Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    A (possibly self-imposed) roadblock I hit regularly when learning something new: how to practice it thoroughly across the entire neck covering all keys. I picked up Adam Maness’ Bebop Enclosures course from Open Studio. It’s not supposed to be instrument-specific, but Adam’s a piano player, so the guided practice sessions only cover one octave usually. Abstractly, I know that it’s not necessarily a great use of my time to spend weeks and weeks on one exercise in order to cover all of its possible positions on the guitar, but I feel like I need to do a little more work with everything because of the nature of the instrument. And this takes a long time and confuses me and overwhelms me and then I bounce off of the material before I get to the good stuff.

    Does anyone have some advice on how to approach learning material in a practical way without creating an unnecessary mountain of work for myself? I'm not averse to putting lots of time and effort into my practice, but I want to work smarter, not harder y'know?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Following this!

    I've always heard the advise to do this, but I'm too lazy to do it, at least to any great degree.
    I think it's more efficient to learn more tunes, that are written in different keys.

    That said, there's a new jam in my area, I heard one night they played Rhythm changes in A. I thought that was odd, but it was to accommodate a singer.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Make up a regimen that you can accomplish and that's relevant to your playing and rep. I find that if I try to approach something too comprehensively and academically, it doesn't get done. Like if I wanted to learn Donna Lee in all keys and in both hands. That's just silly. (I'm a keys player.) So what you could do is make a goal of taking 1 of the exercises and play it in 2 or 3 areas of the neck. Or try to expand on it and start the exercise as written and then take it further on your own into a different area of the neck. On a side note, I really like Open Studio and the 2 pianists who started it. They're great players, teachers, and are really nice. What are some specifics that you want to accomplish with your all neck studies? Have the bebop enclosures class cover the whole neck?
    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-07-2021 at 02:21 PM.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Must admit I never bothered learning/practising things in all keys. Transposing any idea up and down the neck should be easy and takes care of quite a few keys. The main thing I used to do is take a phrase and repeat it across the neck i.e. onto different string groups.

    So for example if I learned a cool phrase on the first 3 strings, I would figure it out on strings 2,3,4, then on 3,4,5 and so on. I didn’t need to practise it at every position up and down the neck.

    Just playing all these ideas in lots of different tunes seemed to take care of everything else. Also developed my ear.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by huntermacd
    this takes a long time and confuses me and overwhelms me and then I bounce off of the material before I get to the good stuff.

    Yup, that's why there are only a few greats. The Charlie Parker, Joe Pass and Barney Kessel of the world are the ones who get confused and overwhelmed and keep playing the exercise. I think it's a special kind of brain that gets frustrated and confused that thinks "lets try it one more time."

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    For the things I practice in 12 keys, I pick an area of the neck and then go around the Cycle of Fifths C G D A E B etc. Then, I move up to the next area of the neck and do it again. I practice some things in four areas and a few things in five.

    But, for learning a melody, I just memorize it the same way a non-musician memorizes a melody. Then, I rely on the ability to play notes ethat I hear in my head. My test for students is this: pick a random string/finger/fret and play Happy Birthday. I think a jazz musician should be able to do this without difficulty. You get to the point where you think of a melody and your fingers find it without thought. At that point, you know it in all 12 keys and you don't care what key you're in.

    I find it harder for chords, but I'm convinced that's how pros who know a zillion tunes do it. They know the tune like any non-musician and their fingers go to the right chord no matter what the key. I think that's what you practice. You want to be able to pre-hear the sound of the next chord and have your fingers find it without difficulty.

    My best suggestion for practicing this: Get IRealPro, pick a tune you know, set it for 13 repeats Turn the kb down, but maybe not all the way. Play the melody in every key. Comp in every key. When you screw something up, slow it down and see if you can hear the sound.

    A helpful trick: don't necessarily try to strum everything. Insert some single-note lines as a way of finding the next chord if you need to. Sometimes that makes it easier.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    'Learn it in all keys and all positions' is just something old-timers say to intimidate newcomers.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    My advice, worth every penny you'll pay for it, is - learn songs in keys you can sing them in.* You will work more.

