Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 54
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I've been playing a long time, and while I will always strive to improve on the instrument (it's never-ending, that's part of the joy of it), I have passed my days of "doing exercises" in an attempt to get faster, better more accurate, etc. I just play music. It may be meandering noodling, but I never sit down to do exercises anymore.... just wondering what everyone else does?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    It depends on the times. I make routines to install new things, but I practice them like music, not gymnastics, and I vary them as it progresses, incorporating several things that I want to incorporate into my play

    in fact, exercises and music tend to come together, but there is a moment when I forget everything, even the tune that I'm supposed to play, I let improvisation come as a story is told

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    As a warm up, yes. Maybe some scales in in intervals, 3rds, 6ths, etc. Diatonic 4 note arpeggios up and down, that sort of thing. And the Barry Harris chromatic scale for the pure joy of it. For the right hand, the pattern used in Villa Lobos Etude #1 clears away cobwebs. I'm at the age where I need to stretch out I'll hurt something!

    I'll also break out a challenging section of an arrangement and work that as an exercise.
    Last edited by Michael Neverisky; 02-16-2020 at 04:16 PM.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I'm working through "Patterns for Jazz" and find that useful.

    When I was younger, the Mel Bay book "Technic" by Roger Filiberto (sp?) helped me. It would have helped me even more if I hadn't developed some bad picking habits in my self-directed youth.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    my daily practice includes new melodic patterns and mixing them with well worn patterns and other single line playing..it very often infers several different keys
    as I switch between diatonic movement( I ii iii etc) and chromatic I bii iii) .. and the shifting between major and minor voicings..(I ii III vi II v bVii etc) type stuff

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I do exercises, as a warmup routine, but i try to do musical ones. Triads, patterns, inversions and connections of that, chromatic patterns, etc.. Once you get an exercise pattern down, you can usually adapt it to be more substantial musically, and still work as an exercise.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    I've been playing a long time, and while I will always strive to improve on the instrument (it's never-ending, that's part of the joy of it), I have passed my days of "doing exercises" in an attempt to get faster, better more accurate, etc. I just play music. It may be meandering noodling, but I never sit down to do exercises anymore.... just wondering what everyone else does?
    I think it depends on what you consider exercises. A long time back, Brad Shepik suggested to me that I play 3 octave arpeggios thru the changes of a tune and that this "exercise" in particular was generally effective at getting him out of a musical rut. So I do stuff like that. If I record myself and hear that I am playing a lick or rhythmic pattern a lot, I'll try to break out of that.

    In terms of playing scales in 3rds/4ths/5ths/etc... I don't really do that stuff anymore. There was a time when I cared about intervallic variety in the lines I play, I don't really think of those things in that way anymore.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I follow Wes' method, paraphrased

    "I don't practice anything I wouldn't perform during a tune."

    repeat that to yourself slowly a few times...
    simple, direct, focused, practical, results oriented insight

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I follow Wes' method, paraphrased

    "I don't practice anything I wouldn't perform during a tune."

    repeat that to yourself slowly a few times...
    simple, direct, focused, practical, results oriented insight
    maybe if you're Wes. I prefer to not know everything I'd performing a tune in advance.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    maybe if you're Wes. I prefer to not know everything I'd performing a tune in advance.
    You can understand that limiting practicing to exclude what one wouldn't play in performance does not imply nor entail that what one plays in performance is limited to what one plays in practice, right?

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I follow Wes' method, paraphrased

    "I don't practice anything I wouldn't perform during a tune."

    repeat that to yourself slowly a few times...
    simple, direct, focused, practical, results oriented insight
    I think that's great advice. But until one's technique is well developed, there's a large gap between what one WOULD play during a tune and what one actually CAN play (cleanly, with good time and the right feel) during a tune.

    One reason Herb Ellis emphasized playing out of shapes is that it bypassed the bad habit (in his view) of playing scales and patterns in all possible positions rather than in the way one would play them during a performance.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    There are players at a lot of different abilities and experience here. I think some still practice exercises and technique, right? I do.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Repeating a phrase of a tune until it sounds right or exploring ideas for a tune's chord change might be considered an exercise, but the motivation is that the successful result is learning the tune.

