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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 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...
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.

  27. #876

  28. #877

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    I'm not sure if anyone is still around in this thread, but here's my update: I'm proud to say that today I finished the Superchops program - I went the entire 20 weeks, 6 sessions per week, no omissions or deviations. I made it up to 141 bpm at my fastest, but truthfully, 130bpm is about as fast as I can currently go and still make anything that might resemble music; anything faster and I'm just noodling, or playing scales or the odd familiar lick that's easy and comfortable. 130bpm still challenges my chops but allows me to explore and develop ideas and motifs in some depth. With that in mind, I kept the metronome at 130bpm for all of Week 20. I'm including a pic I took of my practice diary for the last 20 weeks.

    On page 18 of Superchops, Pointer R, HR states that if you maintain a given practice speed for 21 days, you will have that tempo 'hard-wired' into you, in a manner of speaking. Maybe that's overly optimistic, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. So starting tomorrow, I'm beginning a 21 day mini boot-camp by playing through a different standard every day at 130 bpm for three 10 minute sessions of 8th notes and triplets. If anyone else wants to try something along similar lines, let me know and we can start a thread to share our experiences.

    Once I've finished this mini boot-camp, I'm planning on doing Superchops all over again from the beginning - this next time I'll see how much faster than 130bpm I can get. I think doing the program back to back like this will really provide me with some solid data as to its efficacy.

    So - is anyone up for starting the whole program over again on June 1st? Do you know of anyone who might be interested? If so, let them know. We can keep this thread going or start a new one.

    Keep safe everyone.

    -Travis
    Howard Roberts Super Chops: study group for a tune based practice routine-img_1360-jpg
    Last edited by Socraticaster; 05-09-2021 at 10:16 PM.

  29. #878

    User Info Menu

    Hey, Travis. Congratulations! It really is quite an accomplishment to stick to a program like Howard's Super Chops for 20 weeks. I had the same feeling of satisfaction when I completed the course. I commend you for keeping a daily journal. I never did that. It really is a great way to track your bpm progress.

    I'm intrigued by your suggestion to tackle some standards for 21 days at a given bpm. I have to admit that after the initial rush of finishing the course, I've been floundering a bit. I still play every day, and I continue to work on tunes. I've been incorporating a bit of the Super Chops mentality to my playing, but I've been looking for a little more structure like I had with Super Chops. I think I might be open to joining your mini boot camp. I've also contemplated redoing Super Chops again, but I'm hoping to take a trip this summer with my family which would interrupt a 20 week commitment. The other thing I struggle with is some aspects of Super Chops.

    I'd definitely like to develop better proficiency with my right hand, but ultimately ideas, phrasing and general musicality are more important to me than shredding. I imagine everyone would agree with this. So if I were to embark on your mini boot camp or redo the Super Chops program, I'm not entirely certain I would want to strictly adhere to steady 8th notes or 8th note triplets. Perhaps that defeats the whole purpose of the course. I'm not sure.

    I've communicated a bit with Jimmy Blue Note about "where do we go from here" strategies. What would be a good program that takes the best of Super Chops, but perhaps allows one to work on their phrasing and musicality as well? JBN has been so helpful, I'm very curious if he has any suggestions.

    Bottom line. I'm searching for something. Your mini boot camp might be a great solution. Thanks!

    Michael

  30. #879

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    FYI: These are the songs I'll be working on for my mini boot-camp this week, starting Monday. Next week, I'll start adding in more harmonically challenging songs, but I figured these would be a good start for now.

    My Funny Valentine
    Autumn Leaves
    My Romance
    All Of Me
    Song For My Father
    Just Friends
    How High The Moon

    -Travis

  31. #880
    I'm really happy to see the trees are continuing to grow and thrive. I LOVE the idea of the mini boot camp!
    I have no shortage of things to work on and I'm keeping notes on my own goals and pay-offs since working with you guys for the Super Chops 20 weeker.
    That's a great idea for the 21 days. I'm watching to see what you guys get out of that.
    In the meanwhile, I'm remembering a few years ago when I finished the last run of super chops and I put together an ambitious tune a week for a year program. That was pretty rigourous and uplifting.
    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?

