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  1. #1

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    Hi everyone:

    I just finished going through the latest Howard Roberts SuperChops program with the last session (Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine) and found it really helpful - both with technique, and with improvisation. My ending speed by Week 20 was 133 bpm (triplets and eighths). I'm looking to push that up a bit, so I've decided to go through the whole program again.

    If you're interested in joining me in this journey, please let me know. We'll use this thread to communicate and track progress, and share ideas and hints. I'll be starting on July 5th.

    So, if this appeals to you, let me know if you're in. If you need a copy of the book, there are plenty of .pdf copies available for free online. PM me if you're having trouble finding it.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Imaybe up for this
    Don't know the book , but looks good
    Thanks
    Andy


    Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk

  4. #3

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    I'm down! Day one is July 5th? I've been waiting for one of these to pop up

  5. #4

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    Great. The more people we get involved, the more rewarding this becomes for everyone.

    Here's a .pdf of a 20-week practice schedule for Superchops that I made. Please feel free to use it if it is at all helpful.

    -Travis
    Practice Schedule Summer 2021.pdf

    Howard Roberts SuperChops - Summer 2021 Group-practice-schedule-summer-2021-jpg

  6. #5

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    Okay everyone:

    It's one week until bootcamp starts up. I'm really looking forward to going through this again - I really benefit from following a regimented practice schedule and just "trusting the system,' as it were. The last 20 week run through earlier this year was a great experience.

    So let's get a roll-call: who is in for starting up on July 5th? Let us know if you're planning on going through this with us, and maybe a little bit abut your goals or hopes for the program. Thanks.

    Contact me if you need help finding a .pdf of the book.

    -Travis

  7. #6

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    I would like to give it a go
    The YouTube videos I found about this book just confused me. So a group like this would be great

    Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by android
    I would like to give it a go
    The YouTube videos I found about this book just confused me. So a group like this would be great

    Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk
    Hello - very happy to welcome you to the group.

    -Travis

  9. #8

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    I think I'll give it a go. I've mainly been in "learn this tune" types of groups, so working through a method book is a change of pace I think I can use.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I think I'll give it a go. I've mainly been in "learn this tune" types of groups, so working through a method book is a change of pace I think I can use.
    Fantastic - it looks like this group might be shaping up.

  11. #10

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    The book I was able to find has the first chord progression cut off.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    The book I was able to find has the first chord progression cut off.
    Howard Roberts - Super Chops - Guitar - Free Download PDF

  13. #12

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    By the way, I highly recommend and strongly encourage you all to invest in the iReal Pro app. It is $15, but it really is worth it - not only for the Howard Roberts Superchops stuff, but just in general. I use it pretty much every time I practice.

    If you do get iReal Pro (or already have it), next download the SuperChops backing tracks: Superchops For Guitar - Howard Roberts

    This way, you can avoid making the backing tracks yourself, plus you have complete control over the tempo.

    -Travis

  14. #13

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    Thanks. I'm going to go the hard way and make my own backing tracks. I don't know many grips for these 11, 13 and + chords.

  15. #14

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    I could see the chord progression on irealpro
    Looks pretty complex!

    Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by android
    I could see the chord progression on irealpro
    Looks pretty complex!

    Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk
    That has been my thought also... seems a bit of a strange choice for the first chord progression.

    Howard Roberts was the founder of GIT. Many years (decades maybe?) after Super Chops, GIT publishing came out with Introduction to Jazz Guitar Soloing which starts at a much more basic level but does also use the constant 1/8th note exercise over simple changes that then gets a bit more complex as the book progresses. The book, Intro to Jazz Guitar Soloing, was (is?) used as part of the GIT curriculum. I think that book might be a good one to go through before Super Chops.

    It seems Super Chops is out of print, i.e. not used, at least currently, at GIT.

  17. #16

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    Watching with interest.

  18. #17

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    The changes for Week 1 and 2 are, I believe, based off of 'Cherokee' with Howard Roberts throwing in his own ideas for chord substitutions, etc.

  19. #18

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    Happy 4th of July to all those who celebrate it. Day 1 of Superchops starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. For those of you who haven't gone through the program yet, I strongly recommend you put aside 30-45 minutes to thoroughly read through the first 18 pages before you begin the Day 1 routine.

    Good luck and have fun!

    -Travis

  20. #19

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    I'm going to give this a start. Pull out my book that is largely unused. Bought it right when it came out, 1978, $8.95 which was pretty expensive back then.
    Attached Images Attached Images Howard Roberts SuperChops - Summer 2021 Group-superchops-medium-jpg 

  21. #20

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    I won't be participating this time around, but I've done the program a couple of times. Some short-cuts / insights I discovered along the way that made things a bit more practical for me, but generally stick the spirit of the program:


    1. Internalize the changes and play off-book as quickly as possible
    2. To help achieve #1: use shell voicings instead of HR's voicings.
    3. Also to help achieve #1: don't use a backing track or IReal Pro, BIAB, etc. If you have the means to record your own simple backing track with shell voicings. More time with the changes means a firmer grasp of the changes. I would basically record several choruses of shell voicings for 10 minutes, then crop and loop the best take for my backing track. If you're pressed for time, or just don't feel like it, that's okay, too, but I found this part to be really important for getting off-book.
    4. Don't feel pressure to increase tempo according to HR's recommendations. The key here is to play as fast as you can *without making mistakes*. (I modify this slightly to "without making too many mistakes"). HR's tempos are only suggestions, not written stone in stone.
    5. It can get tedious doing just 8th notes week after week. But stick with it. By the end of the program, HR introduces triplets, hammer-ons, pull-offs, etc. It's rigorous, but in the end, always worth it, IMO.


