player", but know that I am missing a large part of the experience.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  18. #17

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    Paul,
    You may have misunderstood what I meant. I was referring to people who put all their effort into playing and learning scales and exercises to the exclusion of learning songs.

    Scales, etudes, picking exercises all have their place but they are only learning tools not music. Repertoire is King. I was just pointing out that there are huge numbers of people who get lost in scales and exercises and lose sight of the true goal.

    Regards,
    Jerome

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    ... I also cannot play chords or simple song. Ask me to play a song. I can't, because I don't have any memorized as I don't care for them. ...
    It's difficult for me to imagine how a person can love music and not care for songs. A first impression from your OP is that you are drawn to music more by the technical challenge than from a love of melody and harmony. Forgive me if I'm off base -- just trying to help.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    It's difficult for me to imagine how a person can love music and not care for songs. A first impression from your OP is that you are drawn to music more by the technical challenge than from a love of melody and harmony. Forgive me if I'm off base -- just trying to help.
    Me too, although I once had a student who was really into sounds, video game sound track type stuff, just changes and how to play over them etc. He had no interest in anything which you might call a song. Never understood that...

  21. #20
    I am sorry if I worded what I said a bit over the top.

    I can play many inversions of chords. I can compose a chord progression that modulates nicely through different keys and have some thematic material that's smartly transformed stated in different keys.
    Give me a jazz standard, and I can play the chords, a staccato plucking on the first beat.

    But if I tell someone: "Hey I play guitar." and they say: "Ooh, play me a song." Then I can't. There's songs I like, which is a new thing for me I guess. But I'd be bored out of my mind learning their chords.

    Any difficult strumming or picking chords note for note in more complex patterns note for note, I never wanted to learned that. Rhythm-wise, I used to do metal riffs, but I forgot that too.



    I never learned songs because I love harmony and melody. There's just more harmony and melody in pieces that are not songs. Songs are for singing or dancing. Not for virtuosos. That was my attitude.
    Last edited by Almeisan; 05-23-2016 at 08:12 PM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan

    I never learned songs because I love harmony and melody. There's just more harmony and melody in pieces that are not songs. Songs are for singing or dancing. Not for virtuosos. That was my attitude.
    you've got the chops
    you just gotta work out what you wanna do

    I think what I'm trying to do is quite like singing and dancing
    mind you I'm no virtuoso !

    but for me songs are totally IT

  23. #22

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    tell me a standard you like ...

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    I never learned songs because I love harmony and melody. There's just more harmony and melody in pieces that are not songs. Songs are for singing or dancing. Not for virtuosos. That was my attitude.
    Songs ARE harmony and melody. What do you think "virtuosos" play, if not songs?

  25. #24

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    So you'd like a giant oak tree in your yard but you'd rather not plant a seed or sapling, water, nurse and prune it for years, you just want the giant beautiful tree to be there today?

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by monk
    Songs ARE harmony and melody. What do you think "virtuosos" play, if not songs?
    I never listened to songs. And I had like 200 GB of music. The only songs in there must be a set of Schumann songs I never listened and I guess there was at least one Allan Holdsworth song in there, which I always skipped.

    When I say 'song', I mean 'song'.

  27. #26

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    IME, the vast majority of young musicians who are not good enough to enter club entertainment scene, either as an all around cover band or genre specific cover/ original, share the stance of our OP.

    I blame it on Miles. Even though he could not possibly anticipate, he could have assumed, unfortunately, he was vain and loved drugs and money a bit too much.

    The other part, minority, goes into denial about musicianship and pretend intellectual superiority in making own stupid genre-less music. However, those really talented and persistent, they can really make it BIG, with lots of luck.

    I blame it on The Beatles.
    Last edited by Vladan; 05-24-2016 at 08:44 AM.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    I never listened to songs. And I had like 200 GB of music. The only songs in there must be a set of Schumann songs I never listened and I guess there was at least one Allan Holdsworth song in there, which I always skipped.

