View Poll Results: On average, how many tunes do you play a day

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84. You may not vote on this poll
  • 2 or less

    21 25.00%
  • 3-5

    29 34.52%
  • 6-10

    19 22.62%
  • 11-20

    9 10.71%
  • 20-30

    3 3.57%
  • More than 30

    3 3.57%
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Posts 1 to 47 of 47
  1. #1

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    I'm curious regarding the answer between a giging and non-giging musician.

  2.  

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  3. #2

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    6-10. I'm a non-giging musician.

    So far today I played: Footprints, Li'l Darlin, Look to the Sky, Mercy Mercy Mercy, My One and Only Love, One Note Samba, Route 66, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, All The Things You Are.
    Last edited by fep; 02-21-2010 at 07:26 PM.

  4. #3

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    i put 6-10, but the day before a solo gig i'l run thru at least the head of 15-20 tunes...

    there's about 40-50 songs I can pretty much pull off at anytime, but I ike to go over them now and then and twaek things too...no sense in getting too complacent...

    here's what i've run thru today and spent some time on (so far, IIRC)

    my one and only love
    peace
    all across the city
    alone together
    wave
    and 3 originals...so that's 8.

  5. #4

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    I'm also technically a non gigging musician. As mentioned before, I play at one nursing home once a week for about an hour and a quarter. When I do practice, I play pieces of songs to perfect certain chord substitutions and to find the best voicings for a particular tune. It helps me to better prepare for chord melody solos on the fly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a good on the fly soloist so that's when I tell my captive audience to turn down their hearing aids. They don't hear my clinkers and my solos sounds better that way.

  6. #5

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    I gig 3-4 nights a week in these quiet months-6-7 nights after Paddys Day and Easter through the Summer. Not jazz-pop/country/pub/wedding stuff. During the day I'll run through maybe 20-30 jazz songs, practicing for the jazz band. I'll never practice the stuff we do out for the pubs and clubs-I've been doing that all my life. Jazz NEEDS practice, though-at least I do!

  7. #6

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    Although gig opportunites are slowing down with the bad economy, I am currently working 2 nights/week doing old standards and some jazz standards with my trio (Vocalist, Keyboard & guitarist). I usually work on 20 - 30 preselected songs to get ready for the week-end gigs. We have about 200-250 songs we can pretty much do without much effort but we alway change our mix on a weekly basis to provide variety and danceable tunes. We try to do at least one new song every week to keep the learning process going. We have a 2- 3 hr rehearsal on Thursdays to get ready for Friday and Saturday jobs. During our rehearsals we work on intro's and endings to make sure we will all be working from the same page. I know this sounds like a busy week but truthfully, We are all retired and we have plenty of time for our music activities and we enjoy every minute we spend on them.

    wiz
    Howie

  8. #7

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    Like wizard...20 - 30 tunes a day...the real real good ones that I can play blindfolded (so to speak)...a learn at least one new one per day..or two...

    I have been playing a long time and learning a new tune is not much trouble for me...I play the 100 every jazz musician should and about 500 or so more..I fact with all my lifes playing I have learned a thousand or two songs...but from other genres...classical (segovia influenced on that) and I play charlie byrd style...rock from the 50's till late 80's...country from 40's to about mid 70's...folk songs from around the world...etc..

    sorry I got carried away..

    time on the instrument...pierre

  9. #8

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    i wish i had time to play every single day. on 'normal' days i might play five or six songs, but on days i'm working on an original i might work on that for several days or up to a week until i get it right.

  10. #9

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    On a good day about 15 (2 sets). On a not so good day 6-10. Depends on what else I'm working on.

  11. #10

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    I clicked the wrong vote but I play probably close to 20 seperate tunes a day depending on who many students I have that day. All my students work on different tunes at the same time to help me keep up tunes that I perhaps learned 5 years ago that you know are important tunes.

    Plus in my practice I work on the changes to my own compositions. So 15 to 20 yeah.

  12. #11

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    I put 6-10 because on days when I don't gig, I usually play just 1 tune all day. In addition to what my students are doing. But I should have put 30+ after thinking about it, I rehearse with different bands every day so thats at least 5-10 right there plus students (6 days a week) so thats another 5 or so, then if I'm gigging (3-5 nights a week) thats another 10-15 on top of that. and if it's a jazz gig playing standards thats more like 30 in one gig.

