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  1. #26

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    I worked on the Leavitt book for quite a while...I think I finished the first book and part of the 2nd...it was a long time ago.Personally I think it was not all that helpful. There's nothing intuitive about it...you're reading material off the page and not really absorbing all that much (at least for me).I don't know what the solution is, I'm not a teacher. But personally now I like to find things where I work out things on my own. Or at least, where I'm not looking at music. Ultimately jazz is about being intuitive and really knowing things and so the more I'm working patterns out on my own the better I am.A teacher would probably be good. At this point, finding someone great online vs whoever is local (good or bad) to me is probably superior.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Yea... the books are designed to be gone through with a teacher who understands how the book is designed and understands the concepts being taught. And generally along with other material.

    The advantage of having someone who can already play and understands Music is to help one understand how to get somewhere with their playing... and help not make the stupid mistakes.

    Generally most guitarist just don't have good technique... They have some songs, fingerings, picking styles, licks etc... memorized and that becomes their musical reference for trying to advance their skills.

    And I agree figuring things on your own is great... you just get it done quicker when you have all the pieces of the puzzle, even when you don't understand them yet. And that is the point... right... help give you the skills to be able to figure things out on your own.... other wise we're just babysitting.

  4. #28

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    Should I keep going, next would be chromatic exercises.... ?

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Should I keep going, next would be chromatic exercises.... ?
    I'm not the OP, but I have printed the previous ones and am working on them every morning, and enjoying the exercises. (string skipping sure slowed me down, ha ha) Please keep them coming!

  6. #30

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    Same here. Doing a couple of drills everyday, I think it’ll still take me a week to practice what it’s up there now. But, please, yes, keep them coming!

  7. #31

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    Cool..

    So I made a couple drills.
    1) Basically they are going up or going down chromatically. I use 1st finger stretches going up and 4th finger stretches going down.

    2) next is what finger your starting on. 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th. I posted exercises starting on 1st and 2nd fingers with fingerings below. You should also work on starting on 3rd and 4th.

    3) At this point you need to begin working on rhythmic feels... phrasing and even articulation. You start with straight 8th with slight accent on downbeat of 1. You should also start with alternating picking. This doesn't mean that's the way you play everything this way... but You need a basic or starting REFERENCE for picking to start from. Alternating naturally creates a rhythmic pattern with natural articulations. It's easy to go from alternating to economy, cross or hybrid. Most find it difficult.... technically the other way around. Again it's about having a Reference to start from.

    4) from here you can make up drills using melodies, licks etc... add chromatic patterns that work rhythmically within the lick etc...

    I'll try and record examples of what I posted above and examples of what I mean about using licks. GB talks about his father making him have chromatic skills as a kid.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #32
    I like the Joe Pass Orange Cover Book. Its available on Amazon for about 10$. Its a lot of Fun to sound a little like Joe just with simple reading. And if you can add a little Bach in maybe a EZ guitar version thats excellent Music coming from your instrument via the Master! Keep your Goals in mind and have a Fun summer!

  9. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Should I keep going, next would be chromatic exercises.... ?
    Reg,

    A few others have already responded & you've already posted a new drill but (for the record) yes: keep them coming and thank you!

  10. #34

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    I have similar sentiments to other posts in this thread. Method books aren't really the thing for jazz musicians. They are actually primers, as Bill Leavitt and Mel Bay were in the business of teaching guitarists to read music. But I enjoy them. I bought a lot over the years at Long & McQuade's and at flea markets. And glad of it. The Berklee Method is more college oriented, meant to be discussed and explored collegiately, while Mell Bay Books have a more homey style suitable for self-study or with a teacher.

    Having a shelf of different method books adds so much to the experience. I can jump to any place in the first half of the earlier books in any series and practice reading notation. You see, I love the songs; the melodies, accompaniment and the mixing of both. Like Home On The Range, The Yellow Rose Of Texas, You Are My Sunshine; and the more complicated Sor, Aguado and Giuliani. A method book will introduce one to interesting tunes with a wide range of styles and eras. Leavitt, Mel Bay, Edison, Eastlee, Kay, Brown, Reid, Overthow, Schmidt... all of these educators rendered a great service to musicians everywhere.

    Sometimes it's good to play only lines in the style of Charlie Christian, like a saxophonist. But it's also good to play in the chordal style of George Van Eps or Johnny Smith, like a pianist. The pianistic style of playing benefits greatly from reading and learning to arrange guitar parts and accompaniments. When I was young I was mostly interested in soloing. As I'm becoming old, I'm enamored with voicings and chord melody. Guitar study is an endless journey.

