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  1. #1
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    Jazz Guitar Practice Session

    Hi everyone! I'm new around here..

    Got some background in classical guitar and trying to get into this gigantic universe called Jazz.

    What should a complete practice session include? Some scales, chords, ear training and transcribing daily?

    Or should I break them into different days of the week to attack them more focusedly?

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by achor24 View Post
    What should a complete practice session include? Some scales, chords, ear training and transcribing daily?

    Or should I break them into different days of the week to attack them more focusedly?
    Focusedly yes, when just starting with a completely new thing. But when it's kinda sort of OK already, then always try to mix them up. Like when learning some new chord types - always bundle this with a proper scale... or arpeggio. And vice versa. There's very little point of playing 30 minutes some alt pattern and just only that. The real learning is about trying to connect them with stuff you already know.

    But if getting into jazz for reals, then those sessions should be tune-centric. Pick your tunes, find out what they require, focus on those. It might be overwhelming but as you already said very nicely - it's a universe

  4. #3
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    Jerry Coker's book "How to Practice Jazz" seems to answer your questions. Practice activities are described and sample schedules are suggested. Really an eye opener for someone who starts walking the jazz road.

    Some others of his books might also be of interest later on
    Last edited by mhch; 03-18-2019 at 02:49 AM.
    Perfection is in the Details, but Perfection isn't a Detail (Leonardo da Vinci)

  5. #4
    Tunes.

    Learn tunes.

    Everything starts there: Melody, Chords, Arpeggios, Scales, Rhythm, Transcription

    Make tunes the foundation of your practice.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  6. #5
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    I also came from a Classical Guitar background. The good news is that you are waay up the learning curve on fingerstyle playing. This is a great start when playing "chord melodies", the equivalent of any classical piece for guitar. There are two areas that I focus on every practice session: chords and improv. Both of these are alien to CG. Every chord melody needs....well chords of course. I find the jazz standards I like and work on stringing the chords together smoothly until I am ready to start interjecting the melody line. Some of these chords are real fingerbusters. Fortunately if you can count to 13 you can easily assimilate their construction and good old muscle memory will soon help get the shapes into your fingers. This is the foundation you will need for further studies. Ask yourself if you also want to play just melody with a backing track, loop pedal or as part of group. If that is the case, you will need to practice playing melody over chord changes. There are tons of materials on the web and in book form to help. Improvising is the hardest concept for me. After years of being admonished for changing even a single note in a classical piece, in jazz you are encouraged to change EVERY note. Freedom! Use it wisely.

    Eric
    2002 Gibson L5 CES

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhch View Post
    Jerry Coker's book "How to Practice Jazz" seems to answer your questions. Practice activities are described and sample schedule are suggested. Really an eye opener for someone who starts walking the jazz road.
    Thank you! I will definitely take a look at that book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbler View Post
    Tunes.

    Learn tunes.

    Everything starts there: Melody, Chords, Arpeggios, Scales, Rhythm, Transcription

    Make tunes the foundation of your practice.
    That's exactly what I've been thinking to start with! Have read so many people doing only technique and exercises but getting lost when trying to apply them to a tune.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cincy2 View Post
    I also came from a Classical Guitar background. The good news is that you are waay up the learning curve on fingerstyle playing. This is a great start when playing "chord melodies", the equivalent of any classical piece for guitar. There are two areas that I focus on every practice session: chords and improv. Both of these are alien to CG. Every chord melody needs....well chords of course. I find the jazz standards I like and work on stringing the chords together smoothly until I am ready to start interjecting the melody line. Some of these chords are real fingerbusters. Fortunately if you can count to 13 you can easily assimilate their construction and good old muscle memory will soon help get the shapes into your fingers. This is the foundation you will need for further studies. Ask yourself if you also want to play just melody with a backing track, loop pedal or as part of group. If that is the case, you will need to practice playing melody over chord changes. There are tons of materials on the web and in book form to help. Improvising is the hardest concept for me. After years of being admonished for changing even a single note in a classical piece, in jazz you are encouraged to change EVERY note. Freedom! Use it wisely.
    Eric
    Thank you Eric! Yes, our fingerstyle is like a gift from heaven when moving to another musical genre, but we have to break free from the cage of doing everything so respectfully faithful to the score lol

    I'm working over Satin Doll right now, analyzing every progression (mostly II-V's), scales, chords, arps, and listening and transcribing solos to decode what arps where and so on. I like to make exercises for myself to improve the parts that are retaining me to play the tune properly.

