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  1. #1

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    Hello Everyone,

    A question......
    When leaning scales and arpeggios is it best to memorize the intervals or note names as your learning them.

    Also, when you are soloing, what is going though your mind as your playing? Are you thinking of notes, intervals, scales? Are your fingers falling automatically from years of practicing scales. Or can you hear what you want to play in your head as your playing and knowing where place your fingers without thinking technically.

    I know, many questions but me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time.

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  3. #2

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    I'm far from an expert on this, but here what i think:

    To improvise i have to have some knowledge of what notes to use. So if something is in Emajor, i know what notes to use.
    While practicing this, i learn or experience that in a lot of cases other notes are sounding good asswell. Not all the time, but on some chords.
    This is the moment i want to know why that is.

    in my experience it's better to learn theorie of the things you practice and know sound good, then the other way around.

  4. #3

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    I'm certainly more interested in the interval than the name of the note. Then if I like the sound of a 9th on a minor chord, I'll know where to find it wherever I am on the fretboard. But the quicker answer is that you should know both, and then do as Charlie Parker says: learn all that stuff, then forget it. Just play. - I'm paraphrasing, as I can't remember exactly what he said, but it's something close to that.

  5. #4

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    I rarely think about the notes names. Sometimes. They meld into the fretboard. I SEE the harmonic shape of the song across the fretboard. So I don't think in terms of licks or memorized patterns. I hear it in my head and follow the harmonic shapes.

  6. #5

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    All of the above.

    Mostly use that for reading, chord and scale construction and so on. I read notes as absolute pitches and think in terms of theory as intervals. Might not be the best way lol.

    As Henry says improv is more of an intuitive thing (eventually)

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by d115
    Hello Everyone,

    A question......
    When leaning scales and arpeggios is it best to memorize the intervals or note names as your learning them.

    Also, when you are soloing, what is going though your mind as your playing? Are you thinking of notes, intervals, scales? Are your fingers falling automatically from years of practicing scales. Or can you hear what you want to play in your head as your playing and knowing where place your fingers without thinking technically.

    I know, many questions but me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time.
    A few thoughts:

    1. I concur with Henry's post.
    2. Learn your scales, modes, and arpeggios.
    3. Practicing arpeggios from the root is good, but practicing them from all chord tones will force you to have a lot better idea about what you're playing. It takes extra work in the shed but it's worth it.
    4. Reading will force you to know the notes on the fretboard, so do that too.
    5. When improvising - yes it's from conditioning but it doesnt have to be "years". It can be weeks!

    On that last point, you need to practice Jazz Lines, not just scales, modes, arpeggios. So, playing some Jazz Line multi-chorus etudes - (ones that you either write yourself or study well so that you understand everything about it/them, and by that I mean every single note) until they are automatic with no mistakes, is one very good way to get ready for improv. A few tricks to get you going:


    • Limit the fretboard area at first. 1-3 position range
    • Start very slowly, and speed up as you improve
    • Pause at chord changes to ensure the intended voice leading if needed
    • Pre-plan a target starting note for every chord or at least every measure. Even if you fail to improvise with brilliant voice leading into those notes every time - make certain that you hit them.


    There are many other little tricks to get one started with improv, these are but a few.....
    Last edited by GTRMan; 10-29-2020 at 09:31 AM.

  8. #7

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    All the answers will probably sound vague to you if you're looking for a concrete, linear path to conquering the fretboard for jazz guitar.
    Learning the fretboard is like getting to know a new city. You learn it by living in it over the years. If you only stay in your comfort zone and only commute from point A to point B, you'll never get to know the other parts of the city.

    Note names, intervals, arpeggio/scale references, ideas for creating jazz lines with these, chord voicings, ideas for moving them and the familiarity with the sounds of all these are part of learning the fretboard. Even the rhythmic ideas are part of learning the fretboard as they are very much tied to the fingering choices.

    The more familiar you are with them the more easily they'll be accessible to you when you are improvising or comping.

    Is there a natural pedagogical order to learn all these different aspects of the fretboard? Should the goal be finding the shortest path and follow a highly driven albeit dry training regimen like a pro athlete? Or should the goal be finding the most fun and musical approach to learning all these in a holistic way but over a longer period? Would it be longer?
    Last edited by Tal_175; 10-29-2020 at 10:08 AM.

