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  1. #851

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    Be careful... I hear people wanting to change the grip-set presented by Howard Roberts, but perhaps they are what they are for a reason. Perhaps they leave harmonic room to play over. Or the voice leading was thought out. He wasn't Howard Roberts for nothing...

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  3. #852

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    Week 20. Day 4. Blues For Alice in G. Last night's session was very good. This evening, not so much. Not sure why? I just couldn't get into it. Even my warm-ups felt a bit clumsy and distracted. Very interesting considering the Blues For Alice exercises have always been some of my favorites, whereas Baubles has typically not been as inspiring.Oh, well. I'm not going to beat myself up. Tomorrow is another day.

  4. #853

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator
    Be careful... I hear people wanting to change the grip-set presented by Howard Roberts, but perhaps they are what they are for a reason. Perhaps they leave harmonic room to play over. Or the voice leading was thought out. He wasn't Howard Roberts for nothing...
    You make a good point. I learned a lot about internalizing tunes by starting out each week with shell voicings and gradually expanding into HR’s voicings as I got the tune under my fingers. Probably the single best lesson I learned on this, my third (and, admittedly, aborted) run through the program. Howard Roberts was Howard Roberts, which also means that some of his grips can be pretty challenging, especially at tempo.

  5. #854
    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator View Post
    Be careful... I hear people wanting to change the grip-set presented by Howard Roberts, but perhaps they are what they are for a reason. Perhaps they leave harmonic room to play over. Or the voice leading was thought out. He wasn't Howard Roberts for nothing...
    That's very true. And it's also true that one's choice of chordal choice suggests, if not compels a soloists to hear, think and play a certain way. For me, I have to say, it's not been my point to strive towards HR's vocabulary and language, though I have a great admiration for it. I believed that the utility of the approach, in a steady eighth note/triplet soloing program was an excellent course to mastery of the coordinated hands and cleaner technique.
    HR also has a very specific harmonic agenda wherein he incorporates really useful dominant devices into the fabric of strong and well known chord movements. There are many ways to go in the development of one's own soloing language and comping voices do go hand in hand with what you hear and what you do. Even in steady eighths, there is an important component of hearing, listening and how you relate to harmonic space.
    I found that once I internalized the changes, I could record a backing track of bass line, dyads or triad pairs. This definitely made me solo differently. All the time of course, I held the HR changes, if not voicings, as sacred though.
    When I was doing this program before, I found the written out voicings really helpful, and also intimidating. When I developed as a player and I did the program again, I could chord better and I found them really useful. But in the time between the last go at it and now, I've got a chordal/solo relationship that's changed. I found that adaptation at this point, for me, helped me break through to a whole new fingering and hearing relationship.
    I feel that's the real beauty of the Super Chops program: it's strict, but there's room for the individual to make their own solo. He makes it absolutely clear that his written out solos are merely ways that some suggestions can be seen.
    And even in the guidelines of the book, page 19, he writes:
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-04-22-6-14-59-am-png
    As a matter of fact, I think I may post the whole list of useful study suggestions. They're remarkably insightful and it's been a headslap to re-read the just now.
    Thanks for the post, it's a really good point of discussion!

  6. #855
    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan View Post
    Week 20. Day 4. Blues For Alice in G. Last night's session was very good. This evening, not so much. Not sure why? I just couldn't get into it. Even my warm-ups felt a bit clumsy and distracted. Very interesting considering the Blues For Alice exercises have always been some of my favorites, whereas Baubles has typically not been as inspiring.Oh, well. I'm not going to beat myself up. Tomorrow is another day.
    I'm going to let Howard Roberts himself address this one:
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-04-22-6-35-05-am-png
    Note especially point Q. We all have our ups and downs. Especially as a performer. You'll notice big changes from day to day. But overall, the steps you take will make you a better player.