    * If you can pull it off in more than one key, so much the better.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 10-08-2021 at 11:07 AM.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by huntermacd
    Does anyone have some advice on how to approach learning material in a practical way without creating an unnecessary mountain of work for myself? I'm not averse to putting lots of time and effort into my practice, but I want to work smarter, not harder y'know?
    Well, you've already taken the first good step in realising the pointlessness of the 'Play this in all keys and positions' approach. It's not music, it's preparation for music, like constantly sowing and never reaping.

    Personally, I did it by playing tunes. Play a good tune in its usual key, then maybe try it in another. Same with the next tune. Don't keep playing the same tune over and over, even in different keys, because it's boring.

    Do different tunes, learn how to play them, how to solo over them, then move to another tune in a different key, both major and minor. Not only will it help you learn the tunes but you'll be making real music.

    It won't take you that long to get it simply because of the repeated chord patterns in these tunes, especially the ubiquitous ii-V-I's. Most jazz tunes go through lots of different keys anyway. 'All The Things You Are' has five!

    In short, if it feels stupid, boring and pointless... IT IS, so forget it. Do something constructive and future-enhancing.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    If I was only playing standards from memory in the original keys I might not bother practicing things in 12 keys.

    How important this kind of practice is depends on your goal.

    If you want to be the mythical well-rounded musician, you may deem important being able to play any tune in any key.

    If you want to read and solo on a chart you've never seen before, in 5 sharps, with harmony that makes Wayne Shorter look like John Lee Hooker, then you may want to practice things in every key.

    I regularly practice scales and arps in every key in multiple neck positions. I find it helps for what I do.

    I often practice tunes in 12 keys with Irealpro. Major benefits, I think, are ear training and identifying chords that I can't cover instantly.

  12. #11
    I think there’s a distinction to be made between playing every tune in all keys vs cycling basic patterns through all keys.

    Make sure you’re not skipping something all horn players do by default. A couple of years ago, we did the all keys thing here in a study group on basic patterns, and I learned more about approaching my instrument than just about anything else id done up to that point.

    “How do we do this thing that’s just basic for other instrumentalists?” is a pretty important question to deal with at some point.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    A cool way to practice is instead "all over the fretboard" but starting from certain string with certain finger and keep the position unchanged.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I teach my students to play 5 keys/fingerings in one position. The next 5 keys are played using the same 5 fingerings up 1 fret. The last two keys are played using the first two fingerings again up 1 fret.

    The 5 fingerings I use are the ones from Bill Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar. Many other fingering options are available but I like to keep the options finite in the beginning.
    Last edited by Dana; 10-08-2021 at 07:45 PM.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    My advice, worth every penny you'll pay for it, is - learn songs in keys you can sing them in.
    In my case that would mean learning no songs at all.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana

    The 5 fingerings I use are the ones from Bill Leavitt's Modern Method for Guitar. Many other fingering options are available but I like to keep the options finite in the beginning.

    Leavitt taught 12 fingerings in one position. Which 5 are you using?

    .

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    The 12 key approach makes total sense for instruments like the piano or a saxophone, where it's really a big deal to be able to play everything in all keys. In guitar you just move up a fret! So I still consider it important, but not as much for guitar.

    I've always organized technical material in three areas. Chords, scales, and arpeggios. I cycle through these as a daily warmup and technique study. I try to always work on many things at the same time, like metronome range, while the picking hand does a fingerstyle or a strumming pattern etc..

    Apart from that, it's playing tunes, doing transcriptions, playing along with CDs, and listening to music. After that, jamming with people..

    And don't forget the quality of your practice becomes the quality of your playing.. so practice needs a lot of focus and attention to detail!

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Leavitt taught 12 fingerings in one position. Which 5 are you using?