    For now I'm thinking of putting a series of stand alone 3 or 4 week programs all of which will focus on one chosen piece. During those 3 or 4 weeks, we'll take it from ground up, using that piece, not necessarily as a "piece" but as a vehicle from which we can look at the improvisational process.
    For each piece we'd:
    Map the fretboard so we really know the tonal roots, the positions to play ideas solidly and how to effortlessly move from one zone to another (Mick's realm of the electric skating rink).
    Define the harmony of the piece in a way so the form has a clear and unmistakable landscape of diatonic and dominant areas. This will also be a way to get off book in the early stages.
    Work within tonal areas with and beyond the melody line to develop ear skills that will enable us to go way beyond our cliche limitations.
    Have a steadily increasing tempo so we can find our conceptual limits while working on an individual piece, keeping our own lyrical and melodic ideas strong.
    Introduce harmonic options (substitutions) in a way so the solid idea of the form of the piece can always be fertile grounds for our own compositional abilities.
    Develop our own process for theme and variation, motif and development, and creating "modules of melody" (licks or personal phrases) in a way that allows us to seamlessly inject complex linear sounds into the soloing process when needed.

    This is a LOT of stuff, and it's what separates the serious player from the armchair student. I figure a month with the form, not too long as to get boring, and not so short as we don't really learn the form by ear.

    I'll assume everyone has some familiarity with diatonic harmony, the basics of scale based melodic construction and the ear to tell a V chord from a VI- chord.

    The rest we should have the time and space to find challenges, affirmation and the foundation to move upwards.

    Maybe this can be an option for some of us shortly after you finish Boot Camp?

    I think you guys offering an option for another run through Super Chops and an option to kick it to the next gear will be really fun through the summer. Choose your own way to keep on the growth curve.
    For my part, I learned tons from our run through Super Chops the last time.
    I'd be willing to do these proposed "Piece explorations" for as long as they're useful; I have a long list of tunes to use.

    In future ones down the road, we might even incorporate chordal concepts like Goodchord Voice Leading once we get solid. Who knows? It really is limitless, and the group dynamic provides the magic element.

    Sound like fun?

  32. #881

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    I'm really happy to see the trees are continuing to grow and thrive. I LOVE the idea of the mini boot camp!
    I have no shortage of things to work on and I'm keeping notes on my own goals and pay-offs since working with you guys for the Super Chops 20 weeker.
    That's a great idea for the 21 days. I'm watching to see what you guys get out of that.
    In the meanwhile, I'm remembering a few years ago when I finished the last run of super chops and I put together an ambitious tune a week for a year program. That was pretty rigourous and uplifting.
    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?

    For now I'm thinking of putting a series of stand alone 3 or 4 week programs all of which will focus on one chosen piece. During those 3 or 4 weeks, we'll take it from ground up, using that piece, not necessarily as a "piece" but as a vehicle from which we can look at the improvisational process.
    For each piece we'd:
    Map the fretboard so we really know the tonal roots, the positions to play ideas solidly and how to effortlessly move from one zone to another (Mick's realm of the electric skating rink).
    Define the harmony of the piece in a way so the form has a clear and unmistakable landscape of diatonic and dominant areas. This will also be a way to get off book in the early stages.
    Work within tonal areas with and beyond the melody line to develop ear skills that will enable us to go way beyond our cliche limitations.
    Have a steadily increasing tempo so we can find our conceptual limits while working on an individual piece, keeping our own lyrical and melodic ideas strong.
    Introduce harmonic options (substitutions) in a way so the solid idea of the form of the piece can always be fertile grounds for our own compositional abilities.
    Develop our own process for theme and variation, motif and development, and creating "modules of melody" (licks or personal phrases) in a way that allows us to seamlessly inject complex linear sounds into the soloing process when needed.

    This is a LOT of stuff, and it's what separates the serious player from the armchair student. I figure a month with the form, not too long as to get boring, and not so short as we don't really learn the form by ear.

    I'll assume everyone has some familiarity with diatonic harmony, the basics of scale based melodic construction and the ear to tell a V chord from a VI- chord.

    The rest we should have the time and space to find challenges, affirmation and the foundation to move upwards.

    Maybe this can be an option for some of us shortly after you finish Boot Camp?

    I think you guys offering an option for another run through Super Chops and an option to kick it to the next gear will be really fun through the summer. Choose your own way to keep on the growth curve.
    For my part, I learned tons from our run through Super Chops the last time.
    I'd be willing to do these proposed "Piece explorations" for as long as they're useful; I have a long list of tunes to use.

    In future ones down the road, we might even incorporate chordal concepts like Goodchord Voice Leading once we get solid. Who knows? It really is limitless, and the group dynamic provides the magic element.