  9. #8

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    Christian is doing his graduate studies in music education. Is there an answer to that (the last paragraph above) in the music education Christian? (ie holistic and creative vs methodical and efficient)

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Is there a natural pedagogical order to learn all these different aspects of the fretboard?
    Given that the OP was about fretboard learning - in the context of improvisation - Yes and no. There are pedagogical orders, plural. But not one universally accepted one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Should the goal be finding the shortest path and follow a highly driven albeit dry training regimen like a pro athlete? Or should the goal be finding the most fun and musical approach to learning all these in a holistic way but over a longer period?
    Depends on one's goals


    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Would it be longer?
    Absolutely. One estimated difference came from Reg. The range was 3-20 years. So, in Reg's estimation it takes roughly 7 times longer.

  11. #10
    "...me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time."
    All of the above, but get a teacher! One that you respect and enjoy so that you will stay with it and stay motivated. A good teacher will know what you need to work on to maximize your practice time and answer all your questions and steer you where you want to go. I believe that directed, focused study with feedback (from your teacher, not your amp) is the fastest route to the bandstand, unless you own the club.

  12. #11
    All of your insights and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I think taking lessons might be a good way to proceed. So far in my practicing, I've been jumping around and the only measurable progress I've made is frustration.
    I live in Long Beach, NY.
    By chance does anyone know of any good teachers in my area...........Nassau County?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by d115
    All of your insights and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I think taking lessons might be a good way to proceed. So far in my practicing, I've been jumping around and the only measurable progress I've made is frustration.
    I live in Long Beach, NY.
    By chance does anyone know of any good teachers in my area?
    NYJA, check it out.

    Guitar Lessons NYC - Guitar School - New York Jazz Academy

  14. #13
    Hey look at this: Long Beach Guitar School | Book Your First Class Now
    I took ensemble classes at NYJA and really enjoyed them. They also have one-on-one lessons and I strongly recommend you start with one-on-one lessons. It's worth every penny if you're willing to put in the time/effort.
    My experience with ensemble classes is they can be great for learning common practice on the bandstand: intros, outros, keeping the form, trading fours, building repertoire, etc., but you still have to learn how to navigate the changes in a solo or comp in time on your own.
    Best luck.

  15. #14

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    I learn by the interval's first few times and then think of the notes while I play second, and after that I just play and dont think much about either like its just there in the back of my mind.

  16. #15

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    See the shapes. you learn to do so, and what they are, through organized practice.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by d115
    Hello Everyone,

    A question......
    When leaning scales and arpeggios is it best to memorize the intervals or note names as your learning them.

    Also, when you are soloing, what is going though your mind as your playing? Are you thinking of notes, intervals, scales? Are your fingers falling automatically from years of practicing scales. Or can you hear what you want to play in your head as your playing and knowing where place your fingers without thinking technically.

    I know, many questions but me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time.
    Interesting question; I think all those things can be a destination goal.

    Woodwind and brass musicians practice scales and arpeggios in all keys because there are multiple fingerings for particular pitches - some of the pitches in the third register of the sax have two dozen ways to be fingered. Even in "normal" playing, they learn which of multiple fingerings for the same pitch work best (smoothness and speed of changing pitches) depending on the other pitches and their fingerings for a particular scale or arpeggio.

    Similarly, professionally trained orchestral strings learn position fingerings which help in choosing which string to play for a particular pitch (typically a bit more rigorously than on the guitar). So with all that, it is more than just notes, intervals, and scales - there are additional decisions of a more physical or mechanical nature as well. A great deal of the endless playing of scales for these musicians is to make these things as natural and fluent as possible.

    My experience and observation generally is that as musicians move from reading sheet music or scores, into the abstraction of charts and lead sheets, on into improvising by ear, there happens what seems to be a diminishing concern with naming things (or needing to) and an increasing concern with how things sound (voicing, phrasing, feeling...) also perhaps with not needing to name these.

    In my case, I already had years of clarinet and piano when I started the guitar. I decided from day one to learn the guitar by teaching myself by ear, no names for anything. That is not the usual way, but it worked for me... "hearing what I want to play in my head as I'm playing and knowing where to place my fingers without thinking technically" is how I play.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by d115
    Hello Everyone,

    A question......
    When leaning scales and arpeggios is it best to memorize the intervals or note names as your learning them.

