Anyone disciplined enough to do John Petrucci's Rock Discipline?

jonthomas83

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1,591
So I just started this on Friday and I'm enjoying it. I'm determined to stick with it as I've never really stuck at anything - including lessons.

I'm at the beginning stretching exercises and wow, I've never stretched my fingers as much as I have over the past couple of days. It's great.

My issue is, how long should I spend on these exercises? I mean they're getting easier, but I'm going to get bored pretty soon and will need to move on to achieve something more. Thing is though, John advises that you continue to play the exercises and move as far down the neck as you can before it hurts. If I do that, it'll take a LONG time!

Should I persevere or should I move on?

Also, has anyone done this book from cover to cover and can anyone share their experiencces on how it helped them improve?

Cheers
 

strattitude

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1,327
I did some of it when It first came out..lots of good stuff, but I think I got most out of the musical sections instead of those warm up excercises and chromatics which did not make much musical sense...there should have been something on how to incorporate them into solos(the chromatics).

I also spent a long time going through a Frank Gambale book. Really hard technically, but in the end I found it very hard to incorporate into my own playing.
In general I have gotten most out of picking up certain licks out of solos, that I think sound great, and then spend time getting it into my own playing. But also learn whole solos, and stealing the best parts.
 
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ZeyerGTR

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For the record, I didn't even come close to sticking with Rock Discipline. ;-)

but I'm going to get bored pretty soon
You can get yourself excited about doing it, even after the 100th time. Practice - real practice, not noodling or jamming - doesn't always seem like fun at first. If you can connect it to your end goal then you can be happy doing the same exercise 100 times. You can find the joy in getting better, in working on something, and in knowing that the practice will make you a better player. I would also say, though, that it's never about the exercise. It's always about what the exercise is trying to teach you. That means taking these techniques and having them be an automatic part of your playing when making music. You can't skip the making music part, so you can still mix up your practice time. Sticking w/ Rock Discipline doesn't mean you don't do anything else, and maybe that's part of keeping it fresh. Do your 15-30 minutes of Rock Discipline and then learn songs, write songs, work on other things... Ultimately, whether or not Rock Discipline is what gets you to your musical goals, that's another question only you can answer. If it's not, it's going to be hard to stick with. And your answer may change in a year, that's okay.

Thing is though, John advises that you continue to play the exercises and move as far down the neck as you can before it hurts. If I do that, it'll take a LONG time!
Yup, but that's okay! What else would you rather be doing than getting better at playing guitar?
 

Pat Healy

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10,954
No, but I may give it a go. At 44, after 25+ years of playing/gigging/touring, my hands are noticeably stiff and inflexible. I'm a decent enough player to fall back on my stock riffs and not have to break new ground in my practice routine (wait, what practice routine? ;)), so I don't stretch or challenge myself and the muscles get stiff. Rock Discipline is a challenging program. I'm not sure I'd tough it out, but even a solid attempt would probably help with the stiffness.
 

dsimon665

Silver Supporting Member
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624
The DVD? I worked on it. Not aware of the book. I know he has "wild stringdom" which is
a compilation of (GW?) articles.

WRT the DVD I've talked about it before wrt alternate picking.
There's some great exercises in there. Still some things to explore.

specifically on that : the series on "example 4". If you notice he goes into great detail
on picking variations. Its all "important" in the lesson he's trying to convey.

Part of the method is : you have to believe in it. JP is the master, we're the student.
There are things in the method that work on you in ways you might not realize.

Music has its way of working on you. Same with tech. exercises.

Sometimes, you're simply not ready for what's going on - its good to put it down and come back some other
time if you get interested in it again.

If you check the Troy Grady series...he talks about it on a more universal level.
In those terms, JP has exercises for developing "2-way pickslant" - this type of thing is real great
for alt. picking. JPRD translation would be "abmi-picksterous"

Besides the alt. picking there's tons more. One thing is what I think Grady calls "chunking"
This is a method for speed. The section where JP talks about building speed is along these lines.

If you're interested in this type of stuff, there's also Frank Gambale's "Chop Builder" DVD
besides the corny/funny presentation it has a lot in there.
My suggestion on that is to rip the DVD audio into an mp3 format, and load it in a "slow down" type program.
This is for people who truly want some discipline out of it.
Its practically impossible (at least, for me) to use it in the way he intended (like a "workout video" where you play along in real time)
 

jonthomas83

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1,591
Yup, but that's okay! What else would you rather be doing than getting better at playing guitar?
I love that ethos! Thank you for the insightful words, really encouraging. I'm going to be mixing it up with a few other things, so my attention will be kept.
The DVD? I worked on it. Not aware of the book. I know he has "wild stringdom" which is
a compilation of (GW?) articles.
Yep, there definitely is, it's a good one! :)

I'll check out Frank Gambale's stuff, and thank you for the great words of advice. It helped! :)
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
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5,367
My issue is, how long should I spend on these exercises? I mean they're getting easier, but I'm going to get bored pretty soon and will need to move on to achieve something more. Thing is though, John advises that you continue to play the exercises and move as far down the neck as you can before it hurts. If I do that, it'll take a LONG time!

