Practice results after 1 week.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jazzmonkey007, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    Practice Aebersold Volume 1. This is my first week of practice with Aebersold, I'm a blues player and slowly learning more. Can't play much, but this is what I've learned with the first 20 pages of Vol. 1.

    Constructive comments are appreciated...

    http://www.youtube.com/v/R1ry_Hm--iw&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/R1ry_Hm--iw&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">
     
  2. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Sounds really good!

    Can you play without looking at the neck.

    Maybe you can limit range of notes, (don't go above 10th frets or don't play any 6th & 5th strings)

    All depends what are you looking for or what did you look /expect while you have practiced. What did you learn from this?

    Good job!

    Tomo
     
  3. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    I learned to go up and down the scales in minor thirds. I always hear players like Stern mention of using patterns like thirds or fourths to improvise, but never really paid much attention to it. Although it might not show too much in the video (I haven't listenned to it) I'm using those ideas more and more. But Vol.1 is about 80 pages and I got all his Volumes, plus Jerry baker, I'm sure it's bound to sink in and then some... As for watching the neck, no I can't play without looking at it yet. If I limit myself to vertical playing no problem, otherwise I have to keep my eyes on the neck and see what I'm doing.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Thanks for your response. What scale is that? Great answer there... play what you can play without looking at and make a lot of wrong notes and work to recover from that. Don't practice to make all sound correct by looking at. Hear each degree/color from what you play. Don't close your eyes, find something you can stare at .. as if you are trying to talk to someone... "conversation" "story" Limit length too. What is your specific goal(s) now. i can't expect myself within one week. Give yourself two weeks instead of one week. What do you think?

    Tomo
     
  5. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    The scale is a dorian scale, but I tried to incorporate some chromatics approach under and upper on the fifth and the tonic of the three chords. I always see the chords and try to play around the pillars 1,3,5 and I like to emphasize the 9 and I love the sound of a 13th (6th) on a straight minor chord. Nothing too evolved as I said I'm only beginning to discover those sounds. So in my mind it's the chords and what sounds I can add to that be it 9th, 13th, 5th...and so on. I try to go for melodies, but you're totally right I'm too scared of playing the wrong notes, thanks for the advice and reminding me to take chances.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    You're welcome. Thanks for writing. I see... have you ever transcribe any jazz legend 's real performance? Like Miles Davis "So What" Without any learning from records (cds) ... it's really tough to do. Enjoy!

    Tomo
     
  7. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    No I've never transcribed, it's hard to do when you don't know what the're doing. I did it a lot for blues player and other types of music, but I tried to do it with Parker and just couldn't pull it off as well. Plus I wanted to do it with notes and not tab like I was doing before. Parker was very hard to do (for me anyways), I might try again with another player. But as I said I can't play much.
     
  8. john b

    john b Supporting Member

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    Sounds great! Get your pinky in there more, it's a very neglected digit for many guitar players.
     
  9. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    Thanks for the compliment and advice. Hard to quit the habit of the 3 fingers playing after all this time :hide
     
  10. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    That's important part of learning jazz. Listen to Charlie Christian. Try to copy "Rose Room" For blues, look for "Melody" listen more carefully into chord changes so that your line will outline a bit of each chord changes. Good job!

    Tomo
     
  11. john b

    john b Supporting Member

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    It's like only realizing 75% of your potential. Definitely worth trying to break that habit!
     
  12. stevel

    stevel Member

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    I realize you're just improvising here, but a couple of things I'd like to see - and this is really true just of guitar players in general:

    Dynamics - guitarists too often play "at volume" - rarely do they let up and pick easier, or really dig in. There's a lot of "same" intensity here (and in many solo playing) so it would be nice to have some more dynamic interest or "shape" to it.

    On a side note, I think choice of tone can have a lot to do with that. Can you play this on a clean setting? It's nice at the end when you roll the volume knob off.

    I don't think we need to fall into the trap of playing pass 1 with the neck pup, and pass 2 with the bridge, and pass 3 with the volume rolled off, and so on and so forth - you know, so much that that constantly changing becomes as "expected" as playing "same" the whole time. But it's nice to seem some overall "shape" in the improv and phrases - another thing I think lacks in a lot of players' playing.

    Wes Montgomery is a good one to check out for solos where each pass has its own shape, and then the whole solo has a shape of its own. While I'll admit they do become predictable in that he often does single line, then octaves, then chord-melody, there is a nice variety that holds your interest.

    The other thing I'll mention that I notice a lot of players lack is space. Again I know this is an improv, but if it were a "for real" performance, I'd like to see some more space - I think we all tend to overplay - sometimes long notes (I really dig the long slow bend at about :42), and long, or many rests are as important musically than flurries of notes (not that you're always playing flurries). This IMHO also contributes to the overall "shape" of an improv - the pacing, etc.

    What I would love to see is a video of where you were before you started this, and be able to compare it with this video a week later - it'd be interesting to see the progress you made.

    Oh, and agreed - use that pinky. In fact, it's OK every once in a while to use the tremolo bar, and even the fingers of your picking hand to tap a note (within taste). Harmonics can always be incorporated (though again, too much can get "gimmicky"). Then you can get into all kinds of stuff - like open string tricks, "ghost" bends, trills, tremolos, etc. etc.

    One thing that strikes me as a little "forced" are your vibratos - especially on the long notes at the end of phrases - in some ways it's like "oh, now I have a long note, so now I can throw in some vibrato". I see a lot of violin students do this - they get a note longer than an 8th note and they vibrato it. They're taught to do it because they have no frets, but for us, it's OK to not vibrato, or do more or less subtle vibratos depending on the situation. I think there could be a little more variety there as well.