    But I really don't practice tunes very often, mostly just changes and trascription, or technical stuff.

    now, if we counted blues as a tune.... I'm always playing, I just cant get that shit out of my head and I sing lines constantly, I probably play at least one chorus of blues every hour of every day without fail, on whatever instrument is closest to me at the time. it's like cigarettes for me, I'm playing it right now.
    Last edited by timscarey; 02-22-2010 at 07:57 PM.

  13. #12

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    When you ask how many tunes you play a day, are you talking sitting down by yourself and playing through the head alone, then the changes, or like a chord melody type thing? OR, do you mean playing with a combo?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyC View Post
    When you ask how many tunes you play a day, are you talking sitting down by yourself and playing through the head alone, then the changes, or like a chord melody type thing? OR, do you mean playing with a combo?
    I'll leave that up to your own definition, and I suppose it depends on what your goals are.

    For me, I'm trying to build a repetoire of memorized tunes. So at a minimum I play the melody and the chord progression, so that's two choruses. Usually I improvise over the chord progression also. I'd say on average, I spend about 5 minutes a song... but if I was in a hurry and doing just the minimum, it could probably be done with 2 minutes a song.

    So far today: So What, Straight No Chaser, Sugar, Summertime, Take Five, Topsy, Tune Up, Turista (a Howard Roberts tune?)
    Last edited by fep; 02-23-2010 at 04:25 PM.

  15. #14

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    Usually 6-10 but less the past few days as I've been working on 2 new tunes. I usually play others if I need a break. I can pick up a tune basically in a day or 2 if it's not something really complicated (bebop head or such), but I like to spend a few days and learn:

    1) The melody in a couple of octaves
    2) Chord melody (if applicable)
    3) Memorizing the progression
    4) Improvising over the progression
    5) Listening/transcribing different versions
    6) Sometimes the lyrics

  16. #15

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    I play at least 5 gigs a week... some weekends two gigs on sun. I don't go through old standards except at gigs or if I'm writing out an arrangement. Today I've gone through, "Slings and Arrows", Brecker, "By Any Means Necessary", Florian Ross, " Come Escape With Me", Amina Figarova, "King Kong", John Patitucci, "Paladia", Steve Masakowski, "An Afterthought" Michel Camilo, "Big P", J. Scofield, and "The Beauty Of All Things", Laurence Hobgood. There newer tunes that are more difficult. Have gig tonight... probable 15 or so tunes. Have a rehearsal this afternoon... another 10 that's 30+... pretty standard day. When I have time I read through standards and and play them solo.. I don't like to work out parts or memorize, it's like improvisational sight reading. Reg

  17. #16

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    I clicked 6-19, but I'm looking forward to knowing enough tunes to be able to click 30+... ;-)

  18. #17

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    I don't gig. I can't even play with anyone. But the songs I have learned took time to learn. So it seems they are hard to forget also. The more I play the more the songs i've learnd come back to me. Even Chet Atkins practised hours a day all through his life, but he also enjoyed holding a guitar.

  19. #18

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    I'm currently trying to work up a set of thirty songs to have in my head if I can get a gig or two in the future. It's tough since that is a lot of work to build up the memory and then maintain it. I've found that if I do at least five a day and rotate them around a bit, I get pretty good retention and can still "work" the song not just memorize.

    ~DB

  20. #19

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    2 a day? What? I can't cope with 2 a year! (no, unfortunately, I'm not kidding, for once. 'Misty'; incomplete, and a great song by a former band mate Alan Sterling, never recorded...)
    It just doesn't stay in my head; God knows what I'm doing wrong (but he's not saying...). I make up my own tunes, using the American colour television system, NTSC (Never The Same [Color]...). Doesn't bug me too much, but I'd like to finish Misty one day.

  21. #20

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    On a gig day/night, over 30 tunes. Other days it can be one or ten or sometimes not even a single note.

  22. #21
    I do not gig, and I've voted 2 or less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reg View Post
    When I have time I read through standards and and play them solo.. I don't like to work out parts or memorize, it's like improvisational sight reading. Reg
    You mean your improvising the harmony to the melody, right? Sort of like how keyboard players read figured bass charts?

  23. #22

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    I practice a standard every week, mastering it. I memorize the chord progression, the melody, then I practice soloing over the tune with my loop station. For example, this week I'll be working on "Round Midnight" and next week "Footprints", and then I'll do something a little more challenging the week after and do "Joy Spring"

    If anyone feels like this is a bad approach to learning, feel free to tell me, I could use some criticism.

  24. #23

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    sounds like a good approach. do fit review time into your schedule. if you will be "mastering" round midnight in a week, you are a great talent, indeed .

  25. #24

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    This poll comes back from the dead...

    I wanted to discuss why I was curious and why I orginally posted this poll?