    "I only practice tunes" is equivalent to "I don't practice anything I wouldn't perform during a tune" without the implied follow through to performance.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I borrow instruction books from the public library and pick exercises in them to practise. It costs me nothing and opens me to different teaching styles and ideas.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Yes. Every day. I try to do several hrs of scales, arpeggios, 3rds, diatonic 7th chords, etc in different positions in various modes. It's a real grounding activity for me. It can get boring too but it's meditation also.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    I've been playing a long time, and while I will always strive to improve on the instrument (it's never-ending, that's part of the joy of it), I have passed my days of "doing exercises" in an attempt to get faster, better more accurate, etc. I just play music. It may be meandering noodling, but I never sit down to do exercises anymore.... just wondering what everyone else does?
    Some greater, hell, any, organization to my practice schedule would probably be a good idea.

    The closest thing I do to an exercise is playing a tune with Irealpro in 12 keys, comping and soloing. I will sometimes focus on a particular part of the neck to make sure I've got ready access to the notes I need, starting with chord tones.

    But, mostly it's learning difficult bits of tunes I'm playing with groups, working on memorizing standards (lately), some drilling of arps, focusing on the time feel of everything. Playing through GP magazine lessons, and a lot of playing in groups, mostly reading.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Yes I do...

    I do not have system or organization... I just note some 'blank spot' in my technique or navigation issue or some musical idea ... and I choose or invent excercise to practice it... I do it sometimes only 15-20 min. a day and usually no longer than 7-10 days...
    I try not to overthink excercises.. and focus only on technical efficiency.

    Also one thing I do conciously - you may call it excercise too... is imlimentation of something in real playing.

    I have long been a followere of intiutive approach: you do excercise and it shows in your playing music anyway... and it is true.
    But also guitar is an instrument much subject to habits and sometimes I just have to force myself consiously to go another path in actual playing - when I see the same turnaroud etc. - after a few times new option becimes one the alternatives you use more or less naturally...

    In a word - I like practicing in a higher sense... I like investigating instrument

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I follow Wes' method, paraphrased

    "I don't practice anything I wouldn't perform during a tune."

    repeat that to yourself slowly a few times...
    simple, direct, focused, practical, results oriented insight
    To be honest I think any more or less confident person would practice only what he wants to play)

    The problem with many adult students is more thatn that woith kids even... they just do not know what they want to play)
    Or if they do they cannot eliminate the path between their current status and their goal... that's why they apply to teachers and moethods I guess.
    It requires not only musical professionalism and experience but also some kind of personal quiality, maturity of thought maybe...

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    they cannot eliminate the path between their current status and their goal... that's why they apply to teachers and moethods...
    it's probably the most difficult when you start, but you don't have to lock yourself in it, because you can go around in circles like this all your life, at least if you don't have a professional obligation to have an effective result

    we must at least go beyond the model of the master that we give ourselves, whether he is Wes, Raney or Benson, because even if we played like him, it would not interest anyone, a clone ...

    so once you've got some solid basic foundation, you have to ask yourself these questions: What am I going to do with this? Why do I play jazz guitar? What music I want to make? With whom to play, level, qualities, goals?

    you can't be good at everything, as some teachers really are, so much so that you don't see their own music, their musical personality. If they are good jazz teachers, they can only help you get what you want, and can't if you don't know yourself

    once you have answers, you have to focus all your work on these goals, define steps, limit the work to the acquisition of each step, make your own right routines, gradually incorporate them into your playing

    all in all, common sense, which is repeated and repeated in the advice "how to work effectively"? Why we can't keep up with him, why we disperse, it's another matter

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    ...cannot eliminate the path between their current status and their goal...
    Here's how I think about it. Fastest most efficient and effective progress suffers the least impediment when the three primary components of playing the guitar are suitably well matched or balanced. Those three components:

    The Instrument
    The general quality of the instrument needs to be appropriate for the level of the player. Traditionally, a music student begins on an inexpensive "student" instrument that satisfies the student's requirements until their ability begins to out grow it, then a better instrument with superior features replaces it. Because prioritizing the selection of these features depends on the individual player, they aren't clearly revealed until the player's abilities arrive. In the guitar world, the same applies. Generally, the mistake to avoid is getting too good an instrument prior to reaching a playing ability and informed position of knowing which and what quality features you would rather have selected otherwise if you had known then what you will have come to know later.
    But also generally, the modern guitars are quite good, even the very inexpensive ones. At first hint of the instrument possibly not "keeping up" with the player's ability, the usual adjustments or full set up will likely extend the time to replace it. In the guitar world, "the instrument" includes the amp, cords, other stuff... the same ideas apply to these as well.