    Your mileage may vary. This is what seems to work well for me!

  22. #21

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    Day 1 down, 119 more days to go, lol. I spent 45 minutes or so going through Day 1 today. I don't really spend the entire 1 hour going through the program, as I don't bother with recording the changes first (I use iReal Pro), and I tend to take, at most, a 30 second to a minute break between 10-minute run throughs. I don't do any of the deep breathing, or lying down, or visualization stuff - to my mind, that just sort of betrays the hippy-dippy vintage and heritage of the publication era for this book. 'Positive-visualization' plus a buck, gets you a cup of coffee, as they say.

    Tempo was set to a slow and sedate 50bpm - aiming for 60bpm by Friday. From past experience, the tempos don't start to get technically challenging for me until about Week 10 or so; I'm using this time with the slow tempos to explore some different ideas - today I tried to outline the arpeggios of each chord. For the first 10 minute run-through I first spent some time on the first 5-6 frets, across all six strings, then moved positions up the neck gradually until I was playing above the 12th fret - then I moved back down again. For the second 10 minute run-through, I tried playing the arpeggios horizontally up and down the neck on just 3 strings. This was a bit tougher, but after a few times through the changes, I was starting to get it. For the 3rd run-through, I just tried to make music by stringing together some arpeggio ideas with some chromaticisms, and single note runs.

    I need to start keeping a note-book of ideas and motifs that I come up with. I almost always come up with, or discover, at least one or two things that are neat and interesting and I would enjoy incorporating into my playing. And I always believe, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that I will remember and recall all of the ideas I come up with while practicing.

    -Travis

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Socraticaster
    Day 1 down, 119 more days to go, lol. I spent 45 minutes or so going through Day 1 today. I don't really spend the entire 1 hour going through the program, as I don't bother with recording the changes first (I use iReal Pro), and I tend to take, at most, a 30 second to a minute break between 10-minute run throughs. I don't do any of the deep breathing, or lying down, or visualization stuff - to my mind, that just sort of betrays the hippy-dippy vintage and heritage of the publication era for this book. 'Positive-visualization' plus a buck, gets you a cup of coffee, as they say.

    Tempo was set to a slow and sedate 50bpm - aiming for 60bpm by Friday. From past experience, the tempos don't start to get technically challenging for me until about Week 10 or so; I'm using this time with the slow tempos to explore some different ideas - today I tried to outline the arpeggios of each chord. For the first 10 minute run-through I first spent some time on the first 5-6 frets, across all six strings, then moved positions up the neck gradually until I was playing above the 12th fret - then I moved back down again. For the second 10 minute run-through, I tried playing the arpeggios horizontally up and down the neck on just 3 strings. This was a bit tougher, but after a few times through the changes, I was starting to get it. For the 3rd run-through, I just tried to make music by stringing together some arpeggio ideas with some chromaticisms, and single note runs.

    I need to start keeping a note-book of ideas and motifs that I come up with. I almost always come up with, or discover, at least one or two things that are neat and interesting and I would enjoy incorporating into my playing. And I always believe, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that I will remember and recall all of the ideas I come up with while practicing.

    -Travis
    So I'm wondering, do we just play the solo notated in the book? He says to improvise, but I thought the idea was to learn how, and being told "just improvise" seems confusing when we are given a closely notated example. Could you clarify what you actually do? Play the solo until you're comfortable with it, then start varying?

    Sorry to be so dense!

  24. #23

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    I struggled comping with the changes for an hour. Like always, I feel like I'm in too deep. See you tomorrow

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    I struggled comping with the changes for an hour. Like always, I feel like I'm in too deep. See you tomorrow
    Yep, that’ll nail ya! That’s why I started using basic three-note shell voicings.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    So I'm wondering, do we just play the solo notated in the book? He says to improvise, but I thought the idea was to learn how, and being told "just improvise" seems confusing when we are given a closely notated example. Could you clarify what you actually do? Play the solo until you're comfortable with it, then start varying?

    Sorry to be so dense!
    Seems to me that reading the notated exercise will have several benefits; among them, improving your reading, hearing new ideas, phrases and patterns, and busting us out of our ruts, especially for those of us who have been at this for a long time. HR is one of my favorite players, and his recordings are a lot like Charlie Christian's, in that he actually introduces lots of licks that became part of the language of the post-bop era, as Christian showed how the guitar could go from swing to bop. I'm sure that using our own improvs over the changes in this course will be beneficial, but I am going to use it to expand my vocabulary and sharpen my technique by reading what's presented during the week and see if any of it shows up on my gigs.