    I've noticed that with the musicians I run across there seems to be a direct correlation between how many songs they know and how well they play.

    Many of the average players and amatuers I know play maybe 10-20 tunes or so and some are still using charts to get thru those tunes. I suspect these players play very few tunes per day. It's easy to practice what we know really well, but practicing what we already know is not very effective use of ones practice time.

    The really good players and pros I know... they know and can play tons of tunes, perhaps a thousand or more and they seem to be able to play them without using any charts.

    So my guess is one of the best ways to go from an average player to a good player is to play lots and lots of tunes.

    My current guitar teacher says the first one or two hundred are the hard ones to learn. After that tunes become much easier to learn and remember

    My past guitar teacher wrote: 3,000 "barely-correct" tunes are much better for your musician's "ear" than two dozen memorized show-off pieces.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by fep; 12-23-2010 at 12:30 AM.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by funkyjazz82 View Post
    I practice a standard every week, mastering it. I memorize the chord progression, the melody, then I practice soloing over the tune with my loop station. For example, this week I'll be working on "Round Midnight" and next week "Footprints", and then I'll do something a little more challenging the week after and do "Joy Spring".
    This is pretty much how I do it but I keep practicing it till I feel I know it and not give it any time frame. I'm an amateur but I do gig occasionally with one of the 3 band I play with. If we have a gig coming I will go through all the tunes we play so on the week prior to the gig I would practice about 20 - 25 tunes a day on other days It one tune at a time until it's internalized. currently I'm working on "Scrapple from the apple" which Is my favorite Parker tune

  27. #26

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    I'm a amateur but I play in two bands and I gig one or two times a months.
    So I have a repertoire of maybe 50-60 tunes. When i have a gig i study maybe 30 tunes to prepare the concert. In the other days i usually play one or two tunes from my repertoire or not, aplying some new stuff that I learned. Also I always try to sight read a tune that I don't know, and improvise over it. So I can say average of 5 tunes a day?Maybe.

    Sorry for my bad english

  28. #27

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    Gigs (1 or 2 a week) generally run somewhere around 15 songs per gig, slightly less for the big band (once or twice a month) because the songs are longer.

    Jams (defined loosely) maybe 10, and I do that twice a week, sometimes three times.

    And, I'm in new band that works on maybe 5 per weekly rehearsal.

    For practice, it depends on what I'm working on. Yesterday, I played one tune repeatedly, just to get the melody up to speed with accurate time. Other days I may play a bunch of tunes, picking random keys, to work on finding things without thinking too much. I don't have a pattern.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    This poll comes back from the dead...

    I wanted to discuss why I was curious and why I orginally posted this poll?

    I've noticed that with the musicians I run across there seems to be a direct correlation between how many songs they know and how well they play.

    Many of the average players and amatuers I know play maybe 10-20 tunes or so and some are still using charts to get thru those tunes. I suspect these players play very few tunes per day. It's easy to practice what we know really well, but practicing what we already know is not very effective use of ones practice time.
    I've been doing a private lesson with Frank Vignola via True Fire and he stresses learning tunes. In one of his video responses to me he said, "You learn 50 songs and you're a player." That's a number I can wrap my head around. Especially since I already know some. (And I also know what Frank means by learning a tune---you have to be able to comp the changes, for several choruses, and hum / sing the melody over them. There's more to do, one might say there are degrees of knowing a tune, but this is the dividing line between knowing and not-knowing a tune. It's his. Others might use other ones. I find his easy to understand and apply, so I've adopted it.

    Which tells me the list of tunes I really know is shorter than I previously thought, while the list of songs I sorta half-assed know is quite long... ;o)

    Addendum: I play more tunes daily than I used to. Also comp more, just play through the changes of a tune several times over. Builds endurance, solidifies the time feel. I would say I play 5-6 tunes per day. Some days more, but rarely less.
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 04-29-2018 at 09:33 AM.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I'm curious regarding the answer between a giging and non-giging musician.
    On average, less than 1.


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  31. #30

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    Old thread that popped back up...thought I'd chime in again, as my answer is quite different now...

    I'm not gigging much, so I play fewer tunes a day now...my thing now is going deep...I might play only one tune a day, but try to play it as many times as possible.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  32. #31

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    I play gigs and in rehearsal bands, averaging 4 a week, so that's maybe 40 tunes, give or take quite a few.

    Practicing varies, depending on what I'm working on. Yesterday I worked on Goodbye Yesterday (there's a youtube of Buddy Rich's band playing it, to copy some comping ideas in 6/8) and a portion of Tempestade with some tricky hits. Other days, I may work through a dozen or more tunes in different keys mostly for ear training.

