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The Two Minute Practice Method

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  • edited December 2021 Posts: 4,777

    Something to add which I started doing recently, a little bit of another practice hack. I now use sticky notes where I jot down things I'm currently working on. Stick them on the wall in front of me where I practice so that as soon as sit down, I see what I need to do. Some are short things to go over like one of them is the 251 I learned recently and another dom7 lick I came up with which I'm trying to make a part of my improv. Some are longer term projects I plan to work on. But they're always in front of me and I have instant reminder what to work on. So far it's been especially helpful to remember these licks and phrases. In the past I would learn something or come up with something on my own, work on it for a few days, skip a few days and before you know it, it's history.

    Here's a current rotation


    BillDaCostaWilliamsKlausUS
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,857

    Always good to see another Gershwin fan, Buco!

    And ”EMB YOU” is on my top ten list, too.

    Buco
    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."
  • Posts: 4,777

    Yeah, really nice tune. A favorite of Randy, our English concertina player. We had a recording session a few days back and I was practicing soloing over it. Especially the first A turnaround, Bm F#7 Bm A7 D... especially-especially Bm to F#7 and back, you can see another sticky telling me to focus on just that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,857

    Well, confidentially, I cheat for that part Buco… I don’t bother with the F#7 chord at all, just Bm/BmMaj7 Bm7/Bm6…

    That seems to free me up to be more inventive instead of worrying about the changes so much…

    … and it works fine over a second guitar that is playing the F#7 chord…thanks to the magic of minor tonics and dominants being freely interchangeable… why doesn’t the same thing work in major keys?

    But the chord I love best is the Cm9 chord over the lyric “gypsy”… perfect work by both Gershwins, “George and his lovely wife Ira” as one radio announcer supposedly said…

    And it is great to have a friend I can talk to about such esoteric matters!

    Merry Christmas!


    Will

    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."
  • edited December 2021 Posts: 4,777

    You know, I hear that when people solo over that section it just sounds like continuous lines. I'll test that tonight, thanks!

    PS lines I came up with weren't all that different than if I just play over Bm only. And Merry Christmas to you too!

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited December 2021 Posts: 1,857

    I use the same idea in reverse when a tune stays on the same minor chord for a real long time… eg “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” which stays on a Gm chord for like, forever

    I break it up by alternating freely between Gm and D7…

    … other tunes of that type include “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “Everybody Loves My Baby” “Let Yourself Go” these are usually older 1920’s tunes and I usually play them on my banjo “chord-melody style” and the same thing works…

    … it is a bit counterintuitive that I can be playing lots of D7-type dominant chords (or perhaps Cm-type substitutions) at the same time my guitar player accompanist keeps repeating the tonic Gm chord…

    but it works for chord melody just as it does for single-note soloing… I don’t know why… there seems to be some kind of psychological/musical understanding built into the Western psyche that permits this kind of “discord” as long we occasionally reassure the listener that we haven’t totally abandoned that tonic chord…

    4 am thoughts… now off to bed!

    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."
  • Posts: 4,777

    I realized I was having a brain fart. As if I've been going to bed at 4am but my girl waking me up at 6:30. When you look at a minor chord with the 5th string root, just about every other song has that movement, 1/5/1. And I go back and forth between the two myself. It might be just a matter of habit and familiarity, but seems like minor chord with the root on the 5th string lands itself better to playing lines between it and the dom V chord. May be time for another sticky note: play around minor 1/5/1 with 6th string root.

    In another news, I just found out that Barry Harris sadly died. Another victim of COVID. With close to 92 years old he had a good chunk of time behind him but still. What made me post about it here is this quote from the article:

    “Harris codified the language of modern jazz into an integrated system,” journalist Mark Stryker wrote in his seminal book Jazz from Detroit, “and, like a swinging Socrates, has guided students for more than 60 years in a quest for truth, beauty, and the hippest chords to play on ‘Embraceable You.’”

    WilliebillyshakesBillDaCostaWilliams
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,314

    "swinging Socrates" is an excellent epitaph I'd be proud to have hung on me. RIP, Barry Harris.

    BucoWillieLango-Djangorudolfochrist
  • Posts: 4,777

    I knew I had it coming


    billyshakesBillDaCostaWilliamsBonesMichaelHorowitz
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • edited April 2022 Posts: 4,777

    This is going to be about playing music and breathing. How is breathing affecting our performance while playing gigs, jamming and recording?

    I heard it from teachers and instructors, pointing out to pay attention to your breathing. I think I remember Dennis saying at Django in June something like I can't stress enough how important breathing is, remember to breathe. But I don't remember anybody going into any detail about why it is important and how is it affecting playing. So for me, even though I remembered at least this one instance, it didn't get me to really pay attention and focus on this topic, not without understanding what's going on behind this advice.

    Lately I've been thinking that breathing is very likely a culprit when things aren't working in my playing, when recording or playing live. I don't suffer from a heavy case of stage fright and, as I mentioned in the other thread, there was nothing obvious to me that could tell me I was nervous about it. It's just that I can play something no problem, ten out of ten times and then I press the record button and start making mistakes. However, now that I recognized this as an issue, I can now see that I was indeed tense.

    What really got me to start thinking about the importance of breathing, was swimming. I started doing this for exercise but I couldn't cover a lot of distance without needing a break. Then accidentally I was told I'm a chest or thoracic breather instead of diaphragmatic breather as it should be. So long story short I started making sure to push my breath deep down into my belly. And just like that, from 200m swimmer I turned into 2000m, within about two weeks.

    So I figured if it made this dramatic of a difference there, could it have any impact on my playing? And possibly get me on the path of relaxed performing; recording, gigging and so on?

    I talked to a friend doctor who doesn't think interrupted breathing while playing would have significant effect on blood oxygen levels but that it could definitely affect the overall relaxation which could affect the muscles which then wouldn't perform as well. I also read that shallow breathing, which I think happens for me in these situations, can cause and increase stress. In simple terms, the way I see it, if you interrupt your breathing, you'll interrupt your playing.

    Another thing I've been wondering about...so many jazzers moan and groan when they play. Does anybody really know why? I mean, take Monk, he's not singing his solos, it's just moaning. Maybe it helps with phrasing. But, maybe and even more importantly, maybe it helps with breathing. You moan until you push out all of your breath, get all of that CO2 out and then take a deep fresh breath and groan and moan again. I've also heard jazzers breathe out like boxers punching a bag, it's all over Tchavolo's recordings but I've heard others too. No idea why they do that but again, could it help to insure a steady breathing and subsequently help to stay fluid?

    Hoping to hear some thoughts on any of this stuff...I'm still waiting for a "and just like that" moment...

    PS one thing I started doing regarding making sure my breathing stays regular is practice playing slowly so I have time to focus and pay attention to both.

    WillieBillDaCostaWilliamsMichaelHorowitzsteffo
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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