    At a loss for something to practice? Pull out a method book and delve into it's pages. It's not so dry or confined when you have a few. Some have a folk bent or a classical bent. Remember that there's reading primers and then there's repertoire builders. I have one with Beatle's Tunes.

    They may seem like a hard day's work, but they're only daunting until you try them. After a while, you needn't play the etudes, drills or three notes per string position gamuts (but all of that good stuff improves one's fingerboard navigation, scale patterns and fingering). You can just hit up the tunes you like, perhaps use a metronome to increase your reading speed. We only pressure ourselves.

    I've written some pages out on staff paper and arrange them differently to my liking and keep them in the book. By changing rhythm figures, adding some chord substitutions and note changes, I've made some jazzy in style. Fake books are essential, of course, but method books build you up, unless you're so advanced that you don't need them. They can also help you in writing out music on the staff.

    I think it's really important to put the book down after one or two pages and reflect on what you've played and learned. With guitar in hand, try to recapture every word and note without the book. Understand what it was all about and how it fits into the big picture.

    If you're not looking to read music and if you don't think much of the tunes therein, these books just aren't for you. When I play the jazz end of my repertoire list, method books just don't come into the picture. I have plenty of jazz tutorial books, fake books and Jerry Coker and Jamey Aebersold stuff for that.

    Jazz is best enjoyed raw. Jazz is very much your mind melding with your instrument. Just you and your ears. I can see why one seeks intuitive playing and prefers to work things out on their own. Most guitarists are alike in this. Even the Real Book is best played only until memorised; then put it aside. But there is an enjoyment in melody of all kinds. The better I can read Turkey In The Straw, the better I can read Charlie Parker transcriptions, as odd as that sounds...

    Also, a deeper appreciation is developed for the complexity of jazz lines whenever one comes from a simpler place. Melody can start with one whole note and end with 16 quavers. How that is done is a progression of study.

    ...
    Last edited by StringNavigator; 06-26-2021 at 12:19 PM.

  11. #35

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    Just to remind... these drills actually end up somewhere. The reason I'm not just throwing out all the material is because most don't really ever get their technical skills together. And then down the line they hit walls etc..
    If your actually listen to most guitarist and what they say, complain about, where or what direction that go with their playing... it's usually the result of their technical skill level.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by alpop
    I'm not the OP, but I have printed the previous ones and am working on them every morning, and enjoying the exercises. (string skipping sure slowed me down, ha ha) Please keep them coming!
    Right there with you. I've been doing at least 30 mins of these everyday.

  13. #37

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    OK I'll add the next section... in a day or 2

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    OK I'll add the next section... in a day or 2
    Reg, what do you think of practicing the three notes per string major scales in two octaves with alternate picking going up and down the fingerboard?
    I start on the root on the low E string, and go up to the third two octaves above, and then back down to the root. E.G- Third fret G on the 6th string to seventh fret B on the 1st string, and back down.
    Then I do the same thing, starting on the A string, but I only go up to the second octave, and back down. E.G- Third fret C on the 5th string to 8th fret C on the 1st string, and back down.
    I've been practicing these as 16ths at 160bpm every day during the pandemic.
    I thought the Segovia/ Johnny Smith scales were enough, but they don't seem to address the same problems that the three note per string scales do.

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Reg, what do you think of practicing the three notes per string major scales in two octaves with alternate picking going up and down the fingerboard?
    I start on the root on the low E string, and go up to the third two octaves above, and then back down to the root. E.G- Third fret G on the 6th string to seventh fret B on the 1st string, and back down.
    Then I do the same thing, starting on the A string, but I only go up to the second octave, and back down. E.G- Third fret C on the 5th string to 8th fret C on the 1st string, and back down.
    I've been practicing these as 16ths at 160bpm every day during the pandemic.
    I thought the Segovia/ Johnny Smith scales were enough, but they don't seem to address the same problems that the three note per string scales do.
    Yea... probable great, I don't use 3 notes per string as my basic reference. How I see and organize the fretboard. I use 7 positions because... personally it worked better with organizational relationships... musical organizational relationships and the fretboard. Scales and chords constructed from etc... But I do use as a drill and with licks etc...

    The spiders and then chromatic drills are just to help get picking skills together... once that starts happening... you start working on rhythmical organization, drills that have Time and phrases designed in, which helps develop your pulse...that internal time thing.

    So there are different issues involved... 1) the musical organization of fretboard, 2) your organization of fingerings and picking... of that organization of the fretboard. Again the spider and chromatic drills are great for left hand development... but really just to speed up picking development.