    .
    5 mostly for the first 2 volumes.

    volume 3 gets heavily into more positions. For what it’s worth, they basically line up with CAGED analogues.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    the all keys/positions thing .. it depends on what YOU want to know/do with music..are you a working/session musician..knowing this stuff cant hurt

    I was driven .. I wanted to know all I could (be careful what you wish for)..so I found a teacher that could show me that..I was buried in harmony/melody studies in ALL keys/positions applied to standards

    I was fortunate I was able to practice 4-5 hrs a day for several years and play with working musicians in many styles..all era jazz/rock/fusion/blues..even folk/country..

    some of the mysteries I learned I still use today ..play the melody in all the modes of a diatonic key..then through harmonic cycles..it lessons that "feeling lost" by alot

    so for me the all keys thing takes alot of work and determination ..for me it was/is worth every practice hour

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    .play the melody in all the modes of a diatonic key..then through harmonic cycles..
    I don't quite follow this. Might you explain it further?

    Thanks.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    A cool way to practice is instead "all over the fretboard" but starting from certain string with certain finger and keep the position unchanged.
    That's an important aspect of Bill Leavitt's Method for Guitar., especially Vol. 3

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I think before playing in any key, a guitarist should know how to play his stuff on different set of strings. And for that what works for me is first to recognize the chord note notes of your melody part, your lick, your pattern whatever, visualize the chord you play over and then jump to the other set of strings / area of the neck where you'll have to play over another chord inversion you quickly find using CAGED. And to play again this phrase you remember it started for instance on its 3rd and finish on the 5th. So find these notes on this new inversion. To play in any key, transpose and play this way in the neck position you're the most confortable.

    Envoyé de mon SM-G930F en utilisant Tapatalk

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I don't quite follow this. Might you explain it further?

    Thanks.
    ok..using a melodic pattern of 2 3 1 5
    using each mode as the "one" chord..

    C maj D EC G

    Dmi E F D A

    Emi F G E B etc

    Harmonic cycle In C: I iii V vii ii IV vi

    C Ma D E C G

    Emi F G E B

    GMa A B G D

    Bdim C D B F etc

    you could now extend this thinking and use each mode and its parallel chords

    CMA - C Dorian- C phrygian C lydian etc

    it may seem like alot of work..but one you have the "flow" of it and begin to "mix and match"
    the feel of "play any note at any time anywhere" and still be aware of the melodic structure

    I listen to alot of sax improv and how they weave in and out of keys/scales/arps and still keep playing melodic fragments in their solos

    hope this is clear and helps

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    ok..using a melodic pattern of 2 3 1 5
    using each mode as the "one" chord..

    C maj D EC G

    Dmi E F D A

    Emi F G E B etc

    Harmonic cycle In C: I iii V vii ii IV vi

    C Ma D E C G

    Emi F G E B

    GMa A B G D

    Bdim C D B F etc

    you could now extend this thinking and use each mode and its parallel chords

    CMA - C Dorian- C phrygian C lydian etc

    it may seem like alot of work..but one you have the "flow" of it and begin to "mix and match"
    the feel of "play any note at any time anywhere" and still be aware of the melodic structure

    I listen to alot of sax improv and how they weave in and out of keys/scales/arps and still keep playing melodic fragments in their solos

    hope this is clear and helps
    Yes! That clears it up. Thanks.

  25. #24
    Does anyone have some advice on how to approach learning material in a practical way without creating an unnecessary mountain of work for myself?”

    Once the basics are under your belt (chords, scales, arpeggios, licks, melodies) focus on learning tunes and playing over them. Pick one or two at a time and learn it (them) thoroughly. That will stop you getting bogged down in too much unnecessary stuff, which is boring and you’ll just forget anyway. The more tunes you learn and are able to play over well, the better acquainted you’ll become with your fretboard. If you’re having fun you’re learning better.

  26. #25
    Great discussion, folks. Nice to hear a variety of perspectives on the matter. I agree that going "a mile wide and an inch deep" is the way to go. Pick one thing and learn it down in one position. And importantly, do everything in service of learning/playing tunes.