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15

The admonition I run into again and again, attributed to such lights as Thelonius Monk and Louis Armstrong is "play the melody." Of course you will syncopate it, put a little ornamentation here and there, but simple is fine That covers soloing pretty well, but what about comping? Guitarists with jazz chops rarely hang on the same voicing for more than a ...


15

Practice it by playing it as slowly as needed to attain as close to 100% accuracy as possible (no perceivable mistakes). Use a metronome. Once you master it at a given slower tempo, speed it up until it becomes a challenge again and practice at the faster tempo until you master it at that tempo. Repeat this process until you can actually achieve 100% ...


14

I would suggest you take note of the parts you most commonly get wrong, and practice each of those parts as a mini "exercise". Write out the short section separately somewhere, and run through those parts in your practice routine. Once you've got them well practiced, make sure you can incorporate them smoothly into the surrounding sections. Practicing ...


14

I can identify with your situation. I play guitar and sing primarily, and am constantly learning new songs to perform. Some songs are very easy but others take more practice to learn to play proficiently. Invariably, on the songs that are more difficult to learn, the first time I perform it for a live audience, I experience the same thing you are ...


13

I suspect that if you keep making random mistakes with a specific piece and you are not generally out of shape (as in, "I have been playing three hours a month for the past six months") you probably did an half-assed job at learning the piece in the first place. What works for me in these situations is Taking out the metronome, setting it to davvero ...


12

Use a music clip. There are two kinds. When I first started playing piano, I was using one of these: You put the clip around the top of the book, which holds it flat. Problem is, it doesn't work well for large books which are too thick to fit the clip, and when you're playing something at the beginning or end of the book the two sides become unbalanced. ...


10

There aren't any special intervals you should focus on. All of them are equally important. What you can do is to find songs you know, with melodies you can sing, and see what kind of intervals they use. This way you'll remember what the intervals sound like. Now, no one can really suggest these kind of songs to you. They have to be songs you know and ...


10

Any tips on how to make it sick, so to speak, when trying to internalize the distance between notes? There are three ways you can easily get those intervals in your head. Sing Singing the intervals will make learning them much more easier and effective. Try this before doing your interval exercises: Pick one interval you are having troubles with. ...


9

Learning intonation on violin is difficult a) because a new student doesn't necessarily have intonation in their ears so it is hard to judge accuracy and b) because even if the student does have relatively decent intonation it's not a trivial task to get the fine muscle control to execute an in-tune note. I'll lay down some basic suggestions and then get a ...


8

Learning the guitar as a beginner has many inherent challenges from the very start. For one, you are asking the new guitar student to teach their brain how to tell their fingers to contort in very strange and unnatural ways that they have never before even remotely contemplated. And the finger strength needed for many chords has not been developed yet. ...


8

One golden rule. Play less. Lay out. Leave space. If there's someone in the group who CAN play jazz, allow him room to do it. And have fun! Let the music go where it will. Don't rehearse it to death. If it's your turn to play a solo, the melody will be just fine.


8

It's hard to translate this into definite advice without one-to-one tuition, but I think the key is not to "learn pieces" but "learn to play your instrument". Learning pieces, especially if it involves lots of practice for one particular piece, is like "teaching to the test" in school, rather than teaching the subject. Try keeping a list of your "random" ...


8

These are jazz articulations, and as a french horn player you'll really just have to do your best imitation of what a trumpet player would do. You might want to ask a trumpet player in your ensemble for some advice and demonstration. What I'd suggest for the shake is a VERY rapid lip slur from the written note to about a fifth above. It's written forte, and ...


8

When looking at Jazz Standards as sheet music, do you play them as is or are you supposed to improvise off of them (or just add some flavor)? TL;DR: You never play something as it is in Jazz, unless it is specified to for some reason. That's Jazz. If you listen to two takes of the same song by the same group, it (most likely) will sound totally ...


7

No doubt, if you plan to perform, there are many reasons to perform (and therefore practice) standing, most mentioned by topo morto and others that you may be aware of. When I perform, I prefer to stand - so I spend time practicing while standing because it is different than playing seated and it does require dedicated practice to get used to the change ...


