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1

I am a big fan of practice journals, and think any serious music student should have one. As a professional musician I have a ton of music that I have to work on at all times to be ready for the various rehearsals and performances I have going on. My practice journal helps me stay organized and avoid getting overwhelmed. On top of the organizational aspect, ...


1

In addition to the good technical advice you're getting, I'd also suggest getting an idea of what your audience expects (e.g. my listening to past years' acts etc). "Jazz" covers a wide field, from wildly experimental collective improvisation to playing pop standards from 80 years ago, with some pretty solos added. "Downtown Jazz Festival" typically suggests ...


2

As the only chordal instrument, you and you alone can play chords under the soloist. However, full-blooded chords may work well in blues/rock and roll, but only sometimes in jazz. The occasional number will benefit from nice 5 or 6 string chords - maybe arpeggiated, but since the bassist will be rooting and fifthing to a degree, you can find the other notes ...


1

I was guitarist in a 3-person jazz combo, with bass and drums. I played a lot of melody and two-part harmony, with chords very occasionally thrown in. A good bass player will keep it interesting. To the extent that worked, a sax/bass/drums combo would also work. So in that light, consider yourself icing on the cake and...add flavor.


6

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.


-1

you've never played jazz before but you have a jazz gig coming up? I'm sorry to break it to you, but "theory" doesn't go far at all when it comes to playing jazz. You've got 45 days of practice - basically you need to learn the chord voicings on your guitar for comping. This would be most important thing, seeing as how you already have a sax player who knows ...


14

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 ...


-1

Singing scales from your diaphragm.


1

The only way to constantly improve is to spend time with musicians with skills at a level higher than yourself (unless you are a prodigy) because any source can only teach you so much. The most reliable way to do this is with a teacher. When you feel like you are not learning you need to move to something / someone else. Basically, your requirements and ...


0

When I was learning grade piano, some pieces required analytical practice, some I sight-read. But pieces don't define a grade, performances do. The way you play a scale for Grade 4 won't do for Grade 8 - and it's little to do with adding a further octave or two.


0

I agree with all of what Mr. (Ms.?) Reilingh says except I would suggest that you don't practice "a measure at a time", rather practice in phrases (a musical sentence) by breaking the phrases into small manageable parts then combine these parts until you have the complete phrase. Granted this may result in "a measure at a time" but I believe this way of ...


1

Good answers here. These are my two cents: Know who your favorite producers are. Have a good sense for what you love and what you don't. Sometimes knowing what you don't want is more important than knowing what you do want. Do your homework - read everything you can about your favorite producers. Through interviews, you will gain insight into their ...


1

It's probably a more straightforward problem on violin (since one uses chords much less). The key is basically a mixture of finger strength and avoiding the "snapping" configuration altogether by keeping the finger joints well-rounded/bent, so that you are playing with the tip of the pinky whenever possible. This will not work when barring with the pinky, ...


2

Both Rockin Cowboy and topo morto covered most points, but to me the most important is the change of angles. When seated, the guitar will rest better on one thigh than the other. Classical players tend to use left leg, whilst a lot of others tend to rest the guitar on the right. When standing, guitar strapped on, it gravitates centrally, so everything moves ...


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 ...


3

If the only thing you'll ever do is play sitting down, I can't think right now of any obvious massive advantages to practicing standing... but anyway It's easier to sing standing up, if that's a consideration... and dance, of course! it will give you a slightly different perspective on the instrument (unless you manage to hang it in a relative position ...


0

Quality over quantity, but quantity is nonetheless still important. When playing fast pieces especially, one relies a lot on muscle memory, so it's important to imprint the right kind of muscle memory instead of just your default playing-- you want to slow down here, press lightly here, lift ever so slightly here, etc. Slow and deliberate practice that ...


4

Being able to play one grade 4 piece does not mean you will be able to play all of them. The C minor prelude looks and sounds harder than it actually is, in my opinion (as someone who has learned to play the piece). I would say the overall difficulty level between the two is comparable, although as Dr Mayhem commented, the pieces do very different things ...


1

Piano is like math-- before you get to do the fun things like Calculus, you need to learn your basic operations and algebra. Foundation is very important, especially since you seem to be a first-time musician. You also need to build up finger dexterity and strength; sure, you may be able to "read" the music you want to play, but your technique is probably a ...


1

I think our colleagues gave you really good answers and I wanted to add a little bit to them, even if it sounds a little exoteric or too outside the box. All this comes from my personal experience while learning to play the piano. At some point of my journey I understood that the most important thing is the music. The piano is just an instrument through ...


0

You are right, there are songs without the singer actually singing the Shadaj. If there is an accompanying drone, the drone will keep playing the Shadaj. But if there is no drone, and the singer is not physically singing the Shadaj, it still virtually exists and is an integral part of the Sruthi/Pitch the user is trying to sing in. If you want to findout the ...


