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I've been listing daily practices/routines to improve. Kindly share your practice routines here that you think is the most effective.
Stay safe everyone!!
almost 7 yrs in and nothing has worked.
don't practice scales, arpeggios, I've tried it, doesn't work...
In seriousness, I practice lines and ideas (i agree with my statement above), most will contain scales or arpeggios and will immediately be usable. I go between creating what I think is original material (it may ultimately not be) and coping from others. I use backing tracks (or create my own) to see if ideas work and record them and listen back to make sure, then i try the same ideas over other tunes, that's the biggest part of my practice. If I find a major idea that works I see where the same fingering works over minor, might be relative might not be, that's a bit advanced depending on your level.
My routine - actually I change it up all of the time so as not to get in a rut, but...
Warm up with chromatic runs
Similar to Scoredog, I create licks that I like and either video tape them or just record the audio on my phone. I add these to my warm up
I alternate playing along with CDs and backing tracks
Although I'm relatively new to GJ, I also began writing original GJ songs three years ago. This forced me to create interesting (I hope) solos and fills that I believe really stretched my abilities. I basically wrote solos that I couldn't play and continued working on them until I could
I stretch my forearms out afterwards
Good Luck everyone!
I used to think I knew the changes to a song just because I could play them as an accompaniment from memory.
I now realise that a lot muscle memory was kicking and I didn’t truly know them well enough to solo over. The chords need to be burned on your brain so you know exactly what chord is coming next well before it arrives. I would keep getting lost. Not only that, I would keep getting lost on the instrument itself.
To fix this, everyday when I pick up the guitar, I play all the chords to a song on one string. I play each note of the chord (root,3rd, 5th etc) in any order.Then I move onto the next chord. When I can do this, I put a backing on and do this in time.
It’s a great way to learn the chord progression , where the notes on the neck of the guitar are and what the notes are in every chord. All in one exercise. It’s not easy and I often spend days and weeks on one song but I think it’s worth it.
I should add I do this on every string other than string 6 and 5 which I feel I know really well already from moveable chord shapes.
My routine and suggestions:
1) I have acquired a treasure trove of lesson materials over 40+ years and try to review lines, licks, tricks, chords subs, etc. prior to sitting down and pick a few to burn in. I am better at stealing licks than creating my own (but I have a few originals that anyone who has played with me would recognize as mine :-)). A big shout out for Dennis Chang's video materials - they cut to the chase with great stuff from the best guys on the planet and are available at almost give-away prices for the value provided.
2) I'll pick 2-3 backing tracks that fit the newly learned materials and play against them until they're mastered.
3) I often record myself and listen for bad stuff and then spend some time in correction mode
4) Memorize at least one new tune each week starting with the chords, then the melody (hi/low), and then develop a chord melody
5) Spend at least a few hours each week watching great players on YouTube or live for inspiration
6) When I get into a rut, I'll play some piano - or listen to some great horn or jazz violin players
7) Take at least an occasional live lesson. Even on Skype or Zoom I always learn something worthwhile - and on-line gypsy and jazz guitar lessons provide high bang for the buck IMO.
8) Try to carve out at least 30 minutes daily for serious learning - and more for doodling
9) Keep guitars in strategic places around the house and even at work so if an idea pops into my head - I don't have far to reach
10) Practice all the above mentally when have I have time to kill waiting for something
Finally, play live as much as you can. One live hour playing with other good (and ideally better) musicians can yield more progress than several hours of solo practicing.
So, I think my ideas about this are fairly different (mostly because I specialize in playing rhythm):
Warm up - make sure this is both physical, and mental. ( a perfect place for the following: two chords (doesn't really matter what - pick two your working on) at varying tempi's and timing (two per bar, one per bar, every three beats, in bossa, in swing, in ballad, in bolero, and so on). Start slow and focus on hearing what you want to hear; work up to speed over time
Timing and metronome drills - on each beat, on every other beat - both one and three and two and four, on a single beat in the measure, add up stroke on one beat, then two, then perhaps moving through the measure. Add any rhythmic fills you are working on (flam, rolls, polyrhythms accent moves). Also play the subdivision game - slow metronome, play quarters, then 8ths, then triple, then 16, then 5 sixteen, and so on - as far as you can and back) This can all be done on one chord, or two, or over a song (frankly so can section 1!).
Play some songs - whatever you are learning - work 2-3 until you really, really actually have them. again- start slow, focusing on tone, voice leading within the chords, and sound, and then speed up.
Play along with a record (on tunes you know) - see if you can control your rhythm to sound like whomever is playing on track - from timing; coordination, voicing, all of it . . all by ear if you can!
Transcribe or steal from someone you love, but not on songs you know (this is where you will find cool shapes/subs/ideas and so on).
Find someone to play with who is a soloist (better, find 2-3 soloists, one at your level and a couple who are better!)
a few final thoughts - 1 hour every day is better then one 7 hour session a week - and transcribing and learning to play solos is helpful, but mostly to understand what to do when a soloist uses those or similar ideas. Also - I spend a lot of time playing along with big bands, classic bop and post bop records too . . And struggling to understand eastern european music.
Just my 2 scents. just vary your tempo and what string the roots are on or what passing chords may be enough to create variation of learning and force skill development quicker. I would also add (and yeah, I break this rule all the time) . . charts are best avoided if/when possible.
Woah, this is new for me. I do have the same issue, I get lost most of the time over backing tracks. Will try this out! thank you @Twang !!
This is great. Thank you so much. I do get materials from DC music school, and there's a lot of stuff that we can get from the greats there.
Number 6, I do listen to Bill Evans from time to time. Feel free to share your playlist :)
For number 7, live online lessons(zoom, skype,) can you refer someone who does this?
Thanks again @pmg 😄
Great! I do want to focus on rhythm on my upcoming practices, my hands do get tangled up in changes especially with the thumb. Subdivision game is new to me, will try this out.
Thank you so much @bbwood_98
Thank you so much @h24015 and @Scoredog