    When I say 'song', I mean 'song'.
    Ok Almeisan ....
    what kind of thing do you want play ?
    or who do you wanna play like
    Django
    Pass ?
    Wes ?
    Metheny ?

    more modern style maybe ?

  29. #28

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    Yea... playing jazz is not really about playing a song or tune... It's not a written tradition for the most part.

    To be able to play in a jazz style you need to understand some basic compositional organization... ( if you made it through Schoenbergs theory of harmony...his structural Functions of harmony would have been better, anyway that should be easy), and there is no way around not have a high level of musicianship... skills on a instrument. Basic comping and melodic playing will not get you very far. It's not about what you have memorized... it's about what you can create. And you either need a well trained ear or some understandings of how jazz is organized to make it work.

    I grew up on Bartok and Scriabin as a kid

  30. #29
    I have studied from both Schoenberg books, but don't test me on it. I was a teenager back then and it is years ago.

    I agree with your ideas. To me jazz is about improvising through chord changes.

    Dodging the discussion about that aspects of what one improvises is memorised, I think a combination of memorization and ear are needed.
    I can't say I can play what I hear in my head, not a bebop jazz line. But I can sing what I play. Though, I feel here that when I do that I play that what I know I can sing. It's like I play less freely when I sing along, though I guess that's only natural.

    I feel both sides need to come together, ear and memorization.

    But right now the focus is on accompining a solist and taking a bunch of jazz standard chords and playing the chords and mixing them up with some licks so that it sounds like something that can stand on it's own.
    And focussing on some other rough edges I have when it comes to basic musicality.

    As for me recording myself, I will, when I get a guitar at my week residence and when my recording equipment actually starts functioning.

  31. #30

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    I like complex music too. One of the great things about jazz is you can take the simplest tune (say, Autumn Leaves) and make it as complex as you want.

    Even the best modern classical players had to start with "Three Blind Mice".

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    I never listened to songs. And I had like 200 GB of music. The only songs in there must be a set of Schumann songs I never listened and I guess there was at least one Allan Holdsworth song in there, which I always skipped.

    When I say 'song', I mean 'song'.

    Is there specific Jazz you like that you can envision playing?

  33. #32
    Not on the short term. But long term I'd like to play something along the lines of Chick Corea stuff, stuff Metheny did with his trio, and stuff like Pat Martino.
    But also stuff like Sonny Rollins I like.

  34. #33
    As others asked, and I kind of have a recording setup now, this is how I play at my worst. One take recording, trying to go by ear, just noodling away.



    I had to boost my mic sound like crazy, for some reason, so there's static all over. And the software froze halfway, so it just stops halfway.

    You can hear I get lost at times, then chromatically move to and find chord tone to end on. You can hear me hesitate or mess up the rhythm sometimes. You can hear me start licks with the same fast picked rhythm over and over.

    The mild vibrato I apply is pointless also. Sounds bad. But it's a reflex I feel.

    When you remove the chords from the backing track, there's no shimmer left of what the chord progression is supposed to be.

    But hey, that's how a former hard rock guitarist turned failed classical pianist turned jazz guitarist sounds.


    Only posting this as it was requested.

  35. #34

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    I probably should bite my tongue, but I think your playing would improve a lot if you'd learn melodies to a bunch of songs -- oops, I mean tunes. I'm pretty sure the musicians you most admire started there.
    Also, study how the melody notes and phrasing mate with the underlying chord tones. To make good melody (including improvised solos) I feel one needs to be immersed in it.
    Last edited by KirkP; 06-13-2016 at 12:13 AM.

  36. #35
    I tried practicing in a different manner and recorded this as I was practicing:



    I don't know if it sounds better than what I did before. For some reason my new Eastman 185 sounds like crap played through the my Marshall DSL401. (think the previous thing was recorded on an old cheap Washburn with no intonation and .9 strings). Probably the mic and the mixing board, that is giving me a shock when I touch it at the wrong spot, are the cause. Probably also why I get so much hiss/static.

    I think trying to hit chord notes make me hesitate to the point where my already iffy time sounds even worse.
    When I am playing it seems that what I am doing is ok or acceptable. But when I listen to the recording, it is bad.

