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  1. #876

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  3. #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.

  4. #878

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    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

  5. #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

  6. #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?

  7. #881

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    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!

  8. #882

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    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?
    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!

  9. #883

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    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

  10. #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!

  11. #885

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    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!

  12. #886

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    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.

  13. #887

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    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.

  14. #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.

  15. #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

  16. #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!

  17. #891

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauriciopcsouza
    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!

  18. #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!

  19. #893

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    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?

  20. #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!

  21. #895
    Another short review, Lesson 1-B. Backing track a little too loud...



  22. #896

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    Sorry I haven't posted much this last week - things got busy and I'm easily distracted. I did keep the boot-camp practicing schedule going, though. For this week, I'm starting with Have You Met Miss Jones for Monday, then for the rest of the week I'll review the songs from the previous 2 weeks that gave me the most trouble.

    -Travis

  23. #897

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    I've been playing every day. Sort of doing Super Chops, but not adhering to the nonstop eighth note or triplets for 10 minutes. I want to work on my phrasing, too. And personally, I like the idea of spending a bit more time on one tune. It allows me to really dig in and mine the changes.

  24. #898

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    I've been playing every day. Sort of doing Super Chops, but not adhering to the nonstop eighth note or triplets for 10 minutes. I want to work on my phrasing, too. And personally, I like the idea of spending a bit more time on one tune. It allows me to really dig in and mine the changes.
    Come give the weekly “jam” threads a spin. I have been applying a modified version of Superchops to help me learn the tunes quickly—quickly for me, that is. I found this to be a pretty practical application of the approach this week. Tune this week is This I Dig of You—at 70 bpm, I recorded shell voicings for 10 minutes, then recorded three takes of strict 8th notes to help internalize the form. Next night, I bumped it up to 120 and made no rhythmic restrictions. Over the course of my three 10 minute solos I found a few choruses I thought were post-worthy, so I cropped the video down and posted what I thought was the best.

  25. #899

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    Quote Originally Posted by wzpgsr
    Come give the weekly “jam” threads a spin. I have been applying a modified version of Superchops to help me learn the tunes quickly—quickly for me, that is. I found this to be a pretty practical application of the approach this week. Tune this week is This I Dig of You—at 70 bpm, I recorded shell voicings for 10 minutes, then recorded three takes of strict 8th notes to help internalize the form. Next night, I bumped it up to 120 and made no rhythmic restrictions. Over the course of my three 10 minute solos I found a few choruses I thought were post-worthy, so I cropped the video down and posted what I thought was the best.
    Thanks, wzpgsr. I'll give it some thought. I get a bit intimidated about posting a performance of my own on this forum knowing there are so many accomplished players. I also don't have any recording equipment other than my iPhone.

  26. #900

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'Aquisto Fan
    Thanks, wzpgsr. I'll give it some thought. I get a bit intimidated about posting a performance of my own on this forum knowing there are so many accomplished players. I also don't have any recording equipment other than my iPhone.
    Cool. I get the intimidation thing. There’s a wide variety of skill levels and experience among the core group of participants. It took me a while to warm up to the idea, but frankly, now I can see that combining the Superchops approach to learning new tunes week in and week out may be the best thing I’ve ever done in terms of improving my jazz playing. Hope to see you!