    The Hand
    This means what one can physically execute, includes both hands, encompasses all of technique, "chops".

    The Ear
    This means the musical mind, the grasp of music, what you can hear and understand both externally and internally (in your mind's ear when no music is playing), grasp of song form organization, progressions, rhythm, chord types, melody, harmony, creativity, etc...

    When all three of these are matched, progress comes with least resistance. For long periods, the instrument will likely be fine for reasons above, so the main thing is determining which of the hand or the ear is holding the other back. This is easy to access. You just look at yourself and determine which of these two kinds of frustrations might be present...:

    Playing feels easy, even when playing fast or complicated things. The fidelity of expression of your ideas is high and your hands fretting, fingering, and picking feel like they can execute and play whatever you call for, but the ideas themselves seem hard to produce, lack capturing the sound you want, so generally what you play is very well executed but kind of lame or goofy or quirky sounding.
    This frustration means the hand is ahead and the ear is behind.
    The remedy for this is to spend more time on ear things - listening to music, transcribing tunes, leaning tunes by ear, etc.

    or

    Playing feels difficult, clumsy, and uncoordinated, even for slower simpler things. The fidelity of expression of your ideas is low and your hands fretting, fingering, and picking feel like they can't execute and play whatever you call for, however your ideas themselves seem easy to produce, capture and characterize the sound you want, and generally what you think of to play is cool, authentic, and hip sounding, or would be if you could just get your hands to execute it well.
    This frustration means the ear is ahead and the hand is behind.
    The remedy for this is to spend more time on hand things - scales, arps, chords and chord changes, fret fingering exercises, picking exercises, etc.


    Reassessment every time you change strings is about right for gauging progress maintenance; just contemplate whether you have any sense of either of these frustrations of the ear or the hand falling relatively behind (and update a mental note tracking the shape of the guitar for future reference, repairs, or replacement), and shift the balance of subsequent practices to which remedies address that frustration.
    Last edited by pauln; 02-18-2020 at 03:39 PM.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    all in all, common sense, which is repeated and repeated in the advice "how to work effectively"? Why we can't keep up with him, why we disperse, it's another matter
    well... I think it depends... we are not managers of the business unit... artistic activivty is complex and subtle (no matter how experienced of qulified the person is) - it is hard to identifyc often what will be effective and how it will show in the next moment, next day...

    I do not want anything about to be effective actually... but it's another matter too.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Here's how I think about it. Fastest most efficient and effective progress suffers the least impediment when the three primary components of playing the guitar are suitably well matched or balanced. Those three components:

    The Instrument
    The general quality of the instrument needs to be appropriate for the level of the player. Traditionally, a music student begins on an inexpensive "student" instrument that satisfies the student's requirements until their ability begins to out grow it, then a better instrument with superior features replaces it. Because prioritizing the selection of these features depends on the individual player, they aren't clearly revealed until the player's abilities arrive. In the guitar world, the same applies. Generally, the mistake to avoid is getting too good an instrument prior to reaching a playing ability and informed position of knowing which and what quality features you would rather have selected otherwise if you had known then what you will have come to know later.
    But also generally, the modern guitars are quite good, even the very inexpensive ones. At first hint of the instrument possibly not "keeping up" with the player's ability, the usual adjustments or full set up will likely extend the time to replace it. In the guitar world, "the instrument" includes the amp, cords, other stuff... the same ideas apply to these as well.

    The Hand
    This means what one can physically execute, includes both hands, encompasses all of technique, "chops".

    The Ear
    This means the musical mind, the grasp of music, what you can hear and understand both externally and internally (in your mind's ear when no music is playing), grasp of song form organization, progressions, rhythm, chord types, melody, harmony, creativity, etc...