    Sound like fun?
    This sounds great. I’ve been doing the weekly jam session threads. Lots of great new tunes, but I have wanted to spend more time on a few of them than afforded by one week. I figured I would participate in the tune of the week jam session threads for a while, then take a break to dig into just one tune. So I’m likely all aboard for your first 3-4 week session Jimmy. Please keep me posted on timing!

  33. #882

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    I'm really happy to see the trees are continuing to grow and thrive. I LOVE the idea of the mini boot camp!
    I have no shortage of things to work on and I'm keeping notes on my own goals and pay-offs since working with you guys for the Super Chops 20 weeker.
    That's a great idea for the 21 days. I'm watching to see what you guys get out of that.
    In the meanwhile, I'm remembering a few years ago when I finished the last run of super chops and I put together an ambitious tune a week for a year program. That was pretty rigourous and uplifting.
    Commit to a song a week. What could a serious student hope to learn?

    For now I'm thinking of putting a series of stand alone 3 or 4 week programs all of which will focus on one chosen piece. During those 3 or 4 weeks, we'll take it from ground up, using that piece, not necessarily as a "piece" but as a vehicle from which we can look at the improvisational process.
    For each piece we'd:
    Map the fretboard so we really know the tonal roots, the positions to play ideas solidly and how to effortlessly move from one zone to another (Mick's realm of the electric skating rink).
    Define the harmony of the piece in a way so the form has a clear and unmistakable landscape of diatonic and dominant areas. This will also be a way to get off book in the early stages.
    Work within tonal areas with and beyond the melody line to develop ear skills that will enable us to go way beyond our cliche limitations.
    Have a steadily increasing tempo so we can find our conceptual limits while working on an individual piece, keeping our own lyrical and melodic ideas strong.
    Introduce harmonic options (substitutions) in a way so the solid idea of the form of the piece can always be fertile grounds for our own compositional abilities.
    Develop our own process for theme and variation, motif and development, and creating "modules of melody" (licks or personal phrases) in a way that allows us to seamlessly inject complex linear sounds into the soloing process when needed.

    This is a LOT of stuff, and it's what separates the serious player from the armchair student. I figure a month with the form, not too long as to get boring, and not so short as we don't really learn the form by ear.

    I'll assume everyone has some familiarity with diatonic harmony, the basics of scale based melodic construction and the ear to tell a V chord from a VI- chord.

    The rest we should have the time and space to find challenges, affirmation and the foundation to move upwards.

    Maybe this can be an option for some of us shortly after you finish Boot Camp?

    I think you guys offering an option for another run through Super Chops and an option to kick it to the next gear will be really fun through the summer. Choose your own way to keep on the growth curve.
    For my part, I learned tons from our run through Super Chops the last time.
    I'd be willing to do these proposed "Piece explorations" for as long as they're useful; I have a long list of tunes to use.

    In future ones down the road, we might even incorporate chordal concepts like Goodchord Voice Leading once we get solid. Who knows? It really is limitless, and the group dynamic provides the magic element.

    Sound like fun?
    That sounds like a lot of fun, JBN! I like the idea of having a month to really explore a tune and dig deep. Let me know when you want to begin and I'm in. Thank you in advance!

    Oh, and Socraticaster... just to clarify... are you starting your mini boot camp next Monday? Or today?

    Thanks!

  34. #883

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    For now I'm thinking of putting a series of stand alone 3 or 4 week programs all of which will focus on one chosen piece. During those 3 or 4 weeks, we'll take it from ground up, using that piece, not necessarily as a "piece" but as a vehicle from which we can look at the improvisational process.... Maybe this can be an option for some of us shortly after you finish Boot Camp? ...Sound like fun?
    It does sound like fun. Count me in once you get this going.

    -Travis

  35. #884
    I'll start this mid June, I'll give you guys a chance to do tunes and I'm going to NY for a week at the start of June. When I get back I'll have posted an outline and some prep materials. Then let's start this adventure then!

  36. #885

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note View Post
    I'll start this mid June, I'll give you guys a chance to do tunes and I'm going to NY for a week at the start of June. When I get back I'll have posted an outline and some prep materials. Then let's start this adventure then!
    Excellent! Thank you!

  37. #886

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan View Post
    Oh, and Socraticaster... just to clarify... are you starting your mini boot camp next Monday? Or today?
    I started it today. I don't think it's a big deal, however, if you decide to join in a day later than me.