7

My favorite method is to use clothespins to clip the edges of the book to a music stand. If the dimensions of either the book or the stand don't allow that, I use the clothespins to clip a ruler or a similarly sized piece of wood to the front of the book to keep it open. If the book is stapled together and not too thick, bending it backwards a few times ...


6

Using a metronome only has the demoralizing effect of making me want to turn it off. It's okay to turn your metronome off, so long as eventually you turn it back on again. The reason it's demoralizating is that it's exposing the faults in your playing. The reason that it's helpful is that it's... exposing the faults in your playing. The metronome is ...


6

I don't think there is a definite answer here. I have been in bands where all the members act as 'leaders' at the same time and at bands where one is the leader. In most bands I know, there is a leader. There are pros and cons in both of them. When everyone in the band is a leader, thus making it a democracy, it is hard and time consuming to decide what ...


6

Practice. Also practice, and finally practice some more. For several years, Tom Morello practiced guitar at least eight hours a day, regardless of whether he needed sleep or anything else. Take lessons. And practice the things your teacher shows you. Get into a band - any band, it doesn't have to be a great band. Try to be the best musician in the band. Try ...


6

I've had books re-bound with a spiral binding through a local print shop. The binding is less durable in that it's easier for pages to rip out with this binding, but it allows the pages to stay flat. If you have a lot of books, this may be prohibitively expensive.


5

Just going to paste Dave Grohl's take on this: When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight f___ng hours with 800 people at a convention center and… then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not f___in’ ...


5

In my experience a week of good practice that includes work on material covered in the lesson goes well with a once a week lesson. How long that lesson should be depends on a few things: How much time you put in to your practice. How much new stuff you can handle each week. (Do long lessons leave you feeling overwhelmed?, do short ones leave you feeling ...


5

Place a soft sponge between the body and the strings near the bridge, to eliminate even more sound. I caution that while it is OK to do that, you want to spend some time practicing where you can actually hear what you are doing. Further, if you are using headphones on a regular basis, be warned that you probably listen at a volume that can cause damage to ...


5

First of all I want to say congratulations on your decision to learn guitar. As you have already discovered, it is not an easy instrument to master - but once things begin to come together and you start learning to change from chord to chord and play songs, it is very rewarding. And since there is always room for improvement no matter how good you become, ...


5

Yes, I would recommend that course of action. Your brain and muscles don't really care whether you're doing it "right", they're just going to burn it in exactly as you're doing it. So if you are not doing well it would be best to slow down, try something easier, or take a break. You can certainly do extra while you are in the zone as well, but take care not ...


5

how can I practice getting fully in time with the drums on a track It's doable. We had a similar situation in one project, and with some preparation it ended up sounding great. Depending on what you are doing, it might be more trouble than it's worth, but if you really want and/or need to do it, you can. First of all, if the drum part was played by a ...


5

I admire and respect your dedication to continued improvement. One thing I have learned after many years of playing guitar is that no matter how good you get, there is always ample room for improvement. That's a good thing because it keeps the guitar fresh and interesting. I can continue to improve until I am no longer on the north side of the grass. ...


5

As a mature (elderly?) learner, I faced a similar difficulty about a year ago, and found these ideas helped: With the "quiet" hand, keep the fingers as close to the keys as possible at all times (if possible, make sure that they never actually lose contact with the keys) and lift the fingers of the other hand off the keys before playing the note (loudly). ...


5

Almost anything sold as a drum machine today will meet your stated needs. As you know, a metronome just clicks at a regular interval. Sometimes it can use a different click for the first beat of each bar, but any more than that and it's more than a metronome. So let's look at what else you might look for: Presets The least flexible options will just have ...


5

It sounds like you actually have quite a bit of "real" skill already. I'm not sure there's such a thing as "fake" skill. Are you sure you might not have a touch of Imposter Syndrome going on? But beyond that, you mention that where you feel that you lack is in being able to translate back and forth between what you see on a page and what you hear in your ...



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