Should I persevere or should I move on?
I went through it and thought it was great. Definitely got a lot out of it.

John Petrucci has some good articles about practicing. I think you can read them in the Wild Stringdom book. One of the things he talks about is being methodical and planning your practice time. Decide what things you want to work on, then decide how you will split your time between those things before starting a session.

It's also good to think about what your goal is for the practice session. The question of how long you should spend on one exercise, or if you should persevere or move on will be answered by how it fits with your individual goals.

If your goal is to improve your picking speed, you're not going to want to spend a lot of time on chord theory exercises.

Another thing he suggests is to make a filing system for different types of exercies, so you can pull the appropriate material out depending on what you are working on. So, for example, if your goal is to improve your sweep picking technique, you can go into your sweep picking exercises file and pull out enough exercises for that technique to fill your practice time.
 

snouter

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2,153
I scanned this up to the "epic" (very cheesy) solo at one hour in. Personally I can stretch a half step further than the guy in the video from the A at the 5th fret to the Eb on the 11th fret on a 25.5" scale guitar, but when would anyone ever use that? It is ridiculous. The guitar is designed to make chord voicings pretty easy. Except Ted Greene's concept of fretting two different frets with one finger. :p I would seek out instructional vids of guys who can actually explain in terms of music theory what they are doing. For sweep picking, just check out Frank Gambale's stuff.

 

The Captain

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12,589
I've had it for a while, and did a bit a bit of work on it a few years ago. I picked it up again recently and didn't last long.
Every time I open this forum, this thread is staring at me, mocking me in my failure.
OK, OK, I'll go get started.
 

Beto

Silver Supporting Member
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3,901
I took a few exercises from the book and extended them to much more variations in the past.

These days I'm more focused on learning some harmony and using pentatonic scales as a mean to add tensions or imply modal interchange chords (I'm still scratching the surface on this subject).

In order to practice, improve and keep my technique, I always keep coming back to Gambale's Chop Builder.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,939
I scanned this up to the "epic" (very cheesy) solo at one hour in. Personally I can stretch a half step further than the guy in the video from the A at the 5th fret to the Eb on the 11th fret on a 25.5" scale guitar, but when would anyone ever use that? It is ridiculous. The guitar is designed to make chord voicings pretty easy. Except Ted Greene's concept of fretting two different frets with one finger. :p I would seek out instructional vids of guys who can actually explain in terms of music theory what they are doing. For sweep picking, just check out Frank Gambale's stuff.

Of the late 80s/early 90s instructional vids that was one I never cared for back in the day. And likely still wouldn't.
Mow having said this, what is the use of wide stretches? Simple the ability to do things in a legato fashion on 1 string. This is what cellists use their thumb for (in addition to the fingers).
For example, play a a Coltrane line that is 7-10-12-15 on e and b string and then 7-9-11-14 on g and d string. over Gmaj7#11
Or a minor 3rd line that's 6-9-12 on g and e string. Over A7b9
Or scale patterns in 4 notes per string ala early Holdsworth.
There is a good reason to be able to stretch.
Side note, Shawn Lane had very short fingers could stretch the hell out of them. I cover 5 to 13 easy with a bit push to 14.
 

The Captain

Member
Messages
12,589
I suddenly found a need to stretch a whole lot more yesterday than I have ever needed, thanks for nothing Tremonti.
The
-----
-----
----
-----
---12
---7
---7 wasn't so bad ,but the -----
-----
----
---
---9
---4
---4 kinda hurt a bit. It's not just the stretch, but needing to bar the bottom 2 strings that was a struggle.
 

jonthomas83

Member
Messages
1,591
I went through it and thought it was great. Definitely got a lot out of it.

John Petrucci has some good articles about practicing. I think you can read them in the Wild Stringdom book. One of the things he talks about is being methodical and planning your practice time. Decide what things you want to work on, then decide how you will split your time between those things before starting a session.

It's also good to think about what your goal is for the practice session. The question of how long you should spend on one exercise, or if you should persevere or move on will be answered by how it fits with your individual goals.

If your goal is to improve your picking speed, you're not going to want to spend a lot of time on chord theory exercises.

Another thing he suggests is to make a filing system for different types of exercies, so you can pull the appropriate material out depending on what you are working on. So, for example, if your goal is to improve your sweep picking technique, you can go into your sweep picking exercises file and pull out enough exercises for that technique to fill your practice time.
I bought the Wild Stringdom book, on the back of your comment, so I'm excited to read through that. Looks a little more approachable than Rock Discipline at first glance. But I'm determined to get through both!
 




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