  7. #856
    I think I put these points out there in a way back earlier post, but there's so much good advice, I should've been referencing these all along. But keep these in mind. They'll serve you in your daily practice for as long as you play:
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-04-22-1-55-36-pm-pngHoward Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-04-22-1-55-48-pm-pngHoward Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-screen-shot-2021-04-22-1-56-05-pm-png

  8. #857
    Week 20 Day 5
    Friday Project 3-B Angel Eyes A min
    Speed and approach goal: to your upper limits
    Left and right hand articulations
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-project-3-b-angel-eyes-amin-png
    This is our last look at the minor tonality Angel Eyes.

    Suggestion of the day: Minor tonalities are among the first forms that are traditionally taught in blues and jazz improvisation because they can employ the forms of the minor pentatonic scale.
    You can easily use the minor pentatonics to get fast and relatively easy mileage from your lines.
    Try incorporating straight pentatonic lines mixed with scale and arpeggiated passages for a nice fluid mixture.
    Try using a pentatonic but with approach tones and ornaments on the chord tones within the pentatonic.
    Try taking a pentatonic idea and repeat it on another minor tonal centre for some nice motific variety.

    All these things will push your ear to different places.
    Have fun!

  9. #858

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    Week 20. Day 5. Angel Eyes in A minor. Thankfully tonight was a better session than last night. I felt more on top of my game. Even though this might be my least favorite of the exercises. I got up to 150 bpm. I might take another pass this evening at a faster tempo. I took JBN's advice and tried to incorporate more pentatonic with approach notes and other ornamentations. It's so uplifting when the changes finally move to a familiar ii-V and pull you out of the constant minor-ness of it all. Looking forward to tackling the last session tomorrow night, although a bit sad at the same time.

  10. #859
    Just in time for our course finish this weekend

  11. #860

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    Here’s a direct link to the Superchops lesson / video I posted about earlier in the week. Haven’t watched it yet myself.


  12. #861
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    Here’s a direct link to the Superchops lesson / video I posted about earlier in the week. Haven’t watched it yet myself.
    I like it that he takes liberties with the letter of the law and brings out what he feels are the strengths in his own interpretation. I also like the examples of playing the things he discusses.

  13. #862
    Week 20 Our Last Day of this Journey
    It's been an amazing 20 weeks. I've never gotten so much out of a 20 week span of study as this time during an extraordinary pandemic lockdown. I hope anyone else out there who got on this train and stayed 'til the end has gotten half of what I've gotten.
    For our final page of this run of Super Chops:
    Saturday Project 6-B C dorian modal madness
    A good time to really just enjoy the sum total of what we've worked with.
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-project-6-b-modal-c-dorian-png

  14. #863
    Week 20. Friday Day 5 Angel Eyes Project
    I worked with this one as a chord solo at speed 170 in G minor, a few liberties in the form but keeping to the changes of the Project.
    Really enjoying moving around the fingerboard with figures along the string. This is what Mick refers to as the Realm of the Electric Ice Skating Rink; the fluid combination of position and single string playing. This movement turns out to be a great antidote to noodling and cliche playing because the left hand isn't looking to fill the space with position movement of the fingers but actually is responsible for making a lyrical contribution to melody. I think if I were to identify the single strongest takeaway of this run through Super Chops, it would be acquiring small intervallic phrases that can be smoothly moved from tonal centre to tonal centre through shifting.
    As I can see the fingerboard and its possible roots and chromatic approaches, I can shift and ride the harmonic line really easily. Ear, hands, eye and idea coming together at a respectable tempo.
    Feeling good with the work.

