Creating a good practice routine - Help

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Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby crazyfingerssotm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:41 pm

OK,

I realize a new thread about this may be just wrong... Because I know there is so much already here.

I stopped taking lessons a little while back. My teacher and I just stopped connecting. Since then I have gone from having stuff to practice to just playing/noodling.

I want to develop a practice routine that will help me improve and learn what I need to learn to get where I want to go. My worry is that without a teacher and without a curriculum I won't learn.

I lack a lot of Garcia vocabulary, and it is partly because I don't quite have a good mastery of the fretboard and theory. I lack a good sense of tempo sometimes. I lack also the complete memory of all the chords changes and song structure for the repertoire, so that feeds the losing tempo thing. Also, technical ability needs improvement—running triplets, 16th notes, doing it in scale patterns (ascending, descending, string skipping, intervals, etc). Putting it all together with solid phrasing (especially trying to hit Garcia's musical sensibility with all its nuance) is also a challenge. That fairly well sums it up. I realize that by identifying these things and having the goal of improvement, I could devise a course of action, but I do need to learn more in the process.

I would love a solid practice regime designed for these goals. Plus the learning of new things... Any advice/suggestions/ideas?
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:52 pm

http://gratefulguitarlessons.com/
Hey man
These could help.
Seth is a " real " teacher , too ... not just a player ....
He has many insights into Jerry's playing. Lessons designed around Jerry's phrasing - stuff I would have never thought of on my own.... stuff you mentioned in your post ....
The lessons come with backing tracks - I find these help me a ton ... its like playing with a band ... its good
Its a lot of work to get better at anything - no easy paths my friend.
Good luck
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby crazyfingerssotm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:39 pm

Tennessee Jedi,
First off, thank you for replying!!

I have all of his videos, and they are really great. I tried to convince him to give me lessons via skype but he's been too busy. And I agree. I definitely use those.

This board is full of great answers to my post, and it ain't the first of its kind.

One piece of advice, for example, is to begin with a melody. I find doing that will take you out of position and it is frustrating to fumble around looking for the note. It starts to create a sense in me that I don't know enough about theory, and if I were better I would have no trouble picking out any melody, knowing the key, the scale, etc. But I don't. So maybe that is part of where practice counts. My desire is to develop a routine for practice or I will just flounder with the noodle. So my thing would be to say, 15 mins with seth's video, 15 mins picking out melodic lines and playing them in different places on the neck, 15 mins playing 16ths with a metronome, etc.

But my point I think is that a regime designed to achieve those goals is what I think I need, and not sure I would know how to devise one in the absence of a teacher.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby NWPines » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:05 pm

If you're looking for structure, these "courses" can be super helpful and he also has a lot of other great lessons:

http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php

http://justinguitar.com/en/IM-000-Inter ... Method.php


I'd also highly recommend "Fretboard Logic" by Bill Edwards.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby crazyfingerssotm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:03 pm

NWPines wrote:If you're looking for structure, these "courses" can be super helpful and he also has a lot of other great lessons:

http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php

http://justinguitar.com/en/IM-000-Inter ... Method.php


I'd also highly recommend "Fretboard Logic" by Bill Edwards.


Thx NWPines!! Those courses are a bit remedial, but he has a blues module for rhythm and lead that looks worth a look. I will look at that for sure. I am reluctant about investing in someone's method, because then I get immersed in it, and there's always a worry about something I can't describe, but if I can just take what I can glean from it and it helps, why should I trip out? Thx for that. Will keep posted.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby Pete B. » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:43 pm

crazyfingerssotm wrote:...I lack a lot of Garcia vocabulary...


Hey Man I made a few vids a few years back that may be of help.
These are intended to help get Jerry-head advanced-beginners, to make the leap to Jerry-head advanced-intermediates.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SteelYerFace/videos

We just got a Skype ready TV over the holidays.
I need to buy the camera, and sign on to Skype, then maybe I can give someone a Skype lesson.

...It all rolls into one...
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby crazyfingerssotm » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Pete B. wrote:
crazyfingerssotm wrote:...I lack a lot of Garcia vocabulary...


Hey Man I made a few vids a few years back that may be of help.
These are intended to help get Jerry-head advanced-beginners, to make the leap to Jerry-head advanced-intermediates.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SteelYerFace/videos

We just got a Skype ready TV over the holidays.
I need to buy the camera, and sign on to Skype, then maybe I can give someone a Skype lesson.

...It all rolls into one...


Ah Pete...

I am a subscriber to your channel. I was hoping you'd make more. I was watching your Help On The Way vids two nights ago, and I got all tweaked on it... Pulled out a guitar player mag that has Garcia interview and partial hotw tab, then jdarks tab to compare. I can play it slowly, in parts. Much more repetition is necessary, but I still lack the theory to really get it. I grasp the arpeggios, but don't have them all over the neck. The diminished runs confuse me.

I saw you left your phone number in the comments so people could call you and talk gd music. I wanted to do that but thought better of it. Wonder how many weird calls you get...

If you are skyping I would take a lesson.

Love your guitar neck. Nitro finish right?
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby Pete B. » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:20 am

One thing you could do to create an official practice routine is, First off decide what song you want to learn (more like "study"), then divide the Jerry stuff into two catagories.
1. Stuff he plays pretty much exactly the same every time.
2. Improvisal stuff.

Pull it up on YouTube or Archive and play along with it a few times (vids are nice for lick/chord/fret-position queues).