    The next drills will start with musical relationships with rhythmical organization. Not complicated, it's to help create a basic technical musical starting reference for performing on the guitar. Not everyone needs or wants this organizational approach... I did, and through the years it's made performing much easier... I've never really needed to practice much. I'm sure I could have become much better player if I would have... but we all make our choices etc...

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Yea... probable great, I don't use 3 notes per string as my basic reference. How I see and organize the fretboard. I use 7 positions because... personally it worked better with organizational relationships... musical organizational relationships and the fretboard. Scales and chords constructed from etc... But I do use as a drill and with licks etc...

    The spiders and then chromatic drills are just to help get picking skills together... once that starts happening... you start working on rhythmical organization, drills that have Time and phrases designed in, which helps develop your pulse...that internal time thing.

    So there are different issues involved... 1) the musical organization of fretboard, 2) your organization of fingerings and picking... of that organization of the fretboard. Again the spider and chromatic drills are great for left hand development... but really just to speed up picking development.

    The next drills will start with musical relationships with rhythmical organization. Not complicated, it's to help create a basic technical musical starting reference for performing on the guitar. Not everyone needs or wants this organizational approach... I did, and through the years it's made performing much easier... I've never really needed to practice much. I'm sure I could have become much better player if I would have... but we all make our choices etc...
    Yea, I don't use the 3 note per string at all as a reference. I lived for years with the dread of turning into Tommy Tedesco, whose jazz playing was just miserable- just endless 3 note per string scales up and down; no melodic content, sense of phrasing, jazz time feel, groove etc...so I never practiced those scales. Now I use them strictly as an aid totechnique, and my internal clock.
    And yet, when he played commercial music, TT could assimilate any style, groove they wanted, and was the most successful studio cat ever.

    When he released his series of jazz albums, I couldn't believe how lousy they were. I guess Dennis Budimir was right, the studios will kill you as a jazz player. Both Budimir and TT were fine jazz players before they started doing studio work; they came out of it just the opposite.

  17. #41

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    When I get self-critical, I get on my own case about too much three-notes per string runs. Makes my soloing sound like competent doodling, IMO.

  18. #42

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    I worked through the 3 leavitt books years ago, still return to them for reading. great books overall. The thing I'd say that is missing is the context of the CAGED system in them. It would help organize them a lot in my opinion. Using the 7 scale positions within the context of CAGED really clarifies things on the fingerboard. Or at least there should be some talk in the book about relating chord shapes to scales etc...

  19. #43

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    Yea... everything thing comes into play eventually. The point I'm trying to push is.... when we play or perform on the guitar, we need technique... the more the better. I've never heard anyone complain about having too much technique.

    While... it's the never ending story... the other way around. Even when theory, CST and most of the other complaint's of how to do this or that....what approach works the best or real approach to play Jazz... usually come from lack of technique to be able to play something. Good technique just helps us make choices, the possibilities of how to play or perform something.

    When you don't get it together when your young.... you need a different approach. You already have way to much knowledge and opinions etc... That's why I tend to push the non musical drills and studies that have hidden musical developments within. Light bulbs will go on for the person doing the drills as compared to having someone turning them on for you.

    I understand Music.... well, but that doesn't make me a good player. It can help, but what helps me cover performing is I have really good technique. I can still suck and do so... I just can't make excuses why.

  20. #44

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    I have done a 20-30 minute warmup my entire musical life(58 years) before I play. It allows your hands to warm up for better fluency and prevents injuries--very common among CG players who usually need to play 4 hours daily, as a minimum, to keep up with very advanced technical repertoire. However, even when I first started on guitar ,in my preteens, and my hands were more forgiving, my first teacher, W.C., a great Chicago Jazz guitarist, stressed the importance of a warmup session before working on songs. Later, when I studied saxophone and CG, this habit became more important as the time divided between practicing and performing increased significantly. Today, after thousands of hours over a lifetime of playing, it is more important than ever.
    So, what's the point? This warmup period has two functions: slowly warming the hands for playing to avoid injury/damage and working on critical technical exercises that WILL IMPROVE your overall playing and sound. Reg has provided some excellent exercises that work--many of which are part of good musical pedagogy on any instrument. Most serious musicians, throughout their lives, hit technical/creative walls. And, the only way to hurdle them is firstly: 1.)take a break from the instrument--I have rested my guitar/sax/flute for up to two weeks without playing while analyzing why I'm in stasis and 2.) review your warmup/technical exercises in relation to the problem you're having that's stopping your success. If it's technical in nature, it can be easily fixed. However, if it deals with personal creativity, it's possible you could be at the end of your proverbial rope and need to accept where you're at with grace. Not everyone, despite the Y2K "we're all the same" mantra, can be great. It's nature.
    One last thing. A guitar typically has 21 to 24 frets. They are there for a reason--to be played. When you're playing scales, chords, licks, on a guitar you must remember to practice fluency in the upper registers just like a violinist or cellist. And by doing so, you expand your range of performance while at the same time explore the total possible tonalities of YOUR instrument. Why should fluency at the 5th fret be any different than fluency at the 14th, 20th, 24th if you are a complete player? (Have you ever seen fret wear of a folk/C@W guitar? It's usually never past the fifth fret.) Every guitar has it's unique personality and there's no better way to discover it, warts and all, other than playing the entire instrument.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  21. #45