  15. #864

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    Week 20. Day 6!! Modal madness in C Dorian. Well, tonight was the final lap on a long, fruitful, sometimes frustrating journey. Perhaps I had too many expectations for tonight's practice, or maybe it was my general ennui and slightly fuzzy headspace all day, but this last exercise was not as fulfilling as I had hoped. That's okay. I realize that's what Super Chops has been for me. Peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. Inspiration and frustration. I must admit I'm proud of myself for sticking with the program day in and day out for the last 20 weeks. There's no doubt I got a lot out of the course. I certainly feel I've advanced and evolved somewhat as a player. Did I magically acquire Super Chops? No. But that was never really my aim. One of the main things that attracted me to Super Chops was a tune-based study regimen. I'd like to do the course again. Not right away. What I will do I hope is to apply the concept of playing steadily over a tune for 10 minutes, but with songs of my own choosing. I think that will be invaluable. These last number of weeks I sometimes felt a bit stale going over the same songs. Especially the ones that never fully resonated with me. Of course, there are great nuggets of information in Howard's song selections, but I think it will be good for me to pick tunes I'm currently working on, playing with my friend, inspired by, etc. and apply the Super Chops concept to them. It's also a way to keep Super Chopping without getting bored of the same material I just covered for the last 20 weeks. Anyway, that's my goal. I will miss the daily requirement and structure of the course. I will miss the camaraderie of those who took this journey with me the past 20 weeks. Most notably of course David/Jimmy Blue Note. Thank you so much, David for your abundant enthusiasm, encouragement and insights throughout the course. You were the beacon of light leading the way!

  16. #865

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    Hey guys nice work! If anyone is interested in showing off their new Superchops, the weekly jam threads have been a whole lot of fun.

  17. #866
    Week 20. Day 6
    Modal ideas. I'm seeing the small modes with the modes. Triad and triad pairs are making some really interesting springboards to further studies. They're bringing my speed down but a really nice opening to things that will go beyond today's conclusion.
    I'm working on the last day's project today and asking myself "What's next?"
    What's anyone thinking of ways to take themselves to the next level?
    Any lurkers want to weigh in on what's on your list of things you want to be able to do? I'm REALLY curious.
    General or specific ideas, whether you've done the Super Chops program or not.
    What's on YOUR "I'd give anything to do this" list?

  18. #867
    My personal plan for the next step in the studies
    I'm putting together a program that I might put into some written program.
    Very much based on my impressions at the conclusion of the Super Chops book.
    It's a tune based program and at this point is a 27 week
    I'll share some ideas here:

    Tune Based 28 week graduated program
    Every week: A new piece to work through that week, beginning at 70 BPM and concluding with a target speed determined by your own upper limit.
    Each week will be introduced by the piece with an analysis of the form, the component structures and the transitional devices (7th chords, turnarounds, key area changes, places to anticipate). The goal of this is to make it easier to look at the place in a template type way so getting OFF BOOK, which is the goal, easier over time, and transfer the burden of form to the ear.
    It will be assumed that the player can play over diatonic chords and recognize them as distinct by their intervallic relationship with the I chord tonic, in major and minor.
    It will be assumed that the player has begun to build a real time set of dominant chord lines at instant recall.
    It will also be assumed the player knows the fingerboard well enough to find any note in all locations on the fingerboard.
    It will be really helpful if the player knows notes by interval by instant identification and if possible, be able to find that interval on the guitar in all locations. (This is a tough one and the one most commonly neglected but we’ll work on it as a supplement. It’s necessary because improvisation that breaks patterns and cliches depends on abandoning the safe intervals and requires a confident facility with the unfamiliar.)
    Some amount of familiarity and comfort with Secondary Dominant and Tritone Substitution principles.

    There are 5 categories of tunes
    I. Diatonic and 7th chord based pieces with ample time to develop phrases within.
    II. Major and Minor in large sections with some non diatonic tonal areas.
    III. Dominant explorations.
    IV. Interesting modulations and challenging ear changes in the bridge particularly.
    V. Dense applications of combined techniques.

    Format: A piece a week, all those pieces with a category will be reviewed for a week after the conclusion of a section. Slow on Monday, Fast on Saturday with a regular introduction of “suggested thoughts to explore and apply”.


