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  1. #1

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    I wasn't sure where to exactly post this but I got this from a facebook group I'm a member of. It's a summery of a masterclass at a Conservatory in the Netherlands by a guitarist that I really dig, Daan Kleijn. He talks about practicing and how to make your practice more efficient. pretty interesting stuff if you ask me. I always feel my routine could be way more efficient, and not enough people talk about how to practice, only about what to practice. Anyway, let me know what you guys think! Would love to hear about ways you make sure you're practicing efficient and are really improving your playing!
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    Last edited by jamie1805; 07-07-2018 at 10:17 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Good stuff.

    A while back I switched to doing short bursts of interleaved practice (after the Bulletproof Musician) - short 3-5m bursts on lots of different things, returning to the first topic should there be time.

    I only practice actual music now. Generally music I have to play on gigs. Songs, tunes. ATM I am heavily focussed on melodies. I think it's so easy to skip the melody and just learn the chords when you are playing in a band with a frontline player, but the melody is all important, really and makes everything else easier.

    For instance, harmonise the melody top down, not bottom up. If you can hear the melody, you can solo on the tune. If you can phrase the melody you can play the tempo - Peter Bernstein taught me this.

    A while back I hear Lage Lund say that he only had one thing he was working on any given week. Pick up a guitar, do that thing first. He's a dad and a busy guy, so he might only have 15m to work on stuff a day. Obviously in the past he was doing serious practice sessions, but most musicians find that as their playing improves, their practice time diminishes due to their being ... well... working musicians who have to play gigs, rehearsals and above all send ENDLESS emails.

    So yeah, we have to be efficient.

  4. #3

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    Yea... if your still getting your act together.... need to practice for gigs or play music you don't know etc... I'm not talking about or at Christian.... he's a pro and fine musician... fine guitarist.... anyway...I'm talking in general about what one needs to do to be able to play jazz..... you need to be able to put in looooooong practice sessions . What are you practicing for... to play short gigs. I'm old... i don't have the time to really put in that much practice....I practice at gigs... but I did when I was kid, and I was playing gigs before high school. I mean... gigs are at least a couple hours, usually longer, and what are you going to do in the studio or when you have two or three gigs same day. Playing jazz isn't about being able to perform when everything's right.... usually it's being able to perform when most things are not right.

    You'll get good at whatever you do...

    You reach much higher levels of proficiency during longer sessions. You may not sustain those levels... but eventually your skills levels will improve much faster etc... You still need a SCHEDULE WITH ORGANIZATION AND CHECK POINTS... but treating yourself like a spoiled privileged kid... don't push etc... you might hurt something.... I could get into a huge rant about what playing jazz is and where it's from and what will help one develop the language, the feels etc...

    I posted about these concepts before.... You need to know who and what you are.... and develop your practice around that....but practice isn't about having fun or feeling good. If your lucky enough to be able to play and practice.... don't waste your time, falling in love with yourself etc... push yourself, if you don't, you'll look up and realize what you should have been doing too late.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie1805 View Post
    I wasn't sure where to exactly post this but I got this from a facebook group I'm a member of. It's a summery of a masterclass at a Conservatory in the Netherlands by a guitarist that I really dig, Daan Kleijn. He talks about practicing and how to make your practice more efficient. pretty interesting stuff if you ask me. I always feel my routine could be way more efficient, and not enough people talk about how to practice, only about what to practice. Anyway, let me know what you guys think! Would love to hear about ways you make sure you're practicing efficient and are really improving your playing!
    I love this topic.

    Currently, my focus is on songs. I gig quite a bit (4 or 5 times per week). My songs is organized into set lists (15 sets in all). I decide which sets I will focus on for the next week and I make those songs the focus of my practice.

    I use the iReal app. My sets are in the app in order so that I can hear what these tunes will sound like next to each other.

    I have a few scaler exercises that I use to warm up my fingers. I am currently focusing on some scale exercises by Corey Christiansen’s version of Jamey Aebersold’s “How to improvise”.

    Then I move to 1 or 2 simple transcribed solos. Currently, I am working on Frank Vignola’s book.

    I typically work on one concept. For example, altered scales or diminished scales or motivic development or whatever idea I am currently interested in.

    And then . . . . . This is the best part. I play the songs. I play the melodies,solos chords etc in order as if it is a live performance. The song usually repeats 5 to 10 times. I play intros and outros exactly like a live performance and I apply whatever I am working on to those songs. I try to use some of the ideas from transcribed solos. I try to apply whatever concept I am working on.



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  6. #5

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    I like this "creative" part in the end there. I recently decided never to return doing numb & botty practice ever again. Turns out, it's quite possible with almost all things. Just have to spend some time thinking what would be the creative/musical part of a current routine and kinda focus on that.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    I like this "creative" part in the end there. I recently decided never to return doing numb & botty practice ever again. Turns out, it's quite possible with almost all things. Just have to spend some time thinking what would be the creative/musical part of a current routine and kinda focus on that.
    Yes. The “creative” part is my favourite. I use The numb and botty practice a) warm up my fingers and brain and b) to hopefully come across new concepts that I can apply to creative part. It honestly only takes up a third of the entire practice session.