    Can't wait to see the results! (but I know that it could take many many years to play proper Jazz
    )

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by achor24;940897[COLOR=#212121
    l

    I'm working over Satin Doll right now, analyzing every progression (mostly II-V's), scales, chords, arps, and listening and transcribing solos to decode what arps where and so on. I like to make exercises for myself to improve the parts that are retaining me to play the tune properly.

    [/COLOR])
    Excellent.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  9. #8
    When I was kid...

    1) Drills (1234's etc... some call spider)
    2) Chords ( Maj/Min ), Melodic Min, Harmonic Min and Maj., symmetric's dim. Whole tone etc... Inversions
    3) scales/ arpeggios.... two octaves starting on each degree and anywhere on neck
    4) sight reading... both technical and tunes. (Jazz is not memorize and perform) need to be able to sight read and perform live.
    5) Rhythmic studies... with all of above
    6) Tunes and chord solos
    7) Analysis, tonal functional as well as Modal

    I also would practice chord vamps and chord patterns .... all of them, creating different styles and grooves.

    Notes.... when learning chords... start with root based chords on 6th, 5th and 4th strings, this is just to help connect chords with scales and arpeggios.... in position organization, the guitar is a 12 fret repeating pattern instrument.

    Then become able to play any note on top of any chord anywhere on the fretboard... learn how to play lead lines on top of chord patterns. Different styles of tunes need different lead lines. You use those lead lines to be able to comp with melodies and soloist....

    I usually used weekly organization, and adjusted as needed, for gigs, or weak areas.

    I also would try to have at least One Long practice session every week... 4 to 8 hours. You reach higher levels of playing that don't happen with short daily sessions. Also try and get up to speed... slow and careful is good, but so is fast and a little out of control.... (in the end)

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    When I was kid...

    1) Drills (1234's etc... some call spider)
    2) Chords ( Maj/Min ), Melodic Min, Harmonic Min and Maj., symmetric's dim. Whole tone etc... Inversions
    3) scales/ arpeggios.... two octaves starting on each degree and anywhere on neck
    4) sight reading... both technical and tunes. (Jazz is not memorize and perform) need to be able to sight read and perform live.
    5) Rhythmic studies... with all of above
    6) Tunes and chord solos
    7) Analysis, tonal functional as well as Modal

    I also would practice chord vamps and chord patterns .... all of them, creating different styles and grooves.

    Notes.... when learning chords... start with root based chords on 6th, 5th and 4th strings, this is just to help connect chords with scales and arpeggios.... in position organization, the guitar is a 12 fret repeating pattern instrument.

    Then become able to play any note on top of any chord anywhere on the fretboard... learn how to play lead lines on top of chord patterns. Different styles of tunes need different lead lines. You use those lead lines to be able to comp with melodies and soloist....

    I usually used weekly organization, and adjusted as needed, for gigs, or weak areas.

    I also would try to have at least One Long practice session every week... 4 to 8 hours. You reach higher levels of playing that don't happen with short daily sessions. Also try and get up to speed... slow and careful is good, but so is fast and a little out of control.... (in the end)
    Thanks reg. You've talked a little about your chord process in the past . Looked like basically chord forms based on sixth, fifth, fourth string roots like you're talking about, plus upper neighbor tones etc... Like root on top and then 9th, ...3rd and 11 th, ....5th and 13th.

    I've seen you do parts of this before, but would be really cool to see you doing this for scale degrees of major, melodic minor etc., in a video etc. I've worked on my own versions of this, but I don't know that I'm 100% clear on your process. I think there are probably gaps.

    Anyway, I've never seen you do a video on this. It's been a while since you've done one. Just sayin'... :-)

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    I usually used weekly organization, and adjusted as needed, for gigs, or weak areas.

    I also would try to have at least One Long practice session every week... 4 to 8 hours. You reach higher levels of playing that don't happen with short daily sessions. Also try and get up to speed... slow and careful is good, but so is fast and a little out of control.... (in the end)
    Thanks for the tips Reg! I feel like I need some weekly organization too, I’ll start to plan next week.

    What do you guys think of starting in only one zone of the neck? (In my case 5th to 8th fret, with some minimal extensions in some scales) just so I can get a deeper understanding before covering a wider zone.

    I’m playing like 3 to 4 hours daily and usually like 6 or 7 on saturday and sunday!

    Idk what happened but I’m kinda obsessed after attending to a jazz club last january. Even in my work I spend hours researching and listening and can’t stop doing it lol

    It just goes deeper and deeper into the hole right? Jazz Guitar Practice Session


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. But how about finishing where you left last time and do next what just feels right? I don't remember anyone suggesting this, ever
    Would seem logical for people who are not in a hurry and also for people with lots of time to practice.

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