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crafting a warmup routine....seeking suggestions
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peckerwood



Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 44
Location: vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:57 pm    Post subject: crafting a warmup routine....seeking suggestions Reply with quote

so as it stands my ADD self has been able to work out of the same 2 books for the past 4 months now (ted greene's 'single note soloing' and bird's omnibook) but i know myself, and if i keep going at this without developing a stronger regemin i will fall apart.

you all are fantastic musicians so i feel no need to give the "this has worked for me in every other type of music i play" but with jazz there is so much to cover in a day it feels like i'm just poking at a fraction of what i could be working on, and that repetition bleeds into my network of ideas.

anyways, taking into account i don't have the time to spend 9 hours a day practicing (let alone all the types of music i like to play) i want to condense effeciently. since i'm still working out of the ted greene books and will forever be working out of the omnibook, i used these two as tentative 'lick deriving' sources, although these could be substituted for anything (youtube vids or whatever) so i'm just being generic here.

1. pull a line/lick/arp and learn it in each position, one of each tonality:
-maj
-min
-dom7
-overtone
-alt

this might seem superflous (why learn a "major lick"? what does this mean, anyway?) but for those familiar, ted greene set his book up into tonality of chords and most the lines in there are derived purely from chord tones, so a 'maj' lick might be a Cmaj9 arp or whatever.

2. pull a parker lick and transcribe it to a few favorite positions.

playing changes
3. solo over maj and min key blues (i have a surprisingly hard time with major key because the options with dom 7ths, subs, and altered sounds leave me overwhelmed)

4. cycle of 4ths ii V I and iio V i

5.pull a chart and do "endless scale exercise"

with all of this, i feel like i've just covered the basics and i am never addressing the things that make me terrified of the dom7 blues tunes. i can see holes in this routine as i write it but i am only one relatively inexperienced jazz musician. help!
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Jens



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very strict approach. Quite a few things come to mind
when I see it, but don't forget that what works for me might not work for you.

To me it seems more like a complete practice program than a warm up. I use more technical things when I warm up and warming up is something that takes 5-45 min. depending on how much time I have. So scales, continuous scale exercise, arps, playing through a tune in arps. etc.
How much time did you have in mind for each step?

How big is your repetoire of standards? This might be something to work on. One way to practice overview of the neck is to play a standard melody in each position and then doing it partly by knowing the note names and partly by ear. Moving licks around you are mostly focusing on finding a good fingering and using the notes rather than your ear. That is still useful though...

For me I always spent more time practicing tunes than sequences and cycles. Sometimes if you want to apply a certain scale/sound then you can use it on a vamp (like II Valt I).
I try to be more conscious about practicing things so that it also strengthens other aspects of playing, and to me if you practice soloing on a tune by heart with no chords and only a metronome you have to keep the things you play clearer so you don't lose the form. It is also a good way to feel if you can really hear the harmony you play over.

This is always an interesting subject Smile

Jens
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planetguy



Joined: 11 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
this might seem superflous (why learn a "major lick"? what does this mean, anyway?) but for those familiar, ted greene set his book up into tonality of chords and most the lines in there are derived purely from chord tones, so a 'maj' lick might be a Cmaj9 arp or whatever.



keep in mind those major licks also do double duty as minor licks ...
CM = Am

and of course the opposite is true as well
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peckerwood



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha yes, this is definitely not my "warmup" or anything...more of an outline of what i want to get done in a 2-3 hour period.

as far as practicing over specific changes (especially alt V to I stuff) i just use my loop pedal. just picked up band in a box which gives me way more incentive to practice chord progressions that modulate rather than sitting on a prog in one key (which i do too much)

my standards reportiore is shameful but i attribute that to not having any real reason to memorize them. i don't play out in jazz settings and i'm not wholly interested in being a "jazz guitarist" than being able to play with a jazz sensibility. given that, i anylize songs and their changes, and when the melody moves me i learn it. but i know you can learn a mountain of information from having just a handfull of standards commited to memory...

and yea, i prefer to think of harmonies as either consonant or dissonant, so i don't put weight on that whole "playing under a ii chord versus a I chord" thing. once you start adding 9ths 11ths and 13ths they all start working over each other.
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Jens



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peckerwood wrote:
as far as practicing over specific changes (especially alt V to I stuff) i just use my loop pedal. just picked up band in a box which gives me way more incentive to practice chord progressions that modulate rather than sitting on a prog in one key (which i do too much)

my standards reportiore is shameful but i attribute that to not having any real reason to memorize them. i don't play out in jazz settings and i'm not wholly interested in being a "jazz guitarist" than being able to play with a jazz sensibility. given that, i anylize songs and their changes, and when the melody moves me i learn it. but i know you can learn a mountain of information from having just a handfull of standards commited to memory...


