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By Davorin Cavar-Buco
Read the full story here
Some insight and helpful hints on making the most of limited practice time from our own @Buco
Nice stuff, very thoughtful and well put together.
Some great stuff here! Many thanks Buco
Thanks, a great read! I'm always curious about other's practice approaches/routines!!
Thank you guys. I constantly have additional thoughts on what I wrote so I'll be updating this space when I do.
Thank you Michael for putting this out here, it means a lot to me. Big thanks to Dave Ferris and Michael Maitland for their editing help.
Excellent and completely on point. Thank you.
As far as speed goes I am of the opinion that the slow to get it fast way is generally the excepted norm but it may not be the way certain people learn to play fast. I use the analogy of tennis players. Years ago players were taught to hit the ball in the court and slowly build up their speed of hitting the ball, then along came Bollettieri who taught youngsters to hit the ball hard first and then work on controlling it. I went to a seminar with Yorgui Loeffler and said he does not practice slow to fast. I could never break through certain speed barriers and I'm certainly not a technically gifted player but my speed improved when I worked on playing fast as a focus exercise. I'll work on tunes at 310 bpm a speed I could only imagine but never play before doing this type of thinking. One also finds certain licks to play at faster speeds that maybe you won't play at slower speeds but I digress here.
Many thanks Buco - lot's of valuable points to digest here.
The section that struck me most on first reading is your focus on Tone. I hadn't thought of it like that before but I'm sure you're right.
Also, the "I'll never be as good as ..." syndrome has been a perennial challenge for me: I tell myself that there is no more reason I should rationally expect to be able to play a tune as well as Stochelo than to play football like Cristiano Ronaldo ... but even so I still feel frustrated at times.
Thanks again guys.
Well, Yorgui... he's who he is (I also heard Jimmy Rosenberg say "why would I play it slow if I can play it fast"). But there may be something else there too. It may be that he's comfortable in his world and doesn't challenge himself. It wasn't that long ago I heard Bireli say he's been working on some Paganini pieces on guitar and it's taken him about 3 months. Don't know at what tempo he worked on this stuff (I'd imagine you can't play Paganini and to to the 5th gear immediately regardless of who you are). The point is, he became a student at that point.
Another thing came to mind. At DiJ, I forgot who's class it was, but Stephane Wrembel dropped by. Sat down and asked what we were working on. And to my surprise he didn't pick it up like "snap your fingers". He sat there and had to work it out. The same thing clicked again "oh, these guys are still students sometimes too".
Fast...slow... which is right? I don't know. I mean Jimmy and Yorgui are right. But I'm afraid many people avoid slow for whatever reason. I myself avoided practicing improvising at a very slow tempo because of mistaken thinking that it's not how it should come about. Well, didn't work for me. Like at all. Even recently, I wanted to learn a phrase that Remi Harris posted on YT. It sounded insanely fast at first, I just couldn't wrap my head around it until I slowed it to 25%. Then I was actually able to work it to his tempo in a couple of days, to my honest amazement. But at first I had to really lower myself to proverbial "white belt" and be okay with it.
For the tone and what Koran said about it, Kenny Werner (Effortless Mastery) says something similar. Not in the sense of developing tone but his advice is pretty much the same: pick up your instrument, play any random note and just listen. Something like that... So I figured, if two master musicians say the same thing (even if they come from different angles), I better pay attention.
All good stuff, but took me 10 minutes to watch!😎