    When all three of these are matched, progress comes with least resistance. For long periods, the instrument will likely be fine for reasons above, so the main thing is determining which of the hand or the ear is holding the other back. This is easy to access. You just look at yourself and determine which of these two kinds of frustrations might be present...:

    Playing feels easy, even when playing fast or complicated things. The fidelity of expression of your ideas is high and your hands fretting, fingering, and picking feel like they can execute and play whatever you call for, but the ideas themselves seem hard to produce, lack capturing the sound you want, so generally what you play is very well executed but kind of lame or goofy or quirky sounding.
    This frustration means the hand is ahead and the ear is behind.
    The remedy for this is to spend more time on ear things - listening to music, transcribing tunes, leaning tunes by ear, etc.

    or

    Playing feels difficult, clumsy, and uncoordinated, even for slower simpler things. The fidelity of expression of your ideas is low and your hands fretting, fingering, and picking feel like they can't execute and play whatever you call for, however your ideas themselves seem easy to produce, capture and characterize the sound you want, and generally what you think of to play is cool, authentic, and hip sounding, or would be if you could just get your hands to execute it well.
    This frustration means the ear is ahead and the hand is behind.
    The remedy for this is to spend more time on hand things - scales, arps, chords and chord changes, fret fingering exercises, picking exercises, etc.


    Reassessment every time you change strings is about right for gauging progress maintenance; just contemplate whether you have any sense of either of these frustrations of the ear or the hand falling relatively behind (and update a mental note tracking the shape the guitar for future reference, repairs, or replacement), and shift the balance of subsequent practices to which remedies address that frustration.
    This is well put of course. Nothing to argue.
    But mostly this does not help)

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Barney Kessel was known for practicing a lot, even when touring. Hours a day. Every day.

    His first wife, Phyllis, has been quoted as follows: “He practiced 5 hours a day…religiously. He told me more than once that he never missed in his lifetime, until he became ill, more than 17 days of practice in his whole life. I believe it having known him. I don’t know how he remembers that, but I believe it.”


    There is a nuance here: 5 hours a day when he had no gig, 3 hours a day when he had a gig.

    music and life: the kessel method | Chuck Perrin

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Yes and no. I write my own etudes, really, based on whatever I'm needing to work on. So kinda. But it's still music.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Exercises are small sections of music that require special attention isolated for focussed work.

    so yeah, I do, and the music I’m trying to play usually has some exercises embedded in it.

    I still practice rhythmic exercises all the time. Scales too. There’s a zillion ways to practice scales lol.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    What confuses me is that there is so much contradictory advice for people trying to play better jazz. Some say learn every scale, others say no, it's all in the chords. Some recommend exercises like in classical music, but then there are those who say that's bad for one's improvising.

    I keep listening and where possible playing along to records; it's good fun no matter if it pays off one day or not, but I hope to find a dedicated jazz teacher some time in the future, so it would be nice to do some of the legwork in now. Yes, I'm asking for free professional advice...

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    What confuses me is that there is so much contradictory advice for people trying to play better jazz. Some say learn every scale, others say no, it's all in the chords. Some recommend exercises like in classical music, but then there are those who say that's bad for one's improvising.
    There's a reason for this that's not usually considered on these forums.

    Consider two different people...

    Person 1 is a 16 year old. They've been playing rock/blues for about 4 years now, have gotten pretty good, but now they're getting into jazz, and they're ready to dive in head-first. They love Rosenwinkel, Metheny, Kreisberg, Lage Lund. They've been listening to a lot of the classic records, and especially gravitate towards Coltrane, the second Miles Quintet, Wayne Shorter, Monk, Bill Evans, Andrew Hill, and more contemporary players like Mark Turner. Their dream is to go to music school, and eventually move to NYC to "make it."

    Person 2 is 52 years old. They have a family, a house, a good job. The kids are older now, and there's a bit more free time. They've always played guitar, for decades now, but it's been an on-and-off thing. They can strum chords well, maybe play a little blues, but that's about it. Now they've been getting into jazz, and it's a whole new world: Joe Pass, Wes, Grant Green, Django. Maybe now, with a little bit more time and disposable income, they can get a bit more serious about playing. They have no illusions about becoming a professional player, but it'd be great to be able to sit in a jam session and play some tunes every once in a while.

    Person 1 and Person 2 both want to get better at improvising. But do they have the same goals? Would you give them the same advice? Even if they're both interested in "jazz guitar," are the kinds of music they want to play all that similar?

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    What confuses me is that there is so much contradictory advice for people trying to play better jazz. Some say learn every scale, others say no, it's all in the chords. Some recommend exercises like in classical music, but then there are those who say that's bad for one's improvising.