  37. #36

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    These types of threads seem to come up often.

    People take up the guitar and/or jazz and become lost in the minutiae.

    Starting Again with jazz Guitar-220px-lostinthefunhouse-jpg

    Instead of simply focusing on the basics (melody, chords, rhythm), people get entranced by all the details.

    The details will generally reveal themselves over time as needed. No need to learn 10 different scales or 300 chord grips or a zillion arpeggios. Instead learn them as needed.

    >

    "All I want to do is play like Shawn Lane."

    What? I just wanted to be as smart as Einstein or as good looking as George Clooney. You know, simple stuff.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    Not on the short term. But long term I'd like to play something along the lines of Chick Corea stuff, stuff Metheny did with his trio, and stuff like Pat Martino.
    But also stuff like Sonny Rollins I like.
    You've got to walk before you can run. That's advanced stuff and its going to take years to get there. The advice you've gotten here is pretty good, so I don't really have much to add. Learn tunes. Transcribe solos.

    W/r/t tunes/songs/pieces, etc. I'm no longer a huge fan of vocal music. I used to be, but now I feel like the lyrics distract me from the music. I can appreciate a great singer like Sarah Vaughn or Tony Bennett, but when I want to get deep into the music, I can't be processing words as well. Having said that, whenever I learn a tune, I always like to learn the lyrics as well (if it has lyrics). The reason for that is that it gives me something to anchor the melody to. Like, for example, the D# in the bridge of Stella is on the word "great." It helps me to know that for some reason that I don't quite understand.

    Another thing to bear in mind is that classical composers used the melodies of folk songs all the time. The funeral march in Mahler's first symphony is based on Frere Jaques. The "Shaker Melody" in Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" is "The Simple Gift" ('Tis a gift to be simple / 'tis a gift to be plain...). So the lines aren't as sharp as they might seem. My knowledge of classical music isn't terribly deep, so those are pretty well known examples, but that stuff is all over the place.

  39. #38
    You mean I only play the actual vocal melody over the chords? And then very very slowly deviate from that?

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Almeisan
    You mean I only play the actual vocal melody over the chords? And then very very slowly deviate from that?
    That wouldn't be a bad place to start.

  41. #40

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    Greetings everyone I'm going to come back from a long hiatus (months) of not playing my guitar to playing it so my question to you all is how do I organize my practice session? I'm looking at a 6 hour practice by myself with 3 more hours of playing with others. My primary focus is to get good enough to play jazz gigs.

    Now I have played jazz gigs before and with other people but that was a long time ago (around 2012-2013 ish?) and I was remarkably terrible, people didn't seem to mind though but whatever lol! I'm here to change all that though so I've have been looking for a Tunes oriented practice schedule. I have been with a few teachers in the past but only one thought about a practice schedule and thats after I asked, I forgot about it since it was a long time.

    I've heard lots of times that to get good I got to learn hundreds of tunes. I can learn the melodies, chords and soloes by ear from recordings but improvisation has always been my biggest weakness.
    And I'm guessing that to know a tune you got to be able to improvise it well as well. I don't know why but trying to build a practice schedule centered around tunes and improvisation seems pretty tricky to me..
    I guess I can make a sample now and see if you people can probably make adjustments or think its okay

    Tune 1 - Autumn Leaves (1 hour)
    Learn Melody - 15 Minutes
    Learn Chords -15 Minutes
    7th Chord Arppegios on tune - 10 Minutes
    Transcribe a short lick and experiment with it - 10 minutes
    Improvise over chord changes alongside backing track - 10 minutes

    Tune 2 - Blue Bossa (1 hour)

    Tune 3 - Anthropology (1 hour)

    Tune 4 - 26-2 (1 hour)

    Tune 5 - Straight no Chaser (1 hour)

    Tune 6 - So What (1 hour)

    The rest of the tunes follow through the same list as autumn leaves. I already know the melody and chords for instance (for autumn leaves). So the last three things 7th chord arpeggios, transcribe a short lick, and improvise chord changes are 20 minutes each. If I manage to sound good improvising autumn leaves then I replace autumn leaves with a new different tune for the next day, if I don't sound good improvising it then I keep working on autumn leaves the next day while working on the rest of the tunes today.