    A lot of what I've been working on lately is picking technique in descending lines, but I do that with exercises, not tunes.

  33. #32

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    Hey Frank... still good question... but not just for how many tunes, also how different players approach playing tunes.

    I still go through more tunes than on poll... but it's because I sight read well and understand notation and what it implies. I sub for all types of bands. Lots of hats. I basically never practice... my practice is playing gigs.

    So I play lots of tunes when I play, but I don't need to know or have tunes memorized to be able to perform. Not all gigs, some are shows etc... worked out material... I have basically quit doing those...

    I have more problems remembering the name of tunes as compared to playing them.

    I'm also OK with charts.... unless it's a show. But most working musicians are able to sight read music and still be engaged with rest of band, entertain the audience etc... Sight reading isn't just reading the notes etc... with jazz players it's also understanding what's implied or could be implied.

    What's worse... much worse is when musicians are starting at their instrument when performing... etc... I could go on. I hate gigs where players are staring at chart or instrument.... I don't want to have 500 tunes memorized... I want to be able to play 500 tunes with out having them memorized....

    I guess if one doesn't sight read or think about what your playing etc... and your approach to learning how to play tunes is memorization... you need to keep going through them..... that's pretty old school, using that approach, you need to gig a bunch of nights every week. To start getting past the basic memorized chart of tune and be able to begin playing etc... I've been there... it gets old. That's where all the BS starts... learn them in all keys... learn them in relative or parallel min. or maj. Play all subs... different time sigs... start transposing sections
    Not just changes.... heads etc...

    A very useful BS practice thing is memorize how to play melody harmony parts... standard up or down a 3rd or 6th, Blue note harmonies. For most sax or tpt players this is basic skill.... Even background line and harmony part.... during solos ... cool when performing. Sax and guitar sounds great.... and easy way to elevate music when performing.

    I think when I was kid 10 to 20% of practice involved playing through tunes.... but not really for memorization, more for working with skills, technique and working on performance skills of using them. I know... not what most teachers and players say they do or did.

  34. #33

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    Practice or play?

  35. #34

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    Non-gigging amateur. I've played free at public events on occasion. Each day I'll play maybe a couple of blues/boogie-woogie things, work on some country/folk songs, try to work out some instrumental versions of nice ballads, and try to remember how to play some of the things I've written. If I get in a zone I'll go for hours. I had to stop playing for a long time because of cubital tunnel syndrome, but it's coming back slowly.

  36. #35

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    I've been doing something lately I haven't done much before. Take 4-5 tunes that I want to learn or really get better at; this might be because I played it at a jam session and wasn't that comfortable with it, or for a gig, or just a tune I want to play in my quartet.

    I then play through these tunes as part of practicing and with each one, I try to do something a little different: Checking out the substitutions Bill Evans plays on "Everything Happens To Me", checking out some of the voiceleading Monk uses on "Tea For Two", etc etc. If I played along with a recording on bass one day, maybe I'll play it in a different key on solo guitar the next.

    5 tunes feels about the right number to be reviewing. Any more than that, and I don't really have time to learn something new about each tune, any less, and I feel like I just end up with a big backlog of tunes I want to learn. Also putting these tunes in a playlist and listening to them alot helps, ultimately, the way I memorize tunes is by hearing them in my head and knowing how they go.

    Like most people on this thread, I've been all over the place in terms of practice, but this is what I've currently been doing for the past few months and it's been quite productive.

  37. #36

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    Since I play 30-40 tunes on a standard 3-4 hour gig, and a dozen or so on my 1-hour gigs, my daily average is probably in the 11-20 range. I no longer work on tunes much at home; as a lifelong pro, I know hundreds of songs, mostly standards, some pop and rock tunes, some classical and flamenco pieces, and my own originals, along with holiday specials. Someone posted above that once you've learned, say, 100, the rest become easier, and that is certainly my experience. I've heard fetching tunes on the radio on the way to a gig and played them on that very gig, sketching out the changes for sidemen. My concern these days is practicing difficult moves so that I play something fresh occasionally; Barney Kessel mentioned that his practice regimen consisted of "whatever I can't do well yet". As Jim Hall told me, even after 50 years of going at it, you're "never quite finished".

