PlayJazzGuitar.com Forum Index PlayJazzGuitar.com Forum
Jazz Guitar Discussion
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Stuck between books, recordings and my own sense of music...

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PlayJazzGuitar.com Forum Index -> The Emerging Guitar Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Jazzapprentice



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Stuck between books, recordings and my own sense of music... Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted in a while. I always peek here and there. Thanks to this forum I've been stimulated to continue with my playing. Lately I've become frustrated by the volume of "information" I have and the actual "playing" I can muster. It seems that when I pick up my guitar I face this vast nothingness that comes, I think, from having gathered so much in the way of chords, scales, lines, etc. I have not had a "formal" music education. I've studied classical guitar in junior college, since then I've been self taught. I came to like jazz thru a local cat here in California. He taught me my current practice: chords scales, arpeggios, etc.

I have some tunes under my belt that sound ok, to my taste, like summertime, All the things you are, Ipanema, etc.

My question or "ranting" rather is how do you overcome this boredom? How do you go from sounding "textbookish" to a relaxed "musical" style? The best answer I found is to play what you like from the real book and learn as many tunes as possible. How about you? What was the threshold for you? How did you step into that atmosphere where your playing flows out and you don't feel like your piecing together a commentary of an arduos practice? I hope I'm making sense. Feedback is really appreciated.
My plan is to play in a venue, perhaps when I retire, where I can play at least 20 or 30 tunes either solo or with a duet or trio...My dream.. Sad
_________________
"Of all the arts, music alone shares with great mystical literature the power of waking in us a response to the life-movement of the universe: brings us—we know not how—news of its exultant passions and its incomparable peace.” Evelyn Underhill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gorecki
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boredom comes in many flavors with many solutions and even occasionally no solution at all.

To much information creates overwhelm. You have to step back from it and look at it like parts. Information is like a box a chocolates, you think you'll never eat the whole box but one piece at a time, one after another, you will eventually make it an empty box. Wink

Most common solution to boredom is something new. There's always something new. A new style, a new tone, a new guitar?

Sometimes the solution is abstinence. I've played the vast majority of my life and at times genuinely got more inspiration from a break than anywhere else. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Often with 'information' is the idea's are plentiful, the issue becomes the realization of those ideas. That's truly the hardest part.

Being able to play and have it 'flow out' is simply a matter of practice, lots and lots and lots of practice. Once you've played in front of a crowd a couple of sets a night for a few years, you'll understand what I mean. Wink
_________________

Forums Admin for PlayJazzGuitar.com.

Do you know where all of your F'n B flats are?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jens



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
Posts: 416
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it is hard or maybe impossible to answer your question without havng heard your playing. So maybe I am not helping at all.

Textbookish:
Maybe try to record your own soloing and check out how long your melodic ideas are, ie. is there a connection between your lines. Look for motifs and question/answer type ideas. If it is not there try to practice that.

Try to listen and analyze phrasing and dynamics of players you like and maybe try to copy their concept. I don't mean transcribing, just listen. Find solos that you really feel, that inspire you.

About Flow:
Well probably you only will feel that the music is flowing freely by itself every once in a while. Mostly you're probably stuck with hearing your own flaws and lack of ability, just like the rest of us. Live with it? ignore it? Don't let it mess up your playing by holding you back.

Try to play a solo rubato, play something then wait and try to feel/hear/think what phrase should come next.

Jens
_________________
http://www.jenslarsen.nl
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you play with others?
_________________
"Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness." - Aaron Copland
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Jazzapprentice



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JakeJew wrote:
Do you play with others?


I don't. I think that may add to my frustration.
I delved into classical guitar early on and developed "solo" habits.
_________________
"Of all the arts, music alone shares with great mystical literature the power of waking in us a response to the life-movement of the universe: brings us—we know not how—news of its exultant passions and its incomparable peace.” Evelyn Underhill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing with people is really where it's at.

Doing things in real time...not just practicing
_________________
"Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness." - Aaron Copland
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
stratocasturbator



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 286
Location: South Orange, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with JJ about playing with others. but if you're like me and don't have that much of an opportunity to do so, then I've found a few things can help narrow things down and help to focus on what's needed. first thing is to always, ALWAYS use some form of timekeeper--a metronome, band-in-a-box, drum machine, anything to keep you honest about tempo and keeping the tune moving forward. if/when you find yourself with a drummer (or anyone else) again, you'll be happy you did this. but it also forces you to be more methodical--and it's good to have something to react to, even if it's mechanical, because you're by yourself and the tendency is to meander and drift at the speed of thought, not the speed of in-progress music. the next thing, and believe me I've got tons of books, videos, pdf's, etc.--the next thing is to always be assigning yourself something, as per the practice calendar. for instance: tunes. e.g. this week I'm going to play/learn/analyze one tune. maybe that tune has some interesting components--such as a lot of ii-V-I, or maybe a lot of half-diminished chords. that's when I get out the related texts. maybe you'd like to work on the sound of a certain scale or tonality against those particular changes. that's what helps me. otherwise you spend your life playing chapter 1/page 1 of a whole bunch of method books, never advancing (because it's boring) much and moreover never learning those tunes! and the nice thing about having a lot of material to work on is that once you get more into repertoire, you'll develop needs ("gee I'd better review my melodic minor scale in that key") and interests that (hopefully) some of your instructional materials will address. but mainly you have that knowledge store of tunes to reference when/if you do play with others. Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Jazzapprentice