    I keep listening and where possible playing along to records; it's good fun no matter if it pays off one day or not, but I hope to find a dedicated jazz teacher some time in the future, so it would be nice to do some of the legwork in now. Yes, I'm asking for free professional advice...
    Free Advice (worth what you paid for it)

    Tips for learning jazz:

    1. Listen to a lot of jazz. No, that's an understatement. Listen to jazz constantly, until the music that plays in your head as you go on with an otherwise normal day, is jazz.

    2. Stop thinking about chords and scales as different things, stop thinking about scales as things you play over chords.

    3. Learn a bunch of tunes. Learn as much of them as humanly possible by ear. If a song has words, learn it from a version that has words.

    4. Play often with people who are better than you. If you don't have people to play with, record yourself often and listen as if you were someone else who didn't care if they hurt your feelings. Actually, do that whether you have people to play with or not.

    5. Transcribe/cop licks from players you like. You don't have to do whole solos. It's not even that important that you can play it. Just DO it. Process is important. If anybody online wants to argue the meaning of the word "transcribe" in regards to jazz, they've never done it and their opinion is invalid.

    6. Don't forget to transcribe rhythms and phrasing--don't stop at the pitches.

    7. Sing solos in the car while you listen to music while you drive. If you don't drive, sing solos while you listen to music on the bus or train. There's always somebody doing something crazier than that on the bus, so you'll be a breath of fresh air.

    8. Concentrate on sounding good, not on sounding a certain way. Use your hands to get a pleasing tone out of whatever instrument you pick up. You can play very simply with good tone, articulation, and phrasing, and people will like it.

    9. The melody is your friend. When you solo, don't play the melody, but never forget where it is.

    10. Take all advice you receive online about playing jazz with great speculation. Try things out, if they work, keep them, if they do not, kick them to the curb and don't get hung up on them. Not everything works for everybody.

    11. Think of music as "movements," or "chunks." There's a starting point, tension, and resolution. Don't be afraid to play past the bar line. Don't feel you need to hit every change (though it's good practice to learn how to nail every change, and then, just don't do that)

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    What confuses me is that there is so much contradictory advice for people trying to play better jazz. Some say learn every scale, others say no, it's all in the chords. Some recommend exercises like in classical music, but then there are those who say that's bad for one's improvising.

    I keep listening and where possible playing along to records; it's good fun no matter if it pays off one day or not, but I hope to find a dedicated jazz teacher some time in the future, so it would be nice to do some of the legwork in now. Yes, I'm asking for free professional advice...
    I don't think any amount of practice, regardless of what it is, can be bad for anything as long as you feel you are learning something or improving. Knowing yourself and knowing what you need and want to achieve can be helpful.

    To me the scales, arpeggios, patterns, etc are there to loosen your fingers, strengthen your right arm/wrist/hand, and to prepare you (fingers and ears) for any and all possible circuits or routes on the fretboard that the melodic line which you are hearing may take.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Having played now for 47 years I find working on tunes the best practice. No scales, no wild excercise as such but warming up a bit is good. I equate playing the guitar to athletic training in some repects if not many. Playing tunes and music is the goal and if exercises and the like work, they should be used. In my younger days I did plenty of that and it works. Play scales, arps, melodic patterns and generally working on hard passages as exercises.

    I do believe just like athletic talent some players are simply more gifted and can get away with much less practice than others. Myself I am a hack and have to work at it all the time nothing comes too easy. Some guys can run the 800 meter race in less than 1:50 and not train for months. Come back and get in shape and repeat it like before unlike some who simply could not run the 800 in less than 1:50 no matter how much they practice. That is not to downplay hard work and those who do what Kessel did and many others. I could play 5 hours a day ( not really it would drive nuts) and still never be as good as Barney. That is another thing too in as I age I find I still like to play a lot but not the amount of time I did in my late teens and 20's.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Zina
    What confuses me is that there is so much contradictory advice for people trying to play better jazz. Some say learn every scale, others say no, it's all in the chords. Some recommend exercises like in classical music, but then there are those who say that's bad for one's improvising.