    The pieces:
    Category I
    My Funny Valentine
    These Foolish Things
    I hear a Rhapsody
    Yesterday
    My Romance
    On Green Dolphin Street
    -a week of review-
    Category II
    Like Someone in Love
    Here There and Everywhere
    Night and Day
    Half Nelson
    It Could Happen To You
    You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
    -week of review-
    Category III
    How Deep Is The Ocean
    Darn That Dream
    Embraceable You
    What Is This Thing Called Love
    -a week of review
    Category IV
    Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
    Peace
    My Foolish Heart
    -a week of review
    Category V
    I Remember You
    Stella By Starlight
    Body and Soul
    Have You Met Miss Jones
    Goodbye Porkpie Hat
    -week of review choosing a piece from each category each day

    TOPICS TO ADDRESS
    Getting Off Book
    Learning to recognize unifying principles
    Key transposition
    Explorations of form and the ear recognition
    Technical evolution
    Structural analysis and breakdown of pieces and ways to reassemble creatively
    Linear collections of phrases (making and organizing your lick library)
    Rhythmic vocabulary
    Studies in dynamics
    Voice leading comping
    Chordal vocabulary in comping and linear accents (chords in a solo)
    Phrasing elegance and time
    Right hand focus/Left hand focus
    Motific study/development
    Bass and treble coordination
    Mapping exercises and challenges
    Last edited by Jimmy blue note; 04-24-2021 at 03:59 PM.

  19. #868

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    My personal plan for the next step in the studies
    I'm putting together a program that I might put into some written program.
    Very much based on my impressions at the conclusion of the Super Chops book.
    It's a tune based program and at this point is a 27 week
    I'll share some ideas here:

    Tune Based 28 week graduated program
    Every week: A new piece to work through that week, beginning at 70 BPM and concluding with a target speed determined by your own upper limit.
    Each week will be introduced by the piece with an analysis of the form, the component structures and the transitional devices (7th chords, turnarounds, key area changes, places to anticipate). The goal of this is to make it easier to look at the place in a template type way so getting OFF BOOK, which is the goal, easier over time, and transfer the burden of form to the ear.
    It will be assumed that the player can play over diatonic chords and recognize them as distinct by their intervallic relationship with the I chord tonic, in major and minor.
    It will be assumed that the player has begun to build a real time set of dominant chord llilnes at instant recall.
    It will also be assumed the player knows the fingerboard well enough to find any note in all locations on the fingerboard.
    It will be really helpful if the player knows notes by interval by instant identification and if possible, be able to find that interval on the guitar in all locations. (This is a tough one and the one most commonly neglected but we’ll work on it as a supplement. It’s necessary because improvisation that breaks patterns and cliches depends on abandoning the safe intervals and requires a confident facility with the unfamiliar.)
    Some amount of familiarity and comfort with Secondary Dominant and Tritone Substitution principles.

    There are 5 categories of tunes
    I. Diatonic and 7th chord based pieces with ample time to develop phrases within.
    II. Major and Minor in large sections with some non diatonic tonal areas.
    III. Dominant explorations.
    IV. Interesting modulations and challenging ear changes in the bridge particularly.
    V. Dense applications of combined techniques.

    Format: A piece a week, all those pieces with a category will be reviewed for a week after the conclusion of a section. Slow on Monday, Fast on Saturday with a regular introduction of “suggested thoughts to explore and apply”.


    The pieces:
    Category I
    My Funny Valentine
    These Foolish Things
    I hear a Rhapsody
    Yesterday
    My Romance
    On Green Dolphin Street
    -a week of review-
    Category II
    Like Someone in Love
    Here There and Everywhere
    Night and Day
    Half Nelson
    It Could Happen To You
    You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
    -week of review-
    Category III
    How Deep Is The Ocean
    Darn That Dream
    Embraceable You
    What Is This Thing Called Love
    -a week of review
    Category IV
    Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
    Peace
    My Foolish Heart
    -a week of review
    Category V
    I Remember You
    Stella By Starlight
    Body and Soul
    Have You Met Miss Jones
    Goodbye Porkpie Hat
    -week of review choosing a piece from each category each day