Playing with a backing such as a chord loop, band in a box or aebersold, is in my opinion a bit lazy, it is much too easy to lean on. If you are playing only with just a metronome you have to feel and hear the rest yourself, making you much stronger when you are playing live. Don't give it up completely but try to keep it to a minimum.

Actually it is the same when you are practicing changes. Instead playing on some synthetic formula containg major or minor cadences it might be better to practice it in the context it is taken from, the standards. Chances are you'll have an easier time with the choices for dom7 chords if you know how to put them to use in songs before you put them on top of a blues. I think that should be the motivation to learn them, they are part of the language if you are checking out Ted Greene and Parker, their phrases were made with that sort of songs in mind.

Jens
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JakeJew



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jens wrote:


Playing with a backing such as a chord loop, band in a box or aebersold, is in my opinion a bit lazy, it is much too easy to lean on. If you are playing only with just a metronome you have to feel and hear the rest yourself, making you much stronger when you are playing live. Don't give it up completely but try to keep it to a minimum.

Actually it is the same when you are practicing changes. Instead playing on some synthetic formula containg major or minor cadences it might be better to practice it in the context it is taken from, the standards.


Agreed here. My thinking as well.
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chrisj



Joined: 03 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Jens"]
peckerwood wrote:

Playing with a backing such as a chord loop, band in a box or aebersold, is in my opinion a bit lazy, it is much too easy to lean on. If you are playing only with just a metronome you have to feel and hear the rest yourself, making you much stronger when you are playing live. Don't give it up completely but try to keep it to a minimum.Jens


Hmm.... I have to politely disagree here somewhat. The biggest problem with aspiring musicians is their lack of being able to hear changes, and play with a groove. A metronome certainly won't give you changes and I expect an inexperienced guitarist wouldn't be able to hear them without some sort of track. That is why the Aebersold books and tracks have been so popular since I started paying Jazz 25 years ago. Most of the genius players I know today make well use use of a sequencer or BITB. Before we had these things, we used to record our own backing tracks or use Jamie's. The more experience you can get with a real ensemble, the better, but if you can't good quality tracks are a great tool. I metronome is handy to help you lock in time but I'm not sure it will make you a great soloist. Imagine trying to learn how to play a Blues to a metronome?
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Jens



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I was a bit unclear. My suggestion is to play the songs you already know only with a metronome, not random chord changes or something you have no clue what sounds like, at least not to begin with.
Probably a lot of "hearing chords" is maybe adressed better in solfege and ear training than by removing the challenge with a backing track that plays everything. I think backing tracks a beginning points to move away from as you know the song. And probably it is better to make them yourself, at least you know what the chord extensions are if you cannot hear them.

I think that if you are moving around Parker licks and practicing cycle of fifths chord sequences, cont. scale exercise etc. then this should a big part of your practice. This is anyway not material for beginners.

In my experience students who learn the songs so that they can solo on them in time without leaning on anything but a tempo are standing much stronger and have a lot more attention to spare to play music. And when they start to work more like this they strengthen their sense of form and 4,8,16 periods of bars. Skills that are essentiel in jazz, even if there are not written too many books on the subject.

This is also for a big part based on personal experience when studying. Can you solo on a 7/4 groove with a bass line? Can you do the same kind of solo with no backing? If not, can you then actually feel the groove or are you just noodling on top of it?

I believe I have posted this Metheny video before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTrxDxX18lE But for this whole masterclass He almost does not say anything just improvises with a metronome. I think he is trying to make a point with that.

As for playing blues with a metronome, why shouldn't you be able to do that when you know how to play blues? Practicing slow blues with a metronome is a great way to develop more stretching in your phrasing because it is a big part of the language, pulling and pushing around but still feeling the beat.