    I keep listening and where possible playing along to records; it's good fun no matter if it pays off one day or not, but I hope to find a dedicated jazz teacher some time in the future, so it would be nice to do some of the legwork in now. Yes, I'm asking for free professional advice...
    i would advise taking advice from people who have demonstrated their ability to play jazz to your satisfaction.

    everything else can be safely ignored

    So that whittles down the white noise a bit.

    beyond that it’s true there’s little consistency, but there is some consistency, and that is - check out the music. Learn music and check out stuff from recordings. Use your ears. And play with others as much as possible, preferably the beat people you can find. And time is really important.

    it is important to prioritise, because if you prioritise technical information over music, you end up not knowing any tunes or any music. I see this all the time.

    scales, yeah, I mean they are a resource. I say ignore people who tell you to learn a pile of scales and stuff before venturing out to play. Follow their advice and you still won’t have left your practice room 40 years down the line.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-18-2020 at 03:45 PM.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    And play with others as much as possible, preferably the beat people you can find.
    I love the beat people! They are the ones I like to play with.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by dasein
    There's a reason for this that's not usually considered on these forums.

    Consider two different people...

    Person 1 is a 16 year old. They've been playing rock/blues for about 4 years now, have gotten pretty good, but now they're getting into jazz, and they're ready to dive in head-first. They love Rosenwinkel, Metheny, Kreisberg, Lage Lund. They've been listening to a lot of the classic records, and especially gravitate towards Coltrane, the second Miles Quintet, Wayne Shorter, Monk, Bill Evans, Andrew Hill, and more contemporary players like Mark Turner. Their dream is to go to music school, and eventually move to NYC to "make it."

    Person 2 is 52 years old. They have a family, a house, a good job. The kids are older now, and there's a bit more free time. They've always played guitar, for decades now, but it's been an on-and-off thing. They can strum chords well, maybe play a little blues, but that's about it. Now they've been getting into jazz, and it's a whole new world: Joe Pass, Wes, Grant Green, Django. Maybe now, with a little bit more time and disposable income, they can get a bit more serious about playing. They have no illusions about becoming a professional player, but it'd be great to be able to sit in a jam session and play some tunes every once in a while.

    Person 1 and Person 2 both want to get better at improvising. But do they have the same goals? Would you give them the same advice? Even if they're both interested in "jazz guitar," are the kinds of music they want to play all that similar?
    the basics would be identical. Yes, definitely. Music is about being honest. And everyone needs to work on fundamentals, especially those who aspire to work on complex music.

    i mean you might end up learning totally different styles, and one person might choose to be a pro or an amateur, but the journey is identical. No difference.

    the notes are not as important as all that. I think jazz guitarists get a bit lost in the weeds talking about theory all the time. That’s details. If you check out the music you love and establish that virtuous cycle, that stuff will take care of itself.

    but that initial step can be unbelievably intimidating to people.

    also, improvisation is overrated at the beginner phase. Playing music is more important. Even if you can only play the melody and know three licks, if you make it sound good, that’s better than any amount of anaemic noodling.

    i remember what Bill Evans said about the importance of actually doing something instead of doing a version of it. (The irony is the world is full of pianists doing an approximation of Bill Evans lol)

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Whichever approach somebody picks, there's a great player who did it that way and an equally great player who did it a completely different way.

    Why did they pick the approach they used? Some combination of endowment (meaning inborn talent) and opportunity.

    Which means, you have to figure out what will work best for your abilities and goals.

    It's really hard to be more specific than that.

    If you could explain you goals in detail, people might weigh in on their views of the most efficient strategies.

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Whichever approach somebody picks, there's a great player who did it that way and an equally great player who did it a completely different way.

    Why did they pick the approach they used? Some combination of endowment (meaning inborn talent) and opportunity.

    Which means, you have to figure out what will work best for your abilities and goals.

    It's really hard to be more specific than that.

    If you could explain you goals in detail, people might weigh in on their views of the most efficient strategies.
    Not quite true - I found a couple things everyone has in common

    no one got good by not checking out the music directly, using their ears, and in great depth, and no one got good by never playing with other musicians.

    tbh most other things are negotiable

    sounds stupid, but you wouldn’t believe how intimidating those two things are to a lot of people. People get really good at coming up with reasons not to do that.

    i know I do!

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I love the beat people! They are the ones I like to play with.
    kerouac in particular. Cassady if you can find him...