    Also, when you are soloing, what is going though your mind as your playing? Are you thinking of notes, intervals, scales? Are your fingers falling automatically from years of practicing scales. Or can you hear what you want to play in your head as your playing and knowing where place your fingers without thinking technically.

    I know, many questions but me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time.
    If I can feel the flow of the harmony as readily as I can feel a 12 bar blues, then all I think about is melody. I scat sing to myself and try to play that.

    If I'm reading some non-obvious set of chord changes that I've never seen before and suddenly I have to solo, I'm probably thinking mostly about chord tones. To the extent that I might have some brain power left over, I'd be trying to find the notes that stay the same from one chord to the next and the notes that vary by a half or whole step. I'd be on the alert for a guide tone line. But, this mode of operation isn't making art, it's avoiding clams.

    There's another mode -- and that's in the practice room trying to internalize the changes so that I can feel them and/or analyzing the harmony. The analysis, for me, is more a crutch than a means of exploration. For others, it's a way of finding novel sounds.

  19. #18

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    My methodology was practice scales and arpeggios for years. Some modes too for a bit. Then I just applied them. I slowly played through changes using them and my ears. I listened and listened and listened. After awhile they became part of my family. But I admit it can take years. It’s never too late though.


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  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by d115
    Hello Everyone,

    A question......
    When leaning scales and arpeggios is it best to memorize the intervals or note names as your learning them.

    Also, when you are soloing, what is going though your mind as your playing? Are you thinking of notes, intervals, scales? Are your fingers falling automatically from years of practicing scales. Or can you hear what you want to play in your head as your playing and knowing where place your fingers without thinking technically.

    I know, many questions but me being new to this at 57 I want to make the most use of my practice time.
    Memorize shapes and what they sound like. This includes arpeggios, scales and wide intervals. I wanna stress hearing what those intervals sound like! It's also a good idea to play those exercises with the kind of feeling and rhythm as you would when soloing.

    Learning the note names for each string and fret is something I've skimped on over the decades I've been playing. It's something that's assumed until you start sight reading charts in flat/sharp keys. So note names are more important when it comes to reading and knowing the fretboard totally.

    When soloing a lot of it is by rote. All the things that you've practiced for hours and hours should be at your fingertips. Think about the song, phrasing, playing with emotion, creating something. I do my best when the melody is playing through my head as a guide. I tend to make mistakes when thinking of note names rather than using my ears. Songs with temporary modulations (or other complex progressions) require more thinking of the fretboard logistics.

    There's so much more of what to think about when soloing. Also, what not to think about!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175

    Is there a natural pedagogical order to learn all these different aspects of the fretboard? Should the goal be finding the shortest path and follow a highly driven albeit dry training regimen like a pro athlete? Or should the goal be finding the most fun and musical approach to learning all these in a holistic way but over a longer period? Would it be longer?
    Having fun practicing and playing is absolutely important. Training like an athlete sounds like placing importance on playing fast! Playing fast is fun too but it's getting too much into being competitive or attempting to impress others. I guess many of us need both to be honest.

  22. #21

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    I really wish people would stop comparing music to sports.

    I don't many track athletes who are trying to find their own personal way to jump over hurdles...

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I really wish people would stop comparing music to sports.

    I don't many track athletes who are trying to find their own personal way to jump over hurdles...
    Don't take analogies too literally silly sausage.

    It's also got nothing to do with speed training or anything like that.

    An example of "training like a pro athlete" would be:

    6 days a week 4 hours a day regimen.
    - 1 hour scale/arpeggio internalization major scale, MM all positions 12 keys. In scale steps, ascending descending intervals. Diatonic triad arpeggios.
    - 1 hour ear training. 20 mins solfege, 20 transcription, 20 intervals.
    - 1 hour repertoire. Goal 10 tunes a week.
    - 1 hour chord voicings. All inversions Drop chords, 5 chord types.

    etc. etc. etc.

    I'm not saying that's how one should do it. But these types of regimens for musical training do exist. I'm contrasting this type of approach with a more laid back, creativity and making music focused approach.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Don't take analogies too literally silly sausage.

    It's also got nothing to do with speed training or anything like that.