Sorry for the long post. I am just very interested in the subject Laughing

Jens
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chrisj



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly would agree that a metronome is an important tool. I suppose an intermediate student or practicing professional would get a better feel for time, simply because, as you said, you would have to make a conscience effort to be aware of bar lengths and form.

On the other hand, teaching at music colleges as I do, by far the biggest problem I find with aspiring musicians is really the lack of playing experience with an ensemble. This leads to a complete lack of musicality, groove, decent ears and dynamics (much less communication skills). I think too many younger musicians make too much of keeping track of bpm's and endless scale patterns and sequences. I usually suggest that if they are going to practice scales and arpeggios (which of course they should), why not do it to tracks? This way they get the benefit of different grooves and changes, and get to wake up their ears.

Of course I understand what you are talking about as well.

I'm not sure Albert King or Muddy Waters practiced to a metronome though (lol). I'm sure it is more of an experience thing...
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Jens



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The importance of form and periods of bars is usually something you rely on for cross and poly rhythm stuff, not so much for time keeping I'd say.

I am not sure what level and taste a typical student of a music college has (or what that is exactly?) But it does not sound like they are very interested in jazz? I guess if they really need ensemble experience maybe pair them up and have them play stuff in duo's and trio's, that is always healthy and possible in all styles.

Even if Albert King or Muddy Waters or BB never practices with a metronome it does not mean that they could not sound good playing with one Wink

Jens
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chrisj



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this is completely off the topic of this thread but..

It is a matter of the times not of genre. When I started playing music 35 years ago we didn't really have any distractions. Matter of fact there really wasn't anything to do except music or sports. We didn't have the internet, video games, tab, or guitar related books, even CDs. I remember when my friend's parents got the first microwave oven in the neighborhood and we could make microwave popcorn.

But the point I'm getting at is that since we didn't have very much to do, we would get together and jam out after school. So I was basically playing three or four hours of Blues everyday with musicians. So by the time I went to college, I had hours and hours of playing experience under my fingers.

I started teaching at MI in the late 80s and most of the students were like I was, they had plenty of experience playing in ensemble situations, therefore good communication skills, good timing, feeling and tone. But above all good ears. Most of the students in those days were poor readers and knew little theory. It was more of an experience thing more so than a head thing.

Now things are the opposite. Most students have little ensemble experience but have better heads for music. They read better and know theory better.

Of course any school offers the students plenty of ensemble situations but it is the lack of this experience that came before that is the problem.

Someone emailed me about this once and I posted what I thought on my blog. If you are interested in how music education has changes over the years, you can find the answer here:

http://theinfiniteguitar.blogspot.com/2010/02/music-education-in-21st-century.html
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Jens



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we are indeed completely off topic Laughing
Interesting article! Stuff to think about for sure. It is true that there is less jamming and playing in bands now than earlier. I never really thought too much about it.

I guess I still don't agree that you could hope to replace the ensemble playing experience with backing tracks and BiaB, but maybe that's just me.

Jens
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chrisj



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I agree with you there: you certainly can't replace real ensemble by playing with tracks, but you do what you can.
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peckerwood



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the replies, everyone. i'm a gigging musician and get a decent amount of playing time with other musicians, i just don't ever get to play jazz Crying or Very sad

it's almostl ike when i ask someone to come down and play some changes and trade licks its like i'm asking for a cutting session, and posting things on craigslist almost makes it feel like i'm trying to test my ego. i just woud like a few other minds to bounce off ideas with and i'd be alot better off.

as far as the metronome thing, i totally get what you're saying. if you can hear an alt7 chord or a major 13 extention without BITB nailing it to your forehead, you're bound to play it even more solidly in a playing situation. but without these programs, i'd have no one to play this stuff with. jens, your topic about musicianmanship and the shift in playing together is spot-on. getting together with other guys to play seems so difficult and everyone looks at it as superflous..."why do with a group of guys what i could do at home with BITB?" sort of mentality.

this has gotten completely off topic but i can live with that.
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chrisj



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good thing about jazz is that you don't need a big ensemble. When I was studying, I would play real book tunes with my guitar player roommate. Or sometimes a bass student would come by.

You can learn a lot by playing with another guitarist. He might very well play things different than you, which in turn helps to develop your own ideas.
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