    Note - when I say "most players" share these similar - let's call them "deficiencies", I'm including myself in that same group - I notice a lot of these issues come up in my playing so I'm constantly trying to pay attention to them, and improve them.

    Also, I'm being a little hyper-critical here because really, the playing was good enough that you really can't find too much fault in it without getting picky :) You should be really pleased with your progress IMHO.

    Best,
    Steve
     
  13. john b

    john b Supporting Member

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    Steve - really great tips there, much appreciated. You really got me thinking about my playing. Your advice is appropriate for all of us, for sure.

    Many props to the OP for putting himself out there to feedback. Brave soul, but with nice chops to back it up.
     
  14. Neer

    Neer Member

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    My one bit of advice is to try not to be so deliberate with the changes--try to play ideas that flow from one key to the next. It seems that you stop at each new key. One good way of doing this is to anticipate the change by playing it about 2 beats before it happens.

    Don't play all of your Rock ideas over this--if you're wanting to practice and grow it helps to put those aside. Listen to some recordings, such as the one Tomo suggested, and just take a few little ideas away from it. Cannonball's playing on So What has many usable licks that you can get a ton of mileage from. Try playing simple arpeggios built on the scale tones. For example, over Em, you can use the Em, F#m and Bm triads, and each one of those minor pentatonic scales. The E Dorian scale harmonized would be Em, F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim, D. Volley between GMaj7 and A7 arpeggios....Try the same thing with the melodic minor scale. There are a million options.

    One more thing--turn off the overdrive. :)
     
  15. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I agree generally with all the above, and add some hyper-criticism a la stevel (you can take it...;) ).

    I agree especially about the dynamics/intensity (lack of variety in). That's your rock/blues background/habits coming out (or rather hanging over).
    It starts off well - first 30 seconds, very good sense of control; real confidence, nice phrasing. Then you speed up and start filling more space and it gets less interesting. The control is still there - but maybe a little too much control, too much reliance on habits and licks that work. (For me, too much of that sliding down the neck at the end of phrases.)

    I suggest a couple of things:

    1. play with no distortion, as an experiment at least. Nothing wrong with distortion on jazz guitar (not everyone has to sound like Wes Montgomery...), but IMO you need to get out of your comfort zone. The trouble with distortion is it squashes all subtlety out of your attack and articulation. You might be playing with great sensitivity, but we can't tell! That's the real reason jazz guitarists tend to play clean - not because they don't like the distorted sound, but because its only one sound. Playing clean means you have total control over volume, dynamics, tone etc, from how you use your fingers.
    At least, turn down the distortion, so that when you play quietly it comes out clean, and you can push it into overdrive by picking harder.

    2. Leave more space. Again, not all jazz solos have to be minimal (not everyone has to sound like Miles Davis... ;)), but - again - force yourself to play with limited material, as an experiment. See what you can do with (say) just 3 notes, for a whole chorus. You can do plenty of interesting stuff with 3 notes. (Sonny Rollins famously played solos on just one note now and then.) It makes you focus on all those other aspects of improvisation (beyond notes, melody and harmony): rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, tone, articulation, expression.

    You clearly have the chops (and ear, and enough musical knowledge) to do all this (and more). Onward and upward!
     
  16. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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    I'm not a jazz guy, and I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but it sounded really great to me!

    As a guy who was just listening, I don't understand comments like "use your pinky more". I was taught from the beginning to always use my pinky, but it doesn't mean I think Clapton is a chump!

    FWIW, I can't play nearly as well as you. The only criticism I would consider (as a listener, and a Satriani fan) is to have a more prominent melodic hook. I didn't really hear the theme. Having said that, I'm not sure if this is antithetical to the type of music you're playing.
     
  17. jazzmonkey007

    jazzmonkey007 Member

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    WOW !!! Thanks a LOT guys those are great comments and I will definitely try to include them in my practice. This week I should have time to play about 5 hours, which is more than I usually have. And I will post another video on friday. It will be with a clean sound, the DS-1 took a lot of the dynamics out. I will be waiting for more tips and critisms. Thanks again for your inputs, keep them coming. I've never really had a band and can count the times I played live on my fingers, so you're my audience, thanks.:aok
     
  18. SRVYJM

    SRVYJM Member

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    I only have two things to say as well. Great technique, and although I think most jazz guy's play way too clean and it gets boring quickly, I do agree that in this case you have too much distortion and it's squashing your tone and dynamics to a degree. As a blues guy/x-rocker, for unbelievable tone with distortion and dynamics, check out Andy Timmons and Thomas Blug. Both can really work dynamics into a cranked amp just by using their volume knob. Changed the way I play guitar entirely after hearing what they can do through a high gain amp with just their volume knob!

    Also agree with the poster above (the Satriani fan) that you should slow down some and develop melodic ideas/motifs to explore and make statements with. Like Tomo says, question and answers, conversations. Satriani is a terrific example of a guy who can shred with the best of them but still creates memorable melody lines. I don't actually know any jazz guitar players in that category at all (help me out here jazz guys) they all seem to just wail away and blaze through scales and think a clean tone make it not shredding, but what I hear is mostly shredding from jazz guitar players, but I'd listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane all day and night long. Those wicked cats knew how to phrase and create a melody, so I guess what I'm saying is listen to jazz horn players instead of guitar players. Just MHO of course, don't mean to offend any of you jazz guitar players and would honestly like to be turned on to some that actually know how to create and establish a melodic line and theme and build from there. That's why I listen to classical and rockers instead like Satch, Timmons and Blug. Melody.
     

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