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8-10 hours a day - most of it dedicated to rhythm - relative noobie, again....

PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
edited November 14 in Gypsy Rhythm Posts: 1,467

Warning. Long. If you want to skip the middle bit, the question is at the end. Thanks everyone.

I know this has likely been asked ad nauseum, likely by me, but perhaps one reason I'm asking (if again), is illustrative:

"Because of a neuro condition, I spend a lot of times in a zombie state, hard to shake off. Deciding to get some air, and get the mutt his walk in, I grabbed Murphy and with high spirits and the best of intentions, briskly headed out.

It wasn't till about 3 blocks in that I realized I was only wearing my long underwear for pants. I'd forgotten that tidy closer.

Lesson learned: Always go to sleep wearing jeans."

-so, that bit of ridiculousness out of the way, I'd love to get some thoughts.

I have a lot of time. Since I've been essentially given clearance to play as much as I can handle in terms of pain, I want to do what I've always wanted to do, essentially pursue this deeply, and absent a teacher or formal course of study, how to plan out my day - with the understanding that most of my abilities, I think, and certainly my affection, seems to lie with rhythm playing.

I need to say, I feel like I'm starting over again. In many ways I feel like I'm not only playing better "than before," but understanding many things better "than before." Nevertheless, I feel like I spend a ton of time literally breaking down rhythmic elements - say, dividing out beats 1 and 3, with an upstroke, from beats 2 & 4 in a basic gj swing rhythm. I feel like I'm not there yet so sort of meander between Denis's DC stuff - his videos on rhythm, with moving over to Nous'che's stuff on the same site, occasional visits to Hono for his purity of playing. Occasionally, I'll just play with Benji Winterstein, his Am6-E7 two chord swing examples.

I'm working on latin stuff - bossa and rhumba, again, moving without any real plan between Denis and Nous'che, and Michael's book, re-acquiring the chord vocabulary shown in the book.

This, while slowly building a repertoire. I am so far staying with one tune, as a vehicle to working on swing rhythm (though here I really wander as well). I also work on bossa (Bossa Dorado) and rhumba (Caravan).

I also work on some lead playing, but that's maybe 10% of the time. Michael's fingered exercises, and some transcribed melodies.

NOW, finally, the question. What would you do if you had, say, 8-10 hours free, love rhythm but willing to start humble forays into lead - literally how would you plan your daily practice, so you weren't doing what I'm doing, sort of bouncing around without any real plan in place?

-Paul

pas encore, j'erre toujours.
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Comments

  • krzyskrzys New
    Posts: 9

    I have had a lot of progress by first practicing with a metronome on 2 and 4 as a warmup, then playing without. Also playing to backings on youtube, syncing with it perfectly, then playing variations of rhythm and voicings over the top. All that got me prepared for playing with a other guitarists.

    Passacaglia
  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    Posts: 326

    Here is what I would do if I had the luxury of time play and practice a lot.


    *Learn as many tunes as I am comfortable with. By playing and learning a lot of tunes, your ear will get used to the sound of the harmonies and progressions. You will eventually see all the common chord patterns that show up in songs.


    * Playing along with my favorite recordings and try to emulate the technique, sound, and feel of my favorite rhythm players.


    *Study videos of my favorite players to understand their sound and technique.


    *Work on some metronome exercises to help with keeping time and time feel.


    Best of luck on the (re) learning journey, Paul!

    Passacaglia
  • Posts: 3,654

    I heard it more than once at Django in June when someone, me on a few occasions, would ask the instructor what did they do when they were just getting good? The answer was always the same "nothing special really, I just played a lot". 10-12-14 hours a day. When I have a little more time tonight, I'll add a few of my thoughts about that.

    Passacaglia
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited November 14 Posts: 1,711

    Well, Paul, here’s what I would do.

    Step one, get “Band in a Box”.

    Step two, have the most enjoyable practice sessions ever… and always at the precise tempo which you have chosen…

    And depending on the laws where you live, perhaps a Louis Armstrong cigarette would add to the experience …

    As a friend of mine once wisely observed, “Ain’t no fun, won’t get done.”

    So… have fun…


    Will

    BucobillyshakesPassacaglia
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,467

    Thanks guys. Taking it all in. Will, I do have BiaB, as well as all the DiaB stuff - pretty incredible. Do you mean any of the tunes, including the real book stuff, or specifically the backing tracks DiaB provides?

    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,711

    Paul, it is so easy to use BIAB that I usually make up my own chord charts to create my own backing tracks.

    That being said, I suspect there are lots of ready-made ones out there, too.

    But anyway, BIAB is so much more fun than a metronome.

    When you choose the GJ style (as I almost always do) the rhythm guitar is synthesized from Gonzalo’s and the bass from Simon Planting’s…

    Good luck!

    Will

    Passacaglia
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 636

    @Passacaglia Take it easy, Will. Try not to over do it. Work your way up to 8-10 hours daily. Play for half an hour, ice and rest, repeat. Here is a general practice plan with some good ideas.


    Passacaglia
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,467

    Hahahha - honest to god - Will, I was watching Godfather II with my son just now and Michael takes drag off a cigarette - and it popped into my head your Louis Armstrong comment....lol. Yessir, like a whip, I tell you. Can't get nothin' past me, lol.

    I wanted to ask you - my computer died and in transferring BiaB from my external drive for some reason I seemed to have lost the gypsy jazz "fast" style. At least I can't find it. So I'm only getting straight jazz stuff. I remember they'd sampled Gonzalo for the real tracks stuff - any idea where I might look for the style? Yes, I do love it - sometimes I either see someone like Nous'che or find something I like and it's so nice just to create a chart from scratch this way. The DiaB stuff is pretty incredible, imo. For a guy like me who's always been shy as hell about doing any kind of lead at all, though it feels like "cheating" to see the music played in real sound, with the transcriptions in real time, is pretty amazing. I can loop bars at slow speed in VLC. First time ever....just to get my fingers doing what Django played is already helping me to better understand the harmonic sense of things. And the exercises in Michaels book have really helped set this up.

    Jon, thanks. I admit since finding out this notion that in terms of my hands, it's arthritis and not any soft-tissue issues, well....governor is off and let 'er rip. But point taken. I do ice up a lot and stop and stretch (and strengthen, which I thought was a mistake previously). Just good to know pain isn't necessarily a signal I'm screwing stuff up worse. Thank you for the routine! Is this yours?

    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,467

    Thanks Buco. To be honest, I miss that very experience - coming home with hands, especially fingers, black and blue, but completely living and breathing the music from dawn to late into the morning. Thanks for your thoughts, too, on focused work within this model. Looking forward to more of what you have to say.

    Buco
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Posts: 3,654

    It's the best there is.

    Here's a thing and I'll try to be short because last few hours was my only chance to practice and now is time to hit the hay. They say "I only played a lot". I believe that's what they really think. But what does it mean "I only played a lot"? For one I don't think you can spend that much time without focusing on what you're doing. So that's one thing. But what do you focus on? Well being that people that gave me this answer are some of the best on the instrument in the world, it goes without saying they're perfectionists. On the other hand they were still kids when they were in this period so I don't think they had long term plans and goals in mind. To cut to the chase, I think whatever it was they were playing on the given day, they were chasing perfection in everything they played.

    So, for my own sake, this is how I summed it up: spot and recognize the weak spots in your playing and methodically fix them one by one. That's it, fix what doesn't work.

    PassacagliaWim GlennBones
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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