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    I think you have a good idea of how to go about it. Playing tunes and practicing your solos is good because it's fun and that's the end goal in the first place - making music. Others seems to be giving good advice as well. Something I'll add is I'll pick small topics that I want to shed that would help me the most or that I'm the most interested in. That way, I'll benefit the most from them rather than trying to undertake a big regimen. For example, I'll say I want to work double stop based blues cliches. Or I want to get my diminished scale together. Or I want to do some all keys practice. Or maybe I want to work out some Barry Harris ideas. Maybe I should lift some licks.. etc.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    I have done a 20-30 minute warmup my entire musical life(58 years) before I play. It allows your hands to warm up for better fluency and prevents injuries--very common among CG players who usually need to play 4 hours daily, as a minimum, to keep up with very advanced technical repertoire...
    I searched the forum in hopes that you shared this warmup routine elsewhere, but nothing turned up. Can you share it here?

  23. #47

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    Hey Bob... I'm going to move my practice plan to a new thread... I don't want to get in the way and I'll push more of my BS. I have different views and approaches of how to go about playing etc... Will be easier... sorry to bail.

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Bob... I'm going to move my practice plan to a new thread... I don't want to get in the way and I'll push more of my BS. I have different views and approaches of how to go about playing etc... Will be easier... sorry to bail.
    I'm looking forward to it.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Bob... I'm going to move my practice plan to a new thread... I don't want to get in the way and I'll push more of my BS. I have different views and approaches of how to go about playing etc... Will be easier... sorry to bail.
    Again, not the OP here but I have been working on the stuff you have posted here, and I think it's a great idea to move it to another thread. I will happily and gratefully follow if you carry on in another spot.
    Last edited by alpop; 07-04-2021 at 09:59 PM.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maroonblazer
    I searched the forum in hopes that you shared this warmup routine elsewhere, but nothing turned up. Can you share it here?
    Hi, M,
    Since I usually play 2-3 hours daily, I spread out the exercises based on how many hours I actually think I'll play. So:
    1. string plucking in triplets: p-i-m-a in unison: the thumb alternates among 6,5,4 on each unison chord/stroke. 10 chords close to the bridge/10 chords behind the sound hole(sweet spot) and 10 chords close to the neck. This warms up the top of your right hand and extensor ligaments.
    2. i/m alteration on all 6 strings at 92 bpm . . . m/a alteration on all 6 strings at 92 bpm. I play finger style.
    3. fret walking: 1/2;1/3;2/3;1/4 and 2/4 alteration across all 6 strings from 5th fret to 12th fret
    4. tremolo: pima and pim
    5. rapid chord strumming with i--m--i/m--m/a using tip of fingers with hand still
    6. thumb walking: play E scale 1st position to E scale 12th position(all 6 strings) 72 bpm with thumb
    7. play scales--3 octaves on E,A,D,G focusing on clarity, sound, and LH positioning
    8. p-i-m-a on 1st four strings and bottom four strings
    9. barre chords all 6 strings--12 frets with i/p only(LH) focusing on clarity of sound; strengthening muscles
    10. LH finger alterations as Reg described--all 12 frets(up/down) to insure evenness of sound in all positions
    11. "Spider" exercises
    12. Trills, pull-offs
    So, as you can see, these can't be done in 20 minutes so I spread them out over 2-3 sessions depending how my hands feel. However, there are times that I might go longer if I feel I'm "improving" in any aspect of the exercises above. Then, I either work on my CG program(24 current Classical Pieces) or work on ideas/songs on EG for 45-50 minutes. I hope this is clear, and if not, I'll try to re-explain any of the above if necessary.
    Finally, I don't believe anyone can make real short-term progress with less than 4 hours daily. However, my current schedule only allows 2-3 hours and that has to be balanced with energy levels, schedule, and real life considerations. I hope this is clear.

    Play live . . . Marinero