    An example of "training like a pro athlete" would be:

    6 days a week 4 hours a day regimen.
    - 1 hour scale/arpeggio internalization major scale, MM all positions 12 keys. In scale steps, ascending descending intervals. Diatonic triad arpeggios.
    - 1 hour ear training. 20 mins solfege, 20 transcription, 20 intervals.
    - 1 hour repertoire. Goal 10 tunes a week.
    - 1 hour chord voicings. All inversions Drop chords, 5 chord types.

    etc. etc. etc.

    I'm not saying that's how one should do it. But these types of regimens for musical training do exist. I'm contrasting this type of approach with a more laid back, creativity and making music focused approach.
    I'd be interested to know if any players have found such a practice regimen helpful? To me it seems joyless and unmusical, but maybe others have found such approaches helpful. I see a lot of regimens like forum members set themselves. I think they are unlikely to stick for very long.

    Not that I think there's anything wrong with establishing quantifiable goals.

    Obviously experienced teachers and students will be much better at realistic goal setting. A pro athlete or personal trainer will also know how far and hard to push, and the context.

    I'll set goals for students based on what I think they can do. If they can't do it, it's on me to revise my expectations and give them something achievable. The goal is not really that big a deal, it's just a way of getting things moving and stopping practice being aimless which is the single biggest problem most people have. It's a week by week thing, so I can refine things as we go.

    But ultimately, I've found when setting myself goals quantifying what I put in to be healthier than what than obsessing about what I get out.

    For example, if you have the time, sinking an hour a day into repertoire is a good idea. Aiming to learn 10 tunes a week might be a less useful goal, because I can learn 10 riff tunes and so on very quickly, but to properly get into a Monk tune or something might take a lot longer. You might never give yourself the permission to go deep into something.

    On another front, I might not be able to book a tour right away, but hustling for gigs an hour a day will be time well spent (even though it sometimes feels hopeless.)

    You can also measure your progress, and thinking; oh I know twice as many voicings as I did last year for instance; that's terribly important. But saying to yourself 'I aim to double my knowledge of voicings by this time next year' might not be so helpful psychologically.

    You are in this for the long game; so you want to allow yourself to build up good habits and enjoy the process.

  25. #24

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    One import from sports psychology which I have found interesting and useful is the concept of 'interleaved practice.' Practicing for small slots and interleaving with other activities, each time with variations.

    So over 4 hours

    5m - scales
    5m - ear training
    5m - repetoire
    5m - chord voicings
    5m - scales
    5m - ear training
    5m - repetoire
    5m - chord voicings
    5m - scales
    5m - ear training
    5m - repetoire
    5m - chord voicings

    Until 4 hours.

    Learning is slower, but it is retained better because you keep coming back to it. Need to memorise tunes and chord voicings? Use this approach instead. Obviously much harder to get deep into something.

    It's also good because you can take breaks and come back to it constantly. If you do it properly it's knackering.

    Also, we might think about the 10,000 hours, but most improvement in any given skill is done in the first 80 hours. So the trick is to find things you really suck at and make fast improvement. That is very good for the motivation long term.

    I posit also that that 10,000+ hour body of knowledge we call 'jazz guitar' in reality is made up of many 80 hour chunks.

  26. #25

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    the 10.000+ rule shouldn't be taken to seriously.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Also, we might think about the 10,000 hours, but most improvement in any given skill is done in the first 80 hours. So the trick is to find things you really suck at and make fast improvement. That is very good for the motivation long term.

    I posit also that that 10,000+ hour body of knowledge we call 'jazz guitar' in reality is made up of many 80 hour chunks.
    I think that's true. Any type of complex skill is made of up large number of interconnected skills that need to be worked on individually at some point.

    80 hours might be a good guess. But over a period of time. Chemical processes of building neural pathways take time. That's why cramming too much too quickly goes to waste. Also brain is lazy about making/changing pathways. It needs to be convinced that it'll be a worthwhile effort. That's where the repetition comes in. If the brain keeps encountering the same task, then it starts to believe that may be it's more energy efficient to burn this task once as a "hardwired" skill instead of executing it as a software algorithm.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    the 10.000+ rule shouldn't be taken to seriously.
    No you are right, Gladstone goes off on one.

    But as an order of magnitude it checks out in my experience. If anything I regard it as an underestimate.

    It’s not just practice btw... A player can acquire skill fast, but you need a lot of hours on clock to be a competent jazz musician.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I think that's true. Any type of complex skill is made of up large number of interconnected skills that need to be worked on individually at some point.