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Stuck between books, recordings and my own sense of music... Reply with quote

stratocasturbator wrote:
I totally agree with JJ about playing with others. but if you're like me and don't have that much of an opportunity to do so, then I've found a few things can help narrow things down and help to focus on what's needed. first thing is to always, ALWAYS use some form of timekeeper--a metronome, band-in-a-box, drum machine, anything to keep you honest about tempo and keeping the tune moving forward. if/when you find yourself with a drummer (or anyone else) again, you'll be happy you did this. but it also forces you to be more methodical--and it's good to have something to react to, even if it's mechanical, because you're by yourself and the tendency is to meander and drift at the speed of thought, not the speed of in-progress music. the next thing, and believe me I've got tons of books, videos, pdf's, etc.--the next thing is to always be assigning yourself something, as per the practice calendar. for instance: tunes. e.g. this week I'm going to play/learn/analyze one tune. maybe that tune has some interesting components--such as a lot of ii-V-I, or maybe a lot of half-diminished chords. that's when I get out the related texts. maybe you'd like to work on the sound of a certain scale or tonality against those particular changes. that's what helps me. otherwise you spend your life playing chapter 1/page 1 of a whole bunch of method books, never advancing (because it's boring) much and moreover never learning those tunes! and the nice thing about having a lot of material to work on is that once you get more into repertoire, you'll develop needs ("gee I'd better review my melodic minor scale in that key") and interests that (hopefully) some of your instructional materials will address. but mainly you have that knowledge store of tunes to reference when/if you do play with others. Cool



Thank you very much. I don't use a metronome at all. I actually find them annoying. I prefer to use a rhythm track or the actual recording. My guitar teacher recommended the Aebersold books. They're great.
In all honesty, if I was a guitar teacher I would emphasize learning from actual tunes, put a bunch of em under your belt, then start picking them apart with the theoretical jargon. My frustration is that I sound too scalish, too bluish and too didactic. Music is freeing. After listening to Joe Pass, Grant Green, Barney Kessel, Ron Eschete, etc. I don't hear them "didactic". Their sounds are so beyond the sphere of analysis. Sure you can analyze, dissect, etc. I just happen to think that there is a realm that bypasses or transcends all my preconceived notions of scales, modes, harmony. My mind is full of these things. I want to make music without resorting to the "manual" constantly. There I go again ranting...
I appreciate this forum. Thank you for your advice. Very Happy
_________________
"Of all the arts, music alone shares with great mystical literature the power of waking in us a response to the life-movement of the universe: brings us—we know not how—news of its exultant passions and its incomparable peace.” Evelyn Underhill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jazzapprentice



Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Stuck between books, recordings and my own sense of musi Reply with quote

[quote="lgiro"]an individual musical personality...
____________________________

I like that line Igiro! Thank you.
After the gig, recording, career, etc. What you have left is indeed an individual musical personality. All of the learning elements are blended and blurred into that.
_________________
"Of all the arts, music alone shares with great mystical literature the power of waking in us a response to the life-movement of the universe: brings us—we know not how—news of its exultant passions and its incomparable peace.” Evelyn Underhill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
New Marco



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: .. Reply with quote

I have a concept in my head that pertains to this, but I could be wrong.

I have the notion that to be able to be one of those players that seems to be able to just blow freely over any chord progression..

You'd have to be a master of intervals.

If you considered each interval step a color tone, and had it become an easy to remember pattern in your mind, you could draw from this knowledge on the fly.

Now of course, you probably know the chords and the basic changes of the piece ahead of time...
and have the ability to listen to what interval colors ( or emotions if you like) the other players are doing...

Armed with that knowledge and the ability to snap off intervals on the fretboard in a thematic way..ie, creating a climax and utilizing the element of surprize, by weaving the color tone concept in and against the rhythm's of the piece.
You might be free to really go exploring beyond the bounds of standard riff's.

So it's:
1. a deep knowledge of all the interval sounds against a root tone.

2. a mastery of the fretboard, so as to be able to play any interval or interval series instantly.

3. the ability to hear the music and yourself as you play.

4. The ability hear a melody line in your head, based on what the music is doing, and instantly play that on the fretboard without having to figure it out. (so its like when you say, Mmmm, I'd like to try a piece of this delishious food, and next thing you know there's a spoonful of it in your mouth.. You didn't have to think about how to get the food on the spoon and to your mouth, ect. It just happened as soon as you wanted it to.

Now granted, I'm a total newbie myself, and cant really jazz yet.

I'm just trying to understand how the best improvisers do it, and this is what I've come up with in my studies..

Am I on the right track?

Sorry if, in fact, I'm totally misguided.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sunflower



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two different mindsets for this
When practising
I've found that playing the arpeggios of the changes
round the tune all over the board to be the most instructive

(It gives the architecture of the harmony of the tune
and the board at the same time)

When on the gig
Try to play as much as you can from your feeling at that
exact moment ....
If/when ;0) you get hung up or blocked revert to the Arps you practised
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sunflower



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah , I agree on the theory thing too
learn the major scale inside out,
then learn lots of tunes ,
the tunes will let you know what small bites of theory you need to practise and assimilate

Don't try to eat all the theory at once
you'll make yourself ill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PlayJazzGuitar.com Forum Index -> The Emerging Guitar Forum All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group