    I had fun going through My Funny Valentine today, and I managed to explore some outside harmonies in a few areas (sometimes successfully, sometimes not), which was something I'd never done before. Playing over a tune for a total of 30 minutes at 8ths and triplets really forces your hand to get creative harmonically. I've been trying a Mike Stern-esque move of playing up a half step for the last 2 beats of a resolving chord before moving back down in the next bar. It doesn't work everywhere, but when it does, it sounds good. I'm definitely going to keep exploring this to find out the best places to use it and where to avoid it.

    Tomorrow is Autumn Leaves - I'm looking forward to exploring some ideas over the descending chord section, as I just sort of skated over it in the past.

  38. #887

    User Info Menu

    Hey, Socraticaster. I started your mini boot camp as well. Tackled My Funny Valentine at 130 bpm for three ten minute sessions. It's interesting to play a tune that I normally do as a ballad at a much brisker tempo, especially with "steady" 8th notes and 8th note triplets. Like the Super Chops program, I must admit at times I follow a musical idea in lieu of keeping the steady 8th notes going. Also, I can only do bursts of triplets at 130 bpm. I can't play over the entire form with constant 8th note triplets at this tempo. Lately I've been trying to engrain melodic minor further, seeing it up and down the fretboard. I used the last time through My Funny Valentine to really explore C melodic minor. That was fruitful. Anyway, thanks again for suggesting this mini boot camp.

  39. #888

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    I figure we don't have to post every day, but I've been keeping up with the mini boot camp. I tackled Autumn Leaves yesterday and My Romance this evening. I haven't played My Romance that much. Granted it's not the most harmonically challenging tune, but it took a bit to
    familiarize myself with it. Especially jumping in at 130 bmp and for the most part playing steady 8th notes with occasional burst of triplets. Autumn Leaves I've worked on more extensively, so that one was more fun. I'm really trying to explore my minor harmony more deeply, especially melodic minor. Needless to say, Autumn Leaves allows for some great opportunities.

  40. #889

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    Still keeping up with the boot-camp. All Of Me was fun, but I found it odd yesterday trying to play through My Romance at 130 - turns out I wasn't as familiar with the changes as I thought I was, It was a good learning experience, and I might try practicing a few other ballads at higher tempos just to see what transpires idea-wise.

    I've put together a tentative list for next week, starting Monday, but I am open to suggestions and revisions. Let me know what you think:

    Blue Bossa
    Fly Me To The Moon
    What Is This Thing Called Love
    There is No Greater Love
    Have You Met Miss Jones
    All The Things You Are
    Satin Doll

  41. #890
    Hi,
    I see that the forum's activities have completed 20 weeks and some are already entering other routines. As I entered late, I am still at the beginning of the lessons, and I intend to continue until I finish them. As a form of commitment, these video posts help me a lot, so if it is not inconvenient I will continue to post them. In this lesson I thought that improvisation would be easier, because it has less key changes, however, when playing it I realize that it is quite tricky, considering where they are and the passing chords.
    Thanks!

  42. #891

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauriciopcsouza View Post
    Hi,
    I see that the forum's activities have completed 20 weeks and some are already entering other routines. As I entered late, I am still at the beginning of the lessons, and I intend to continue until I finish them. As a form of commitment, these video posts help me a lot, so if it is not inconvenient I will continue to post them. In this lesson I thought that improvisation would be easier, because it has less key changes, however, when playing it I realize that it is quite tricky, considering where they are and the passing chords.
    Thanks!
    Keep it up. I'm glad you're still working your way through the course. And great playing!

  43. #892

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    FYI, I'm still plugging away at the mini boot camp. I worked on Just Friends yesterday and last night. I hadn't played that song in years. It was
    nice to revisit it. I'm getting together with my friend to play tunes for a few hours this afternoon. Hopefully my super chops will emerge!

  44. #893

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan View Post
    FYI, I'm still plugging away at the mini boot camp.
    Me too. And you know what, 130 bpm is actually starting to feel like a comfortable speed most of the time. New or unfamiliar chord changes can still throw me a bit at that tempo, but I'm getting better. I did notice that I had a much more difficult time playing at 130 over Song For My Father. I wonder why straight feel tempos are more challenging than swing?

  45. #894
    Continuing...now the lessons 1 to 3 review. 132 bpm eighth notes (mostly). Starting from 1-A I'll try to do all of them until next weekend. Cheers!