    Is this a good tunes oriented practice schedule? Anything to otherwise specify? Maybe make it better? I might post videos later in the meantime for progress who knows
    Last edited by jazznylon; 02-01-2019 at 04:47 AM.

  42. #41

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    Oh and I guess there might be an issue of forgetting tunes as well! In that case I might replace Tune 6 with just an hour of playing tunes that I already went over. Just to keep my mind fresh

  43. #42

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    Everyone practices different, but I find I can’t really practice two or three things any given week.

    If I want to learn a tune I have to keep coming back to it over and over.

  44. #43

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    The time frame you allocated for the tunes seem unrealistic to me. The more you internalize a tune, the easier it gets to improvise over it. There is a difference between knowing what the chords are to a tune and knowing the chords of the tune. Same goes for the melody.
    I highly recommend David Baker's How to Play Bebop BOOK 3. That book is completely dedicated to how to learn tunes. He also a has a list of tunes he recommends to be learned over the first 6 months.
    In his learning technique you spend a week per tune. And believe me a week is quite optimistic for some of the tunes in the way he shows how to learn them.

  45. #44

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    That looks like an awful lot to take in in one session . Are you sure that's sustainable ?

    As far as practice goes generally , I would advise to start with what you know and expand a bit from there . I think of learning music as being a bit like moving to a new city that you don't know and learning to find your way around . You start off with the simple neccessities ( home , work , shops , pub/church ) and as you repeat those daily , start to discover new areas and how they connect . If you just start walking the streets at random you end up lost .

    I find it useful to make a distinction between , and keep seperate , the different types or functions of practicing -

    1-Cognition/theory
    2-Drilling/muscle memory
    3-Praxis/playing music

  46. #45

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    Incidentally , I learned 26-2 many years ago and I have never known it to be called . I suggested it at a jam session once and was met with blank looks . Shame , it's a great tune .

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    The time frame you allocated for the tunes seem unrealistic to me. The more you internalize a tune, the easier it gets to improvise over it. There is a difference between knowing what the chords are to a tune and knowing the chords of the tune. Same goes for the melody.
    I highly recommend David Baker's How to Play Bebop BOOK 3. That book is completely dedicated to how to learn tunes. He also a has a list of tunes he recommends to be learned over the first 6 months.
    In his learning technique you spend a week per tune. And believe me a week is quite optimistic for some of the tunes in the way he shows how to learn them.
    How am I supposed to learn hundreds of tunes if one tune would take a week at best to learn? That would take years! But I guess I could look into the 3rd Volume thanks for recommending.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznylon
    How am I supposed to learn hundreds of tunes if one tune would take a week at best to learn? That would take years! But I guess I could look into the 3rd Volume thanks for recommending.
    It sometimes takes years to really learn a tune.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler
    Is this 6 hours of practice a day?
    Yeah plus 3 for playing with others so 9 hours in total. Almost like a regular job

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft
    That looks like an awful lot to take in in one session . Are you sure that's sustainable ?

    As far as practice goes generally , I would advise to start with what you know and expand a bit from there . I think of learning music as being a bit like moving to a new city that you don't know and learning to find your way around . You start off with the simple neccessities ( home , work , shops , pub/church ) and as you repeat those daily , start to discover new areas and how they connect . If you just start walking the streets at random you end up lost .

    I find it useful to make a distinction between , and keep seperate , the different types or functions of practicing -

    1-Cognition/theory
    2-Drilling/muscle memory
    3-Praxis/playing music
    Yeah I mean I've sustained far worse when it came to practicing so I think I can manage this one pretty well. I've yet to try it out though as I'm looking for feedback so we'll see how it goes. Interesting post! Food for thought

  51. #50

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    i think it’s valuable to do a chord-melody arrangement
    of the tune you’re working on too

    don’t take on too much at once tho
    learning one tune helps with learning another ...