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Stopping when I make a mistake

gypsynovicegypsynovice New Altamira M01
in Gypsy Rhythm Posts: 3

Hi,

I'm a total novice and trying to learn Gypsy rhythm. My teacher is pleased with my progress, however my biggest problem is stopping when I make a mistake. Following the stop I can't pick up where I am in the tune. Does anyone have a useful suggestion or anything that will help me? I've been playing for five months, I practice with ireal everyday and with my teacher twice a week.

Thanks

«1

Comments

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,384

    Memory issues... we’ve all been there... good topic.

    First thing I would ask is, these tunes that give you a problem... are you playing them by memory, or reading some kind of chord chart?

    If it were a chord chart, I would get out my highlighter and highlight the parts that throw me, and then use my ireal to play over just those changes—- nothing else—— so many times I’d be totally sick of them...

    The the next time I’d play that tune, the highlighted part would remind me, “Oh, yeah! It’s that @#$&* part I hate. Let’s not #$&* it up again.”

    ####

    In trying to play by memory, a thing that often helps me is to memorize the lyrics of the tune so I am able to sing them to myself as I play... by some weird process of osmosis, the lyrics help me remember the correct chords.

    #####

    All that said, in live performance I will sometimes blank out on a chord change, and in those instances I find it helpful just to form a fake “chord” by damping all the strings with my left hand while my right hand continues to strum just as if everything is totally normal... i find I can get away with this for a bar or two until I get my bearings again.

    (I’ve never confessed publicly to doing this before... but yeah, I can get away with it occasionally...)

    Good luck!

    Will

    BucogypsynoviceJosechiky
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • vilhelmovilhelmo San Francisco Bay AreaNew
    Posts: 6

    Try to memorize the chords to the song (i.e. do not have the chords in front of you when playing) and put on the song on youtube or spotify and play along to a version you like. If you get really lost, you can start by trying to identify the start of each chorus and joining from there.

    Another tip I've heard repeated that I personally feel helps is to create a playlist of songs that you want to learn and listen to it a lot while playing along in your head. That way you learn to associate the sound with the chords. (This also helps with memorizing the chords)

    gypsynoviceJosechiky
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 232

    Everything Lango-Django suggests is useful, and I would point out that each bit of advice addresses a slightly different issue. First response to the messing-up-hard-parts problem is to identify exactly what's being hard about the passage--fingering, for example--and work out a solution, then practice that particular section to get it down. And of course so much of rhythm playing amounts to frequently-used patterns (ii-V-I, I-vi-ii-V, etc.) in their various shapes that you will find that you've developed a set of standard subassemblies that can be applied with minor adaptations to the current situation.

    Next, stopping-on-error: My playing partners always say, "Don't stop, play through," because that's what you have to do on stage. (They also told me, "Stop saying, 'Oh shit.'") If you really do lose the thread or forget a change, the fake-chord solution works for a rhythm player, even in a duo setting. (I've done this more times than I can count.) Of course, this doesn't necessarily apply when you're practicing a hard passage, but eventually even in practice you'll want to make sure that you can integrate the worked-over part with the rest of the piece.

    My experience has been that even when I think I'm going to miss a change, the fingers manage to get to their assigned place anyway. People call this "muscle memory," but it's not in the muscle but in some part of the brain that we don't access with our consciousness.

    gypsynoviceJosechiky
  • edited January 23 Posts: 16

    I'm in the same boat as you gypsynovice, in terms of picking up from wherever I am. I agree with all the comments above.

    I usually practice over pre-recorded backing tracks from YouTube. First step is to get familiar with the melody (and lyrics if you can). Then, listen to just the chord changes and section out the verses and the choruses. Especially listen for the little clues that signal that a verse or a chorus is coming up.

    One thing I'd eventually like to be able to do is "trade fours," where you and other soloist(s) only play for four bars each. This really requires that you know where in the song you are, and like double-dutch you gotta hop in just as the other person is hopping out. So, sometimes I will do that by my lonesome over a backing track: I'll play for only four bars and then stop and sit in silence asking myself what is the point of all this but also listening and trying not to look like I'm devoting 100% of my brainpower just counting and trying to figure out what chord I'll be playing over when I hop back in.

    You know, subconsciously you will develop a feel for where you are. This is especially true of blues changes; you can just tell "oh this is the second time I've heard the IV and back to the I and here comes the V... now." If you can chunk verses and choruses like the individual chords of a blues progression, my opinion is you get the same "feel" of where in the go-round you are.

    I just read Russell Letson's post and wanted to add. It is true you should not "signal" your mistakes by making faces or saying "Oh shit" (which is my go-to phrase, too, lol) and definitely don't stop cold (it's ok to stop but don't lose your place). Audiences are way more sensitive to rhythm than to tonality. See here for a great example: https://stevetres.com/2015/09/rhythm-is-more-important-than-right-notes/ As far as the outside world is concerned, it is way smoother to keep up with the song--even if you play some wrong notes--than it is to tamper with the rhythm.

    gypsynoviceJosechiky
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,384

    My experience has been that even when I think I'm going to miss a change, the fingers manage to get to their assigned place anyway. People call this "muscle memory," but it's not in the muscle but in some part of the brain that we don't access with our consciousness.

    Yes! Been there, done that, Russell!

    And do you ever find that sometimes—— but not every time, dammit!—— you are able to just pick up your guitar and effortlessly start playing right along with the radio or TV music?

    Playing is such a mixture of the conscious, subconsious, and unconscious...

    ...no, wait, is there really a difference between this last two? or are they just different words for the same thing?

    Will

    gypsynoviceJosechiky
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • gypsynovicegypsynovice New Altamira M01
    Posts: 3

    Thank you all for responding to my problem.

    It's good to know I'm not the only player to have suffered from this problem, that alone helps massively.

    The suggestions are really helpful, not to mention useful, I will certainly be taking them onboard. As I am now armed with some great learning tools, I can't wait to put them into my practice regime.

    Kindest Regards

    Dave

    Josechiky
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 559

    Lots of great tips here! I would like to add, although I'm not a very good soloist, is to always know the key of the song (duh), and find a note in the major or minor key of the song, then let your ear guide you back into the flow of the solo. I've always wanted to attend a workshop about "What to do When You're Lost In Your Solo".

    gypsynoviceJosechiky
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,384

    I've always wanted to attend a workshop about "What to do When You're Lost In Your Solo".

    What a great idea, Jon....!!!!..

    But, hey, let's not wait for "Django in June"....!

    Why don't you just start a new thread posing that very question?

    Cause if you don't, then I will!

    Will

    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 559

    Go for it Will! And don't forget to mention "start a chromatic run".

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,384

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk...! Wise guy, eh?

    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
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