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Help required with the challenging phrases

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  • edited February 2015 Posts: 3,707
    @Buco may practice a little differently or may have been demonstrating.

    I would never go through a whole solo at that slow a speed, however I spent years practicing Classical scales and Sal Salvadors single string studies so my approach may be a little different.

    My goal (impatience sometimes strikes) is to first learn the chorus (once in a whole solo) by ear, so I can sing along with it and then sing it a Capella.. Then I go to my instrument and play it at speed if I can. I make a mental note of anywhere I feel tense, make an error or am sloppy. Those phrases I work pretty much at the speed in Buco's clip. Once I feel completely relaxed I try the phrase at speed again etc. as described in my earlier post.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • edited February 2015 Posts: 4,817
    When do you feel it is appropriate to move up in tempo?

    Jay is somewhat correct when he says this was for demonstration purposes.
    However, as soon as I did this slow demo, and believe me it took a few takes, going back to full tempo that part felt more comfortable and cleaner.

    If I'm learning a written piece, like this waltz and La Gitane before that, I'll learn it at 50% of whatever template I'm using. Once I know it I'll try it at the full tempo and as Jay pointed look for weak spots and go over those alternating half/full tempo. For my own performance I'll then settle at the speed it still feels comfortable for me but it's not too slow to perform in public. I'll go back to it though and attempt my goal tempo every once in a while, sometimes several times a week, sometimes I'll skip a week or two and let it gestate.

    I don't use gradual increase in speed method, I've been doing half/full on my own prior to reading "practice of practice" but only occasionally. That part of the book that suggests this approach may be more effective only reaffirmed that.

    Regarding this very slow tempo, 40-60, at first I tried playing some head melodies at that tempo and realized it's not easy at all. Firstly where the melody falls on beats and secondly to concentrate and focus at this slow of tempo and also sync your right/left hand.
    But I didn't do a whole lot of that, a few weeks maybe. What I did do is to solo over songs at this slow of tempo using iReal pro. I've been struggling to keep my mind on chord changes and solo at the same time for a long time. And I realized I can do that if it's this slow. Next thing that happened is I felt much more comfortable when playing live gigs. Gradually I noticed it didn't have to be that slow so I increased the speed a bit to maybe 120 while playing along with iReal pro but this discussion reminded me and affirmed I should do it regularly. Tells me I should practice more what I preach.

    I do think it's important to be able to sing the solos and melodies like Jay points out again. Training your ear to recognize the intervals and connect the dots between your fingers, brain and your voice would go a long way to translate what you hear onto the fretboard in an instant, I should do more of that too.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Thank you both. This is helpful
  • Posts: 4,817
    Something I tried tonight for the first time is to just do the right hand part on a challenging phrase. I've been practicing Django's "I'll see you in my dreams" and when I just started working on it a couple of months ago I thought the left hand is what's going to take time.
    And it did but now I'm at point where right hand is behind, specifically those ascending arpeggios. That's some super hard picking if you wanna do all downstrokes with a string change. So I was only doing the picking patern on these parts.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Kevin FurnissKevin Furniss France✭✭ AJL 503 XO
    Posts: 85
    Im starting to learn Django's "i'll see you in my dreams " as well, and im finding the sections from 47s - 51-s and 58s-1:09s quite difficult to time, the run I think you are referring to that starts at around 1:30s.... I am going to have to improvise something easier into that section ;)
  • Get a good program that will slow it way down without sounding awful.

    I use Anytune pro and on some faster phrases I slowing it to 35%. Remember, be able to sing it without the recording before you try to play it. Particularly important on the harder phrases. That way you have less to focus on when you start, you know the notes you want to get.

    I have come to the place that if one has to practice only one hand or the other then one is practicing too fast. We play it with both hands and I beleive from what I have read and learned that is the best way.

    I recall reading of a bass player who could play Flight of the Bumblebee on his bass. He said he had never made a mistake playing it.....and the first play took several hours
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • edited February 2015 Posts: 4,817
    terrassier wrote: »
    Im starting to learn Django's "i'll see you in my dreams " as well, and im finding the sections from 47s - 51-s and 58s-1:09s quite difficult to time, the run I think you are referring to that starts at around 1:30s.... I am going to have to improvise something easier into that section ;)

    Yes 47-51 is tricky to lay it cleanly.
    Of arpeggios I'm talking about, the first one comes right between these two part that you mentioned. Right hand, no problem but left hand while using downstrokes when changing strings, very tricky.
    But that one is the easier one among the others that follow at 1:16-1:18 and 1:27-1:30.

    Most guys on youtube that covered this solo do either a sweep or alternate picking. Sweep picking would be a useful skill to have as well but I'm trying to stick to practicing with all downstrokes on this one. Some days I'm thinking I've made 2 steps forward but then the next day feels like I've made 3 steps backwards. Among the top guys, they mostly do their own version so I can't find an example of the original solo where these arpeggios are performed with consecutive downstrokes. Although it's obvious to me that guys with really good right wrist can do this and it's clear that Django did it too from how the notes sound clear, strong with good attack.

    What I do, and that's what I'd suggest to you as well, just find a tempo where it looks like you'll be able to play the original version after a while with practice. Speed doesn't matter all that much and is open to interpretation anyway, especially if you're not playing live and even if you do no one in the audience will be able to tell a difference unless of course it sounds like a funeral march.

    Of course nothing wrong with improvising something of your own over those parts, that's how build your own style.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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