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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Good stuff.

    A while back I switched to doing short bursts of interleaved practice (after the Bulletproof Musician) - short 3-5m bursts on lots of different things, returning to the first topic should there be time.

    I only practice actual music now. Generally music I have to play on gigs. Songs, tunes. ATM I am heavily focussed on melodies. I think it's so easy to skip the melody and just learn the chords when you are playing in a band with a frontline player, but the melody is all important, really and makes everything else easier.

    For instance, harmonise the melody top down, not bottom up. If you can hear the melody, you can solo on the tune. If you can phrase the melody you can play the tempo - Peter Bernstein taught me this.

    A while back I hear Lage Lund say that he only had one thing he was working on any given week. Pick up a guitar, do that thing first. He's a dad and a busy guy, so he might only have 15m to work on stuff a day. Obviously in the past he was doing serious practice sessions, but most musicians find that as their playing improves, their practice time diminishes due to their being ... well... working musicians who have to play gigs, rehearsals and above all send ENDLESS emails.

    So yeah, we have to be efficient.

    Yeah I really like the idea of practicing in timed segments, to limit yourself. In the pdf Daan Kleijn says it helps you keep being excited about what you're practicing, and that being excited makes you learn faster. Which makes sense to me.

    I've contacted him and have planned a skype lesson for tomorrow because I really want to know more. Being a guy that doesn't have 5 hours to spare in a day, I have to be effective with the time I have, I'll let you guys know how the lesson went!

  9. #8
    Had my lesson with Daan yesterday, and it was super interesting. He had some good critique on my current routine and we'll be building a new practice routine together in the next few lessons. Very nice guy and had a lot to say about the mystery; "how to get better"

  10. #9
    just a little update on how things are going, had a few more skype sessions with mr Kleijn and really getting a good practice routine going. And it got me wondering, what are some things you guys do on a daily basis and for how long? I usually start my routine with 15-20 minutes of ear training which feels really good. But would love to hear what you guys do?

  11. #10

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    Lately.. again, I let one app to throw random chords in random keys. And I try to play a good sounding chords or intervals against it instantly. Thats my daily insanity. Can do it while watching football. Sometimes many hours a day... Must get it working or else...

    Not a wise practice, don't copy me

  12. #11
    Oh yeah that somehow sounds not super productive, any reason you do it this way?

  13. #12

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    It seems possible... Just to get way more freedom with ears>fingers. But the method itself is kinda retarded Worked with simple scales though...

  14. #13
    Ok, I believe different things work for different people. Daan showed me this way of transcribing away from the guitar that I do now every day to start. 15 minutes, not longer. Simple solo's, like miles etc. It really opens up my ears and the way he explained it made a lot of sense!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie1805 View Post
    Ok, I believe different things work for different people. Daan showed me this way of transcribing away from the guitar that I do now every day to start. 15 minutes, not longer. Simple solo's, like miles etc. It really opens up my ears and the way he explained it made a lot of sense!
    99.99% of such topics here and elsewhere (how, what, how much) is scheduling something.. discipline and limits. Have you actually tried playing/improvising one song for 2 days straight? 12 hours both days? Its worth a try. Maybe this suits you.. maybe not of course

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamie1805 View Post
    Ok, I believe different things work for different people. Daan showed me this way of transcribing away from the guitar that I do now every day to start. 15 minutes, not longer. Simple solo's, like miles etc. It really opens up my ears and the way he explained it made a lot of sense!
    That's a great bit of advice... If you just give it 15m a day, you are more likely to do it...

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    That's a great bit of advice... If you just give it 15m a day, you are more likely to do it...
    Yes! Thats right, and I'm much more focused while doing it. I think so far it's been really working for me and I feel more progress in my playing

  18. #17

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    Thank you for posting this! There is some great tips and words of wisdom in that PDF !!

  19. #18

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    This is an important subject, indeed. The way I see it, in order to improve one's performance and musicianship, we need to improve our practice for sure. For me, it seems to be most productive if I chose two or three items and then alternate/rotate them over 5-6 minutes.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by GastonD View Post
    This is an important subject, indeed. The way I see it, in order to improve one's performance and musicianship, we need to improve our practice for sure. For me, it seems to be most productive if I chose two or three items and then alternate/rotate them over 5-6 minutes.
    Interesting! What kind of items do you usually put in rotation? I like the segment approach that's discussed in the PDF. Before I'd generally practice one thing for way to long but this keeps me in check.

  21. #20

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    Here is actually a nice interview with him, not too much about his practising approach but still interesting!


  22. #21

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    very good technique of using time..

    Howard Roberts used this in his teaching also...

    You fill the time--15 min-- with a certain amount of information..then STOP..

    as you learn more you add that to what you already know and fit that in the 15 min time frame

    the key to this is consistency..and dedication..

    if you consider yourself a musician you have to play music..practice is an important part of that discipline..the learning process does not end..thus the need for constant practice