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    I love the beat people! They are the ones I like to play with.
    with their berets and bongos!

    does anyone here still do "exercises"?-8b77c899-6642-4ad0-a91b-0cf31789684e-jpg

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    Exercises are activities focused on development or refinement of skills.
    Any musician striving to improve and evolve their craft will apply a variety of strategies to move their game forward. For some, constant gigging with high level musicians and playing music in sync with where your passions lie is all they need and/or all they have time for. However, this optimum for growth musical itinerary is not something available to many of us for a variety of reasons. Coltrane and Dolphy, I would say both achieved excellent by any standard skills and kept a very full calendar and yet still felt compelled to practice incessantly. While there are many things that I worked on in earlier years that no longer require attention, I remain on a musical quest to grow
    by any means necessary and that includes "exercises".

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    Exercises are activities focused on development or refinement of skills.
    Any musician striving to improve and evolve their craft will apply a variety of strategies to move their game forward. For some, constant gigging with high level musicians and playing music in sync with where your passions lie is all they need and/or all they have time for. However, this optimum for growth musical itinerary is not something available to many of us for a variety of reasons. Coltrane and Dolphy, I would say both achieved excellent by any standard skills and kept a very full calendar and yet still felt compelled to practice incessantly. While there are many things that I worked on in earlier years that no longer require attention, I remain on a musical quest to grow
    by any means necessary and that includes "exercises".
    Last night after practicing for 90 minutes which is typical, I thought about this thread and wondered if I had practiced what might be considered exercises. At first I decided "no" because like the way I always practice, I play explorations of parts of songs. To be clear, I never practice whole songs beginning to end, just parts (music has a redundancy of over 90% even in jazz). I play and listen for ideas - modifications to chords and changes, expressing changes with various melodic lines, just continuous experimenting... the closest I get to a proper exercise is repeating something a few times to test and change how it sounds.

    But then I thought maybe "yes" in the sense that everything one plays on the guitar is good for the hands and is in that sense a kind of exercise... in the same sense as walking to the store a mile and back not for the purpose of exercise but to buy something is mechanically the same as walking the same distance for exercise - mechanically, the purpose does not make a difference. Playing songs is also the mechanics of exercise.

    Then, out of curiosity, I assigned a unit of "1" to the playing of a note, an arpeggio, or a chord, calling an instance of each a "note" and subsequently estimated that in that 90 minutes I played close to 30 thousand "notes", which certainly provides exercise, however one might otherwise characterize it.

    That figure might seem alarming high, but I continue to practice from the same habits from day one - self taught by ear (with no amp for the first 6 years)... so no knob turning, no switching of switches, no effects to dial in, no pages of books to turn, and no internet videos to cue up, no online instruction with back and forth gaps and exchanges of playing, no pausing to do searching, no writing of transcriptions, and no written logs or notes of what I was doing... just continuous playing.

    Anyone ever estimate how much of their practice time is comprised of not playing their guitar?
    Last edited by pauln; 02-20-2020 at 03:57 PM.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by dasein
    perspective
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    advice
    Quote Originally Posted by arielcee
    relativity
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    experience
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    advice
    Thank you very much for the detailed replies and viewpoints; these are clear and helpful, and I'm happy to see that it's all consistent and coming from experienced players. I'll save all this and plan accordingly. Sincere thanks indeed.

  42. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Free Advice (worth what you paid for it)

    Tips for learning jazz:

    1. Listen to a lot of jazz. No, that's an understatement. Listen to jazz constantly, until the music that plays in your head as you go on with an otherwise normal day, is jazz.
    First of all, thanks for all the replies- great discussion. To be clear, what I mean by "exercise" is literally a fingering exercise, such as a chromatic pattern up and down the neck, alternating the fingers (so... 1234, 1324, 1423, 2341, etc)... not musical. I didn't mean practicing scales, altho it could... scales are musical at least, but scales up and down the neck, 12345678 ad nauseum, I would also consider an exercise.

    Interesting someone mentioned meditation.... running exercises can be like meditation. I totally get that, being a meditation person myself. Because they require no (or much less) thought than for example doing arpeggios... at least until the arpeggios become 2nd nature, then you don't think about them either...