    80 hours might be a good guess. But over a period of time. Chemical processes of building neural pathways take time. That's why cramming too much too quickly goes to waste. Also brain is lazy about making/changing pathways. It needs to be convinced that it'll be a worthwhile effort. That's where the repetition comes in. If the brain keeps encountering the same task, then it starts to believe that may be it's more energy efficient to burn this task once as a "hardwired" skill instead of executing it as a software algorithm.
    There is some research somewhere I think re: 80 hours thing. In general learning curves flatten off quickly, so it’s important to keep yourself challenged. It also keeps you humble as well, which is great!

    If you practice the same thing for 10,000 you won’t improve. So I think that figure is actually really unhelpful. You amass skills and experience over time, so you look back and say ‘well I’ve been playing jazz for 25 years and I’m still shit’ haha

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Don't take analogies too literally silly sausage.

    It's also got nothing to do with speed training or anything like that.

    An example of "training like a pro athlete" would be:

    6 days a week 4 hours a day regimen.
    - 1 hour scale/arpeggio internalization major scale, MM all positions 12 keys. In scale steps, ascending descending intervals. Diatonic triad arpeggios.
    - 1 hour ear training. 20 mins solfege, 20 transcription, 20 intervals.
    - 1 hour repertoire. Goal 10 tunes a week.
    - 1 hour chord voicings. All inversions Drop chords, 5 chord types.

    etc. etc. etc.

    I'm not saying that's how one should do it. But these types of regimens for musical training do exist. I'm contrasting this type of approach with a more laid back, creativity and making music focused approach.
    Well yeah - I did something VERY similar for many years. It helped. Sometimes I did ear transcription - not memorizing anything, but as ear training. Major, Harmonic and Melodic Minors, pentatonics, diminished and whole tone, sometimes augmented scales. A whole battery of exercises that when with them. Arpeggios - triads both for within the scales and encompassing the full pattern. Triads, 7ths, 6ths, sus triads, sus 7, sus maj7, sus 6 (weird huh?, Aug triads, 7ths, flat 5 triads, b5 7, b56. Then extensions, then triads superimposed on chords to make them altered, i.e. D triad on c7 to make it +11, 13 or Db min on C7 to give me the b9, #5 sound.

    That was a lot of work for years. I'm never doing that again. The good thing is I don't have to. Tye main thing was applying them over songs after straight and exhaustive practice so they become useful and music.

  31. #30

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    The work does need to be done one way or another... it had to connect to music for me, and I’m glad I approached it that way on the whole.

  32. #31

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    Oh also the ear learning without memorisation; that’s something that’s underrated in my opinion.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    No you are right, Gladstone goes off on one.

    But as an order of magnitude it checks out in my experience. If anything I regard it as an underestimate.

    It’s not just practice btw... A player can acquire skill fast, but you need a lot of hours on clock to be a competent jazz musician.
    You need a lot of hours on clock to be competent at anything. But the 10.000 is just a random number. Somebody once said, give me a high number. 1.000.000! Nah, too high. Oké, 100.000! Doing some math: 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. A few weeks off. Nah, too high. Let's stick with 10K. Sounds good.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    You need a lot of hours on clock to be competent at anything. But the 10.000 is just a random number. Somebody once said, give me a high number. 1.000.000! Nah, too high. Oké, 100.000! Doing some math: 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. A few weeks off. Nah, too high. Let's stick with 10K. Sounds good.
    Well it was based on some initial research which was then somewhat ..... popularised .... by Galdwell. I can track it down if you are interested. Came up in a seminar on music edu.

  35. #34

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    Allways interested.

  36. #35

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    Wes said that he only practiced things he would play in performance, never practiced anything that he would not play in performance... kind of the long way of saying, "Learn songs (the way you would perform them)".

    Recall that Wes had a day job as a welder, this approach reflecting a very direct management of limited time and full focus on end product performance.

  37. #36

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    I don’t think Maradona practiced much either.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    I don’t think Maradona practiced much either.
    LOL. Whoa!

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Wes said that he only practiced things he would play in performance, never practiced anything that he would not play in performance... kind of the long way of saying, "Learn songs (the way you would perform them)".

