1. #1

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    Hey.

    I've been thinking about this a lot but haven't figured out too much.
    In my experience, a good improvisation can occur completely randomly, even with the "worst" conditions. But surely there there are things that will lower the chances for this to happen greatly and one of those is a longer practice session the same day.
    So, I thought it'd be a good idea to separate the days of practice and trying to record something good. Or you know, try to play a good gig occasionally .
    But when having a full free day, it seems I run out of helpful things quite quickly and "playing" will soon turn into "practice" again.

    This thread is a query for getting a longer list of stuff that would keep the mind inspired and sharp for longer. Hopefully would be helpful for not just me.

    So, the questions - do you do something special before gigging or recording? Do you keep practice and playing separated somehow?
    Or do you find the thread useless and are able to be in good shape without pondering about such things at all?

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  3. #2

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    One thing I used to do when I was gigging was to arrive early to the venue, before anyone else to allow time to sort out the peculiarities of the location and to get fully set up with plenty of time left to warm up. And by warming up, I mean not only my hands/brain, but also the guitar itself. my aim was to get the instrument up to playing temperature and fully and properly in tune at that temperature. Of course, the room itself will vary during the course of the performance, but it really helps to start off in tune with the room, rather than pull a guitar out of a cold case and expect it to function.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    One thing I used to do when I was gigging was to arrive early to the venue, before anyone else to allow time to sort out the peculiarities of the location and to get fully set up with plenty of time left to warm up. And by warming up, I mean not only my hands/brain, but also the guitar itself. my aim was to get the instrument up to playing temperature and fully and properly in tune at that temperature. Of course, the room itself will vary during the course of the performance, but it really helps to start off in tune with the room, rather than pull a guitar out of a cold case and expect it to function.
    Good point. I also like to arrive early. I need the time to transition from roadie to musician. It's always a little nervewracking to park, load-in, set up and test the rig -- I'm always concerned that something won't go right in that process. Once the gear is in place and working, I need a little time to relax.

    I don't notice any correlation between how I play on a gig and whether I practiced earlier that day ... unless I'm practicing something I need for the gig -- and then that tends to be helpful.

    The one thing I do notice, although there have been exceptions, is that I tend to play better when I'm comfortable with the other musicians. I'd rather be relaxed, but I've played badly when relaxed and have played well in nervewracking situations. On average, I prefer relaxed.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 10-18-2020 at 03:36 PM.

  5. #4

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    For me, the more pressure I put on myself to try and sound good or play well, the worse I actually play. All musicians have good and bad nights, and nights where they don't feel they are sounding good. Bill Frisell has a great story about seeing Bill Evans, giving him a ride home, and Frisell feeling like he just saw some of the greatest music of his life, and Evans feeling like he couldn't get anything going.

    All the best gigs I've played have been when I have focused more on something other than my own playing.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    Hey.

    I've been thinking about this a lot but haven't figured out too much.
    In my experience, a good improvisation can occur completely randomly, even with the "worst" conditions. But surely there there are things that will lower the chances for this to happen greatly and one of those is a longer practice session the same day.
    So, I thought it'd be a good idea to separate the days of practice and trying to record something good. Or you know, try to play a good gig occasionally .
    But when having a full free day, it seems I run out of helpful things quite quickly and "playing" will soon turn into "practice" again.

    This thread is a query for getting a longer list of stuff that would keep the mind inspired and sharp for longer. Hopefully would be helpful for not just me.

    So, the questions - do you do something special before gigging or recording? Do you keep practice and playing separated somehow?
    Or do you find the thread useless and are able to be in good shape without pondering about such things at all?
    I like this idea.

    ATM my hardcore practice takes about an hour; the rest of the time I have that day can be dedicated to whatever I need or want to do musically.

    Learning music is a big part of this, and I do a lot of recording atm. It takes me a while to get around a new tune! I also like ‘shadowing’ (listen to a recording and repeat phrases) as a playful activity which can easily extend out into other areas.

  7. #6
    Had this idea for a while but never tried until now. Well, way back I tried it somehow but that didn't count - it was vacation time and daily scheduals really meant nothing.

    Woke up 3 hours earlier. 2 for practicing all the.. practice stuff. Then went to work, then came back and didn't spend a second thinking about anything practice-like. Just play.
    So far it has worked for a few days. Less stress and now the notes at night seem to be a bit better too. I guess work actually helps to disconnect from the "mundanity" of the morning practice. But the ears seem to be sharper at night still.

  8. #7

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    In one of his videos (master classes?) Julian Lage suggests restricting oneself while playing - like play a chorus only on the low strings, then only on the high strings, and the like. If you run out of things to play, this will open up new perspectives and still not feel like practicing.


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