    TOPICS TO ADDRESS
    Getting Off Book
    Learning to recognize unifying principles
    Key transposition
    Explorations of form and the ear recognition
    Technical evolution
    Structural analysis and breakdown of pieces and ways to reassemble creatively
    Linear collections of phrases (making and organizing your lick library)
    Rhythmic vocabulary
    Studies in dynamics
    Voice leading comping
    Chordal vocabulary in comping and linear accents (chords in a solo)
    Phrasing elegance and time
    Right hand focus/Left hand focus
    Motific study/development
    Bass and treble coordination
    Mapping exercises and challenges
    This sounds really incredibly useful. For me personally, I’d liked to see something like this structured in a modular fashion, where the player could work on it for smaller chunks of time and still get some of the benefit—committing to a month of intense, focused practice, say, rather than several months in a row. “We recommend you commit to doing the whole program, but if you can’t, choose one song from group A, one song from group B, etc”— that sort of thing.

  20. #869
    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr View Post
    This sounds really incredibly useful. For me personally, I’d liked to see something like this structured in a modular fashion, where the player could work on it for smaller chunks of time and still get some of the benefit—committing to a month of intense, focused practice, say, rather than several months in a row. “We recommend you commit to doing the whole program, but if you can’t, choose one song from group A, one song from group B, etc”— that sort of thing.
    Right! That could be easy to do, I separated them into 5 categories of pieces and each one has an implicit level of proficiency. That'd also go well with the subject matter of introduced topics at each level. For example, learning basic positional shifts to go from one area of the fingerboard as the sections of the piece changes key area, that's an area of study that'd be good to learn and master with easier pieces. Make it through each section of regular dedicated practice, then go out and use what you've gotten in your regular play. Come back and do the next level when you want. Yeah.
    I think the idea of not having a machine gun approach is also good, although I have to say that being given the option to "sit this one out today" has been the downfall of many guitarists who succumb to the temptations of "very satisfying fantasy driven procrastination".
    Yeah, a gentle but progressive learning curve, and maybe two keys for each piece.
    Maybe I'll get some well known players to write some contrafacts for this.
    I could have 5 units in the book, each for the player to choose their level of comfort.
    Great suggestion, wzpgsr. Thanks!

  21. #870

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    Jimmy blue note,
    I commend your contributions of musical knowledge to this forum. Its truly a remarkable gift that we are all so fortunate to receive. The time you spend helping others is remarkable.

    Sent from my SM-P610 using Tapatalk

  22. #871

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    I think the idea of not having a machine gun approach is also good, although I have to say that being given the option to "sit this one out today" has been the downfall of many guitarists who succumb to the temptations of "very satisfying fantasy driven procrastination".
    Yep, you nailed it. A good analogy might be many of the popular short-term healthy eating “challenges“. Eating healthy for just one day is ostensibly easy, but probably won’t change anyone’s life. But if you can get people to commit to eating healthy for 30 days, then maybe more people will make a permanent switch.

  23. #872

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    My personal plan for the next step in the studies
    I'm putting together a program that I might put into some written program.
    Very much based on my impressions at the conclusion of the Super Chops book.
    It's a tune based program and at this point is a 27 week
    I'll share some ideas here:

