Sunday, June 11, 2006

On the learning process

I've been reflecting on my playing recently and been looking at the aspects of my playing that have been improving and the other aspects that have somewhat neglected. The more I think about it, the more I seem to see that there are some ways of approaching the practice session-especially when it involves improvisational practice.

1. Isolating one element
This can be practicing one chord, one mode or scale, one arpregio fingering etc. Anything really, but this involves practicing it to the point of utter fluency and comfort so that the idea can be played as close to being flawness.

2. Connecting ideas
This can be using ideas from (1) and making them flow linearly and voiceled properly. In this regard, one may be practicing a chord progression (two to four bars), or one major chord change (C-7 to Db7-just an example!)

3. Locating ideas around the neck.
This is figuring out (1) and/or (2) in different areas of the neck.

The most important aspect of all this is to be able to PHYSICALLY EXECUTE the idea. TECHNICAL FLUENCY is the aim. In the process, one may be training the ear, the eyes as well. (Looking at the fretboard, looking at the notes etc.) My main problem for the most part is connecting melodic ideas smoothly throughout a solo. Melodic continuity- i.e. Soloing coherence is my main concern (along with the groove!).

The metronome is truly of utmost importance and I get it more and more why Mick Goodrick stresses that aspect so much.

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