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Some advice on how to keep on track with Gypsy Jazz during school hours.



  • I don't necessarily write out transcriptions, but I have a weird shorthand I've been using as a reference for certain things.

    Cool idea, Jim.

    I'd love to hear more about your weird shorthand... at least, that's assuming that if you told me, you wouldn't have to kill me...

    BTW, I'm very impressed by how seriously you apply yourself to studying gypsy jazz guitar. Just reading your postings reveals that you always seem to have a novel, interesting learning approach up your sleeve, not to mention an insatiable desire to take your playing to the highest possible level.

    I look forward to hearing you play again, possibly at a future DiJ.* I have no doubt that you are turning into a monster player!

    (I won't be at DiJ this year as we'll be in Europe, but I do plan to make Samois... so if you're not quite a monster player yet, relax, you've got until 2016 to become one!)
    Thanks Will!
    I have a very long way to go and I think I've made my expectations of myself a little more realistic. What I mean is that playing at a level of the younger guys is probably out of reach at this point. But there is no need for me to stop challenging myself. And I've gleaned a lot of these approaches from the real musicians I play with weekly.

    I just try to take advantage of my commute and my shrinking practice time to be efficient, so the little notebooks force me to do this and make me think a little harder. Pre-learning solos by singing is something I've heard my bass player do and was reinforced from a read of "The Practice of Practice," which I highly recommend. There are a lot of good practice ideas in this book.

    The shorthand is nothing more than writing out chord shapes and diagramming a lick or concept around this chord diagram. I'll try to put a picture up of it, but it isn't novel.

    Something I heard at a lesson I took with a local great player stuck with me: the great players have a system to organize these 12 notes and to better understand our chosen instruments. Understanding these systems might give us some aha moments. Transcribing helps develop the ear, but also helps us understand the system and unwittingly helps us develop our own.
    I keep notes because I forget more than I learn. And it keeps the train rides interesting.

    I hope this post makes sense and these ideas don't come across as pretentious or make it appear as if I am "there". I pretty much think I have a long way to go, but I am happy to share what is working and what keeps me organized.
  • Franz MoralesFranz Morales Philippines✭✭
    Posts: 85
    Buco is right Nathan. Don't over practice. It should be fun. Don't pressure yourself by setting looong practice sessions. I used to over practice to the point that my fingers hurt and it discouraged me to practice again. When I started to practice in one hour chunks,once to thrice a day depending on my sked, I noticed I learned and improved faster.

    It's better to practice 10 minutes a day than 15 hours in one session once a week. I read that somewhere here and it's true. Don't be in a hurry. You'll only get overwhelmed. You're still young, no need to rush things :)
  • stuart wrote: »
    I work in a university so I have the same problem - sometimes I can only practice 10 minutes a day. Lots of good advice in this thread. The only thing I would add is that time away from the guitar is a good opportunity to learn or revise some of the fundamentals of music. I don't know how advanced you are but there are lots of players -- good players -- who can't read music, don't know their keys, or can't transpose songs on the fly. None of it is essential to gypsy jazz but it won't hurt either! Sooner or later you'll be in a jam with a sax player who wants you to play I Can't Give You Anything But Love in Bb or a singer who wants to do All of Me in A -- these are things you can do in your head as practice.

    Gold advice, Stuart. In jams, keys are pretty much static. On gigs, things change once singers get involved. Eva Slongo sat in with us one night and she is an excellent singer. When she wanted to sing, we certainly changed keys to meet her voice, rather than the other way around.

  • @Jim Kaznosky ....if you watch the 12 min video linked in the what yo practice thread I am pretty sure you will find some pretty useful concepts.
    Jim Kaznosky
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Thanks. I almost forgot about it.
  • Hal is all about the aural tradition and active listening to things that speak most loudly to you. Tell others what you think.
    Jim Kaznosky
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • @Jazzaferri - thanks for the reminder to watch this videos. I'll post thoughts on this later in the thread you've dedicated to this. In general, it is very much in line with how I've been approaching practice lately.
  • @Jim Kaznosky, what Hal says in that clip intuitively has the "ring of truth" to it, particularly his comments about active listening 24/7 and how to choose what to work on. They both rang the bell for me. Glad that you found it so helpful too.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    edited February 2015 Posts: 936

    Jay you said...
    if you watch the 12 min video linked in the what yo practice thread I am pretty sure you will find some pretty useful concepts.

    could you post the link perhaps I overlooked it.


    Didn't know this was a NEW POST found it

  • Thanks @pickitjohn . Good to have tech literate people around :)
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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