    Recall that Wes had a day job as a welder, this approach reflecting a very direct management of limited time and full focus on end product performance.
    Thank goodness there's a world beyond Wes for some.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    Allways interested.
    OK, so the wikipedia page on Outliers has some useful references to the literature cited by Gladwell.

    The 10,000 hours figure referenced by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers with respect to violin students was an average figure - for already capable students. That's the kind of order of magnitude input it takes. It might take someone 5,000 hours, or 15,000, assuming deliberate, effective practice, a genetic predisposition towards music and everything else. So that's a lot of caveats already.

    As I say anecdotally, that seems about right as the amount of time you have to bank on the instrument. You might get it together with less than that, but pretty much every jazz guitarist who is any good at all has banked heartbreaking amounts of time on their instrument.

    It's not the only factor and I don't want to get hung up on something which is kind of debunked pop culture BS anyway. The point I was making is as Dave Leibman puts it - it takes about a decade (IIRC) of really hard work to become competent as a jazz musician. A lot of other things are important. Moving to NYC is helpful, for instance. Getting a good teacher helps a lot, or failing that having a good learning and practice process. Falling in with a good cohort and good mentors and so on and so forth.

    But ultimately even if you have all of that together you are looking at a lot of time.

    This can be.... a bit horrible and dispiriting for those who maybe don't have 10 years of full time playing and practice to throw at it. Why even bother? What do you do?

    You look towards the steady development of skills and take pleasure in that. Ignore that massive collection of knowledge that professional players possess and focus on the process in the here and now.

    I think I myself must have banked well in excess of 10,000 hours; doesn't mean I get to cash those chips in for a great career lol. But, TBF I do have some skills on the instrument, and I often forget that they are unusual sometimes as many of the people I know are really really good at playing an instrument. The level to which sheer time spent on practicing hard to do stuff day in day out does advance you in a very real way. That's kind of cool. What you do with that of course is a harder question to answer. But if you bank time on things with measurable outcomes, you will get measurably better. And that's encouraging!

    And the joke is - that's what pros all seem to do to... They are constantly in awe of other musicians. A lot of the them are too busy to practice much anyway and working on the basis of all that hard work they banked back in music college.

  41. #40

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    Thank you. I never really looked into that 10k statement. It’s such a random arbitrary number. I’ve done WAY more than that. If that were true I’d be really good by now! Sheesh. Liebman’s paraphrase seems more on the mark. What’s missing is the individual. We are not programmable bots. Some guy could do 15k hours and just work on stupid stuff, disorganized and have terrible taste in music and never seem to improve is poor technique. Someone else could spend 5,000 hours and be absolutely astounding. I hear some kids fresh out of high school. I can’t imagine they could have played 10k and they play rings around me and everybody else. That’s just a uselessly arbitrary figure. But taken with everything else it’s relevant.


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  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    But taken with everything else it’s relevant.
    I don't think it is.
    Learning something (i am a teacher, so i think i know something about this) is completely different from person to person.
    Christian refers to a study in which it took some student 5.000 hours to become good (whatever that is) and someone else 15.000. The whole 10.000 rule is the difference between the two. It's arbitrary and not relevant.
    It suggest that more hours = better player.
    And that is not true.
    It suggests that 12 hours practicing a day is better than 2 hours practicing. Not true either.
    If it comes to music there are a lot of different things one has to learn. Part of mastering jazz is physical. Your body needs to learn how to play an instrument well. The 10.000+ rule is focusing on that part. That's why violinists need to start young. Otherwise they never make enough hours. But it is obvious that some children who start young never master anything and others do. So to me the 10.000+ rule is like saying to your students: don't forget to practice. That's what makes you a better player.

    I have a master degree in economics and that's what i teach. My subject can become pretty abstract and that is pretty difficult for some students, but to others it's like drinking a beer after a hot and sunny day. Some need to make hours others don't.

    If i listen to a guy like Jaco Pastorius i think he is one of the second group. Jazz was to him like breathing. I doubt that it took him a lot of time to master his bass or the music he was playing. He saw it right away.

  43. #42

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    I’m not entirely sure where the disagreement is meant to be.

    Anyway here’s a Wes quote:
    To me, all guitar players can play, because I know they're getting to where they're at. It's a very hard instrument to accept, because it takes years to start working with it, that's first, and it looks like everybody else is moving on the instrument but you.’