    Jeff's advice above, as always, shows wisdom beyond his years. #1 cannot be overstated. It's interesting because I grew up (literally from birth), being fed big band swing. I knew every note (literally) in my head of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, et al... I could play those tracks in my head. I didn't pick up a guitar until 15 years later. But I could swing right from the start. I "learned" melodic horn lines before I was even a musician. Bebop type jazz (even the smooth stuff of Smith, Christian, and Burrell) is more difficult for me, not really trying to play that until the age of 35 or so. I still always listened to swing, but never tried playing it or bebop until then. No wonder I've had a hard time, and gravitate towards the more melodic/less-boppy players.

    This paradigm (of constant listening to one thing) is also why I'm not stellar at anything... which is ok, not being a professional musician. (well, I COULD be a pro rock musician, or blues, but that's because I cut my teeth on that stuff). But I love so many different guitar genres, I'll never be able to hyper-focus in on just one. I might listen to Tommy Emmanuel for a couple weeks, then it's Steve Vai and Andy Timmons. Then I'll pull out the old SRV records, and some Tab Benoit. After that, I'll go through an Americana phase, listening to players like David Grissom, followed by a week or two of Christian/Smith/Burrell.... I just love it all so much. I sometimes wish I DID only have ONE music I worked on ALL the time; it seems so much simpler (note I did not say easier), and I wouldn't need so much gear either! LOL But I digress....

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    i would advise taking advice from people who have demonstrated their ability to play jazz to your satisfaction.
    Shoot! They are all dead!

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Howzabopping
    Shoot! They are all dead!
    That about sums it up.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    I did a few push-ups the other day...

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Yes, Twenty to thirty minutes every practice session(1 hour) to warm hands: finger alterations, block chords in time, im/ma scales, arpeggios, pull-offs/trills, octave scales, tremolo, upper register exercises, and thumb scales. Then, I work on my program. If it is Jazz/Bossa, I'll work on a particular piece exploring ideas, sounds, and tonal possibilities. For Classical, working on problem areas and dealing with articulation, clarity, pacing, and rubato. One of my early mentors was P.Z.--principal bassist for Chicago's Lyric Opera. In addition to Classical, he played Jazz bass as a jobbing musician in Chicago for 50 plus years. He believed a day should not pass without picking up your instrument . . . even if that only meant playing scales for 15 minutes. If you believe a musician never stops growing, "exercises" are fundamental to growth. Good playing . . . Marinero

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Yes, part of my daily practice routine is to maintain technical stuff that I've slowly gotten better at. Then I also try to work on new ideas that are still too hard or can't play up to speed but would like to add to my playing. I'll never totally get there but practicing is totally fun for me so I love the struggle.
    So all the exercises are things I would use in improv.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    I'm old... have played way to much music in all settings... I may not practice, but when I run into something new, I figure it out, which is like an exercise. When I was young... I started every day with hours of exercises.

    Part of practicing exercises is the notating them out, understanding what they imply and where they start and end up.

    If you can't play something and you want to be able to... it doesn't happen by having a teacher tell you etc... All practice is about organization of something. You can either understand the organization and apply or memorize the results of organization and figure it out later... maybe.

    Generally the teacher thing is more about babysitting, right, helping you walk across the street, over and over... eventually you recognize most situations. Rather that teaching the organization... the Who, What, Where, Why, When... the understandings behind those situations of crossing the street. I know lousy analogy. But the point about the point of exercises is not.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Here's pretty much as close as i get to playing exercises. It's a recent small video i did practicing lines over the altered scale. You can practice patterns and still aspire to be musical.


  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    Cool.... gotta love late night...

    yea can hear the VI-7b5, the VII7alt. I-maj7, and the bIIIma7#5... even some V7b13 licks.

    Sounds great... ever do same thing but using targets... like E7alt (and the other chords) all going to ...Amaj7 or A69, Amin9 and then A7 or 13. I use to like doing same thing with any chord and what it represents going to any other chord.

    Then try and make the two chords become a Tonic, like (E7alt A13) as a Tonic or One chord
    Anyway... great playin and thanks for posting.

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    I've always tried to separate technical practice in three sections. First playing strictly the material, exercise, arpeggio, scale, whatever it might be. Second, something like the video above, where you still play a lot of the exercise, but mixed with other stuff, like call and response, where you keep coming back to it. Third would be going for musicality, and playing as you normally would, but using the practiced stuff. All three are useful!