Just taking one song, Estimated Prophet for example...
The Intro is alwyas the same.
The licks after "California..." are always pretty much the same.
The bridge licks are always pretty much the same from the Dm-E, right thru to the Bm-Dm, Am-Cm, Gm-Bbm, Fm-C#-Bb-G.
So you learn these licks and practice to effortless fluency.

The solo in G is pretty much the same at first but then takes off to a more Improvisational zone.
So you learn the scale, and how to aply it to the song, and practice to effortless fluency.

Next Song...
Playing in the Band:
Intro - Pretty much played he same every time.
The "A" part, thru to the Donna wail - pretty much the same every time. The last 4 chords are Bm>G>D>Gm (throw a switch in your brain such that you will never ever play these chords wrong at a gig, uh,,, or is that third chord a Dm??? oy vey :lol: ).
The Solo?... I think it's like... "MixoDorian".

etc, etc ,etc
:smile:
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby tcsned » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:21 am

I would also recommend that for everything you learn you look for a couple of other songs that you can use the same scale, riff, technique, or approach with. Transfer of knowledge to new situations is the key for deeper learning and understanding. This is especially true with improvisation.

Also, I would begin each practice session with a review of the last thing you practiced.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby Cmnaround » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:25 am

I do this and it helped me get better quick. I also needed a routine. Used my digital 8 track to lay down a 20 minute track of drums, 5 min sections of 4 different beats, standard 4/4, a shuffle like in sugaree, another variation on 4/4 and another 4/4 shuffle. Over that I laid down a bass track with ascending notes so every 8 measures I go up one note in the C scale - starting on G. That way I can play major scales starting on the low E 3rd fret at G, play the scale up and back 4 or 8 times, then move to A, B, C all the way up to A on low E at 17th fret and keep going with B on second string 2nd fret and all the way up to D on 17th fret of 2nd string.

Basically you get to go up neck on each string, playing each scale 4-8 times, in time w drums and bass.

May sound boring, but you get - real good at holding your axe the right way and standing the right way, you build your muscle memory in your fingers by getting fluid with the scales - playing with the different rhythm tracks helps a lot, and you can hear the bass change the root as yo go up. Just and example, but poInt being you have a routine that takes 20 min, and even if you do that every other day for a month or two, you will notice you are playing way better - and then you are warmed up and ready to do some serious work. So get a drum machine and lay down a practice track and play scales against that every time before you start playing songs.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby hippieguy1954 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:30 am

The thing that helped me the most when I started (42 yrs ago) was practice, practice, practice! I would learn one song and play it everyday over and over for 2 to 3 hrs. It was easy having the motivation because I love the music so much. That's everyday. Not every other day and not skipping weekends. The same song over and over and over until it was memorized and all the chord changes and tempos were correct. Then I would expand with leads and riffs I thought sounded good in the song and compare them to Jerrys leads and change certain notes utilizing the scales to get it right on. The other thing to remember is that music sounds better when you play certain notes in a scale. Your ear can actually tell you when your off and you can compensate as you practice. With leads, you have to know what the note/notes will sound like in your head milliseconds before you play it. The only way that will happen is after at least a year or two of playing leads along with someone or with songs, looper, or your own recordings. Also, the resources others have so graciously offered will help a lot. Wish I had these guys when I was learning lol! It is not a fast process that you will master quickly. It is a long process that is very rewarding if you keep at it day after day after day after day after day and on and on!
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby crazyfingerssotm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:35 pm

Wow, some good responses while I was gone. I want to thank you all for taking the time.

Pete B. wrote:One thing you could do to create an official practice routine is, First off decide what song you want to learn (more like "study"), then divide the Jerry stuff into two catagories.
1. Stuff he plays pretty much exactly the same every time.
2. Improvisal stuff.

Pull it up on YouTube or Archive and play along with it a few times (vids are nice for lick/chord/fret-position queues).

Just taking one song, Estimated Prophet for example...


All that is good advice and an approach I can take. The only trouble I would say I will have is simply not being able to play certain things despite knowing the key/modes/chords. There is that 'what the hell is he doing' factor that I always encounter even though I know the key. But as a starting point there is room to work up to that point, then worry about that when everything else is more solid. Thanks!!


tcsned wrote:I would also recommend that for everything you learn you look for a couple of other songs that you can use the same scale, riff, technique, or approach with. Transfer of knowledge to new situations is the key for deeper learning and understanding. This is especially true with improvisation.

Also, I would begin each practice session with a review of the last thing you practiced.

Good advice also, thank you. That sort of thing happens as a discovery rather than something I could set out to do, but I suppose I could see that. Like anything with a blues structure, so I will see about doing more of that.

Cmnaround wrote:I do this and it helped me get better quick. I also needed a routine. Used my digital 8 track to lay down a 20 minute track of drums...

OK, now that confused me a bit. So you are playing the scale up the neck and back on one string and then going up a scale degree and so on for 20 mins to a backing track? I didn't quite get it.

HippieGuy1954 wrote:The thing that helped me the most when I started (42 yrs ago) was practice, practice, practice! I would learn one song and play it everyday over and over for 2 to 3 hrs...

Thx HippieGuy1954. Good common sense.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby Cmnaround » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:36 pm

Nah dude -not on just one string - I use that note on one of the top 2 strings (low E or A) as the root note and starting point of the scale. You can do a simple up and down manjor scale in a box without moving, or play the scale up and down the neck on multiple strings - point is to play scales over rythm tracks so you get fluid playing w the beat.
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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:24 am

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Re: Creating a good practice routine - Help

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