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Need Practice Advice

 
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JazzyAnt



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Need Practice Advice Reply with quote

Here's my dilemna. I studied jazz guitar in high school ('70s) and stopped playing in the mid-80's. I never got quite to the point that I wanted but I decided to pick up the guitar a few years ago and thought I could get myself back to those days when I was learning to comp and play tunes with the proper chord inversions, etc. I ran into a brick wall. I need to know what to practice (memorize fretboard, learn all scales, practice arpeggios, chord inversions, learn modes, learn to play tunes with chords and melody). All the items mentioned are important but what to practice first. What to learn first, how to set up a practice schedule and in what order do I put these things together to make myself a good player. I have so much information but no structure. Can someone offer advice on how to set this up?
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cjm



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all -- what do I know? I'm no great shakes as a guitar player. Fact is, I'm only so-so on the upright bass.

But here is what I think: Songs. Practice songs more than anything else. You have some of the rudiments from 30+ years ago, and they'll gradually come back with use.

Hal Leonard publishes a three volume set of "The Real Book," totaling something on the order of 1200 jazz standard lead sheets with decent chords in the most commonly heard keys.

Take a familiar song from one of these fake book lead sheets and get the rhythm worked out...then work on the straight melody as a single note line ...then start altering the melody a little bit at a time...then integrate some of the chords with the single note lines -- basically just comping a bit to your own solo.

After a few weeks of that, your weaknesses will be established and you'll be better able to decide for yourself what technical issues you need to study and work on.

And in the mean time, while working on tunes, you will probably be more satisfied and able to sustain the mental focus to practice more because you'll be making actual music -- the whole point of picking up a guitar in the first place.

Everybody will have a different idea and different suggestions -- but these are mine.
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JazzyAnt



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks CJM. You make a good point that the whole idea is to make music. It is true that things do come back as you go through the motions. I just get impatient. I also try to eat the whole elephant at once instead of taking little bites. I'm gonna go with a combo of working on a few tunes (chords, then melodies, then mxing them together) and learning some of the things that I know are good foundations/building blocks. I did consider lessons to get me back on track, but at $50-$60 an hour I'll try it solo first. I think I have it in me.
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hanni



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 660
Location: germany

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

same problem here, i did a lot of jazz lessons, but it dont helped me to play better, i could play the lessons well, but that was all, now i am looking more to play songs and what can i do with a song..... and hope that helps more
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jokron



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Location: Skelleftea, Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. To learn the fretboard, notes, scales and arpeggios...William Leavitt's "A modern method for guitar" will take you all the way on that

2. Learn theory: Mark Levine "The jazz theory book" will learn you almost everything you have to know.

3. Play tunes: Aebersolds Play-A-Long or a Real/Fake Book and Band-In-A-Box will get you fairly close to the real world.

4. Get out of the closet: Find friends/band to play with develop your musicality.

Practice as much as you can on 1-3 every day...

Jokron
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