    Tune Based 28 week graduated program
    Every week: A new piece to work through that week, beginning at 70 BPM and concluding with a target speed determined by your own upper limit.
    Each week will be introduced by the piece with an analysis of the form, the component structures and the transitional devices (7th chords, turnarounds, key area changes, places to anticipate). The goal of this is to make it easier to look at the place in a template type way so getting OFF BOOK, which is the goal, easier over time, and transfer the burden of form to the ear.
    It will be assumed that the player can play over diatonic chords and recognize them as distinct by their intervallic relationship with the I chord tonic, in major and minor.
    It will be assumed that the player has begun to build a real time set of dominant chord lines at instant recall.
    It will also be assumed the player knows the fingerboard well enough to find any note in all locations on the fingerboard.
    It will be really helpful if the player knows notes by interval by instant identification and if possible, be able to find that interval on the guitar in all locations. (This is a tough one and the one most commonly neglected but we’ll work on it as a supplement. It’s necessary because improvisation that breaks patterns and cliches depends on abandoning the safe intervals and requires a confident facility with the unfamiliar.)
    Some amount of familiarity and comfort with Secondary Dominant and Tritone Substitution principles.

    There are 5 categories of tunes
    I. Diatonic and 7th chord based pieces with ample time to develop phrases within.
    II. Major and Minor in large sections with some non diatonic tonal areas.
    III. Dominant explorations.
    IV. Interesting modulations and challenging ear changes in the bridge particularly.
    V. Dense applications of combined techniques.

    Format: A piece a week, all those pieces with a category will be reviewed for a week after the conclusion of a section. Slow on Monday, Fast on Saturday with a regular introduction of “suggested thoughts to explore and apply”.


    The pieces:
    Category I
    My Funny Valentine
    These Foolish Things
    I hear a Rhapsody
    Yesterday
    My Romance
    On Green Dolphin Street
    -a week of review-
    Category II
    Like Someone in Love
    Here There and Everywhere
    Night and Day
    Half Nelson
    It Could Happen To You
    You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
    -week of review-
    Category III
    How Deep Is The Ocean
    Darn That Dream
    Embraceable You
    What Is This Thing Called Love
    -a week of review
    Category IV
    Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
    Peace
    My Foolish Heart
    -a week of review
    Category V
    I Remember You
    Stella By Starlight
    Body and Soul
    Have You Met Miss Jones
    Goodbye Porkpie Hat
    -week of review choosing a piece from each category each day

    TOPICS TO ADDRESS
    Getting Off Book
    Learning to recognize unifying principles
    Key transposition
    Explorations of form and the ear recognition
    Technical evolution
    Structural analysis and breakdown of pieces and ways to reassemble creatively
    Linear collections of phrases (making and organizing your lick library)
    Rhythmic vocabulary
    Studies in dynamics
    Voice leading comping
    Chordal vocabulary in comping and linear accents (chords in a solo)
    Phrasing elegance and time
    Right hand focus/Left hand focus
    Motific study/development
    Bass and treble coordination
    Mapping exercises and challenges
    That sounds great, David. I really think the idea of song-based learning is vital. That's what enabled me to commit 20 weeks to Super Chops. If your endeavor takes shape on this Forum count me in!

  24. #873

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by QAman View Post
    Jimmy blue note,
    I commend your contributions of musical knowledge to this forum. Its truly a remarkable gift that we are all so fortunate to receive. The time you spend helping others is remarkable.

    Sent from my SM-P610 using Tapatalk
    I wholeheartedly second Steve's words. You've been beyond generous with your knowledge, time and enthusiasm these past 20 weeks. I sincerely doubt I would've made it through Super Chops without you leading the way! Thank you so much!

  25. #874
    Week 21. Day 1
    Feeling a great sense of what can be done next. Thanks so much everyone for making this a real lesson in learning and playing.
    Best takeaway from all of this: Find others to play with, in one way or another, don't let any aspect of self doubt keep you from putting one foot in front of the other and make your relationship with music (NOT your relationship with the guitar as an object that you show off) a daily part of your life.
    If you do this, unimagined depths of ability and profound discovery will reveal themselves.
    It's about work, but don't forget there's a reason why they call it playing music.
    Have fun!
    David

  26. #875
    Plus this great lesson, beautiful progression. Even at 84 bpm it is difficult to maintain a straight line of eighth notes. Reading the chord progression of Lesson 2-B, which is the same as transposed, I saw that there are subtle changes in the use of scales, especially in passing chords.