  38. #37

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    There is an implied assumption in many of the previous responses that has nothing to do with the number of songs played daily . . . namely, the omission of one of the most important aspects to growth of a musician: working on technique. Whether you work on one song a day or 20-- scales, arpeggios, speed bursts, finger alterations, stretches, etc. have equal weight for a musician seeking to become a better player and should be played for 15-20 minutes before any practice session. It serves two important elements: warms the hands before playing avoiding stress/damage/injury and increases musical dexterity to enable the musician to play more advanced pieces with precision and clarity. Let's say you're working on some gymnastic chord changes common in many Bossa Nova tunes. By increasing your dexterity and speed, you'll be able to play more songs in a practice session and at the tempo the piece was intended to be played. If you shortchange these technical exercises, everything takes longer. Also, when answering these questions, it does matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player. A beginning/intermediate player cannot expect to practice/perform at the same level as an advanced player. And, if you only play an hour or so a day, unless you're a prodigy, it will take years before you see any real progress. My experience in my early years of playing dictated 4 hours of disciplined practice a day to make any real progress. If you are not a full-time student/pro, this is next to impossible since life and limited energy get in the way. Good playing . . . Marinero

  39. #38

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    I am taking lessons so my repertoire keeps growing. Right now I can play 8 standards by heart. 4 pending (I am still memorizing and mastering them). This week's tune for me -September 8, 2019 - is called 'Darn that Dream'.

  40. #39

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    Depends on whether I have any gigs coming up (very few and far between these days - not that I'm a pro anyway, but even as a non-pro I am just way busier with life in recent years), but I usually try to play at least 3 tunes a day.

    I also usually use tunes as vehicles for practicing exercises and application of jazz language. In addition - again less now that I am so busy at work - there was a time when I'd "mentally" review 5 to 10 tunes a day, including transposing. I still do that a little bit. When I listen to tunes that I know (at shows or on my stereo or in my car), I am always visualizing the chord progression, and I consider that tune review.

  41. #40

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    Non gigging beginner- I have been playing the same 6 Ted Greene Blues studies almost every day for about 6 weeks. I am still making mistakes !! I need help

    Will

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    Non gigging beginner- I have been playing the same 6 Ted Greene Blues studies almost every day for about 6 weeks. I am still making mistakes !! I need help

    Will
    Try playing them slower and in sections. Work from the end of the piece back.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco View Post
    I am taking lessons so my repertoire keeps growing. Right now I can play 8 standards by heart. 4 pending (I am still memorizing and mastering them). This week's tune for me -September 8, 2019 - is called 'Darn that Dream'.
    If you are interested in ear training for jazz, you should learn as many as you can from the record, no charts except to check your work. Hundreds of you can.

    Probably time better spent than on exercises.
    Last edited by christianm77; 11-05-2019 at 09:55 AM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    Non gigging beginner- I have been playing the same 6 Ted Greene Blues studies almost every day for about 6 weeks. I am still making mistakes !! I need help

    Will
    If I get stuck learning something, I move on and come back to it later. I would suggest finding a tune (or a few tunes) you can learn pretty quickly and enjoy blowing on, and do that for a while. Have some fun. That often exorcises the gremlins that were sabotaging what you were working on. All work and no fun makes Jack a ... guy who just plays etudes and makes mistakes.

    John

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5 View Post
    Non gigging beginner- I have been playing the same 6 Ted Greene Blues studies almost every day for about 6 weeks. I am still making mistakes !! I need help

    Will
    It is very difficult without seeing and hearing you. (Maybe in that case seeing is more important).
    It can be a problem of any kind (technical, phsychological, musical, theretical, instrumental?) and may be solved with one small correction or may be with fundamental process...

  46. #45

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    I do not know... and I do not know how representative it could be... not sure that statistics of that kind here can bring any benifit... except maybe for a psychologist 'how each one estimates and describes what he does')))

    On average I do not play anything....

  47. #46

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    I play several times every day, but never a tune.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    It is very difficult without seeing and hearing you. (Maybe in that case seeing is more important).
    It can be a problem of any kind (technical, phsychological, musical, theretical, instrumental?) and may be solved with one small correction or may be with fundamental process...
    Hi Jonah - could be all of the above I find with the material I want to learn the biggest stumbling block is memory . Much of the Ted Greene I am exploring is 4 chords per measure with different voicings depending on the measure . I don't have a problem playing the voicings , but do often struggle to remember them all. I have played through them often enough I know which sound comes next but can't always remember where that sound or quality is located - if that makes sense, so I often have to glance at the sheet and would much rather get to a place where that is not necessary. Here are a couple of the pieces I am working on as examples.

    https://www.tedgreene.com/images/les...1978-07-04.pdf

    probably basic for many here but a challenge for me!!

    Will