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I’m not entirely sure where the disagreement is meant to be.

    Anyway here’s a Wes quote:
    To me, all guitar players can play, because I know they're getting to where they're at. It's a very hard instrument to accept, because it takes years to start working with it, that's first, and it looks like everybody else is moving on the instrument but you.’
    Thank you for that. I’ve been playing off and on for 20 years and I sometimes feel like I’m so slow.

    But I don’t take lessons because I don’t have time to rehearse.

    From what I’ve seen with many lessons, a song leads the way into the relevant scales and arpeggios/extensions. And I think that’s exactly the right way to link your ears feelings fingerings shapes so that you can use them later - where appropriate. And Autumn Leaves has a lot to get started with.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  45. #44

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    Gladwell used the Beatles as an example. He suggested that their time in Hamburg was their 10,000 hours. I'm not sure if they really played that much (they were there for about 120 weeks and they weren't playing 80 hours a week), but it is reported that they played a lot.

    Had he used the Rolling Stones as his example, it wouldn't have even been close. They did their first tour shortly after forming.

    I've known some prodigies who were gigging with pros when they were too young to have 5000 hours. It happens.

    The 10,000 hour thing is based on a study of classical violinists iirc and may not be as widely applicable as Gladwell suggested. He's a talented and thought provoking writer, but his works aren't peer reviewed science.

  46. #45

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    I think Gladwell is full of it lol

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    I don't think it is.
    Learning something (i am a teacher, so i think i know something about this) is completely different from person to person.
    Christian refers to a study in which it took some student 5.000 hours to become good (whatever that is) and someone else 15.000. The whole 10.000 rule is the difference between the two. It's arbitrary and not relevant.
    It suggest that more hours = better player.
    And that is not true.
    It suggests that 12 hours practicing a day is better than 2 hours practicing. Not true either.
    If it comes to music there are a lot of different things one has to learn. Part of mastering jazz is physical. Your body needs to learn how to play an instrument well. The 10.000+ rule is focusing on that part. That's why violinists need to start young. Otherwise they never make enough hours. But it is obvious that some children who start young never master anything and others do. So to me the 10.000+ rule is like saying to your students: don't forget to practice. That's what makes you a better player.

    I have a master degree in economics and that's what i teach. My subject can become pretty abstract and that is pretty difficult for some students, but to others it's like drinking a beer after a hot and sunny day. Some need to make hours others don't.

    If i listen to a guy like Jaco Pastorius i think he is one of the second group. Jazz was to him like breathing. I doubt that it took him a lot of time to master his bass or the music he was playing. He saw it right away.
    In the interests of honesty, I have to hold up my hands and say I haven't actually read the study.

    However, if you can find me a world class jazz guitarist who hasn't done something like that amount of work (call it about a decade of serious dedicated work and gigging), be my guest. There are AFAIK no quick studies on this instrument playing this music. Someone like Julian Lage might be young, but started in early childhood. Maybe Charlie Christian - but the music was simpler back then, more like blues.

    Not sure about Jaco. Bass is a little different in some ways; it has different requirements to jazz guitar for a legitimate level of professional performance (being solid and strong rhythmically gets you on the bandstand, rather than being able to solo or knowing lots harmony, for instance). It certainly sounds like he was a total natural, but I think it would be inaccurate to say that he didn't work at it; it's more that work for some people is more like play; they can learn very effectively in an apparently disorganised and non linear way. I can't really tell from the bios I've seen how much personal practice he did. The way they tell it much of his learning was done through apprenticeship - the old fashioned way. (That's a whole thing in itself... anyway...)

    Incidentally he did play music before bass - on wikipedia it says he was playing drums age 8 - 13 and a sporting injury meant he couldn't do that any more, by 17 he was on double bass and swapped to electric, other bios appear to contradict this slightly, but basically say the same sort of thing.

    When you get into something and do it 24/7 for a concentrated block of time even non-genii can make progress very quickly. Sounds like he didn't do things by halves... one bio says he always had a bass in his hands ...

    Genius is most certainly a thing, but it never flourishes without serious amounts of work. Mozart worked really hard... how many pieces had he written by age 18?

    But ultimately, unless you are interested in education itself, none of this pop psychology actually matters that much. What is important is your personal relationship with study, practice and gigging.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-01-2020 at 08:25 PM.