1

Like anything in music, there isn't really a finish line, or a point where you can say: "Ok I have mastered this, there is no more to accomplish". I think what you are looking for is to become competent with an individual scale to the point where you can musically use it in fitting contexts. I agree with the items that topo listed out as being useful things ...


1

There are many paths to the mountain, but it the first steps you take can be very important. Keep in mind, there are many different kinds of piano players. I happen to admire Memphis Slim (see my user name.) I also admire any number of classical players. I love Dr. John, as well. These are just three reference points, but to get to any one of them, you ...


3

Rather than levels, how about splitting the problem into 3 dimensions: Pure fretboard navigation. Be able to spot every occurrence of every note - and every degree of every scale - all over the neck, as fast as possible. This is something you can do on paper or even just in your head, and it's probably not something you want to do separately for each scale ...


4

You probably don't mean playing more efficiently or effectively. You mean practising more effectively. That has a more rigorous meaning: learning skills faster, without learning anti-skills (bad habits: "practice makes perfect" is not as true as "practice makes permanent"). The number of skills is enormous: steady tempo, accurate leaping to a note, ...


4

One really good way to practice is to play only two or four bars at a time and master them in progression instead of stumbling through the whole song repeatedly. Even though it is much less interesting when practicing, this method gives you opportunity to learn what mistakes you are making and correct them before muscle memory takes place and becomes much ...


0

I started singing for my kids before they come to life. Now they are 3 and 5 and both can sing amazingly in tune. Audiation for sure develops at an early age and it is an improtant tool to have as a musician. I would not say beginning to play early is the key for music success, but beginning to be a musician early for sure it is (not by playing an ...


2

Well, correlation and causation may strike again. Yes, there are plentiful examples of child prodigies growing into renowned composers. However, I never heard of a renowned composer with a childhood history of being forced to play some instrument regularly. Those musicians became what they were because you'd have had a hard time to force them away from ...


4

Assuming that your teacher isn't terrible, she probably isn't giving you 'randoms' - she's probably trying to go through a progression of work that builds up your technique, and she's naturally reluctant for you to jump ahead and learn bad habits. Having said that, there's everything to gain in music by not having just one perspective, so if you are itching ...


1

I would like to add a few things regarding strumming technique to Hrodelbert's answer. I find that many beginning guitarist have a difficult time with smooth strumming. It's normal and over time and with proper practice, your strumming will improve dramatically. Certainly the position of the guitar relative to your body can have a big impact. But ...


0

You don't usually want to be hitting all the strings on each strum - aim to catch certain strings depending on the chord shape you're playing, and also to catch more strings on the strong beats than you do on the weak beats. If you don't play all the strings, you don't have to fret them all either, which gives you more left hand freedom.


-2

I think it is pretty safe to say that starting anything at a young age and sticking with it would lead to a higher level of proficiency later in life than if you spent the same amount of time but started later in life. This should not discourage you, however. There are plenty of examples of musicians that started later in life that went on to reach an ...


0

I learnt on a combination of electric guitar and nylon-string guitar. Electric guitar : I tried very thin strings, size 08 which helped with lowering the tension of the string, so even though they're thinner, the cut into my fingers less. Nylong string guitars : The strings are much thicker and don't hurt as much. I de-tuned it by quite a lot so that I ...


0

Here's my fifty cents... When I started learning 8 finger tapping (both hands on the fretboard) I had to go through the pain again, so I searched on the net about tricks on how to develop callouses faster and what I found is Eric Clapton's tip on it. He said: Deep your fingers in alcohol, it will dry out the fingers blah blah... So I tried that, within a ...


1

For me, what @Rob said is crucial: stop before it hurts If you overdo the practice before you can take it, the next day you'll be unable to play. And if you don't keep practicing regularly, you're more likely to not play the next day, and then another, and then a week after you're back at spot 0. Practice as much as you can without discomfort, then ...


1

Tell them: Practice 10-15 min 2x/day (they don't know a lot to play yet, and their fingers will hurt if they play more. As they learn more and their calluses develop, they can play more. Stop before it hurts Make it fun Set goals Reward yourself for reaching goals Balance "technique" and "fun" Have them record themselves & e-mail it to you (if a child) ...


3

To add to these great answers, I only have one suggestion - climbers chalk Moisture in the hands leads to blisters. Chalk alleviates moisture build up in the hands and helps to build callouses. Some notable guitar players who use chalk before every show: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, etc. Chalk is a great when you haven't played in a while and don't ...


1

Practice, practice, practice. Callouses do not form otherwise. Play until you can't bear it any more. Do this every day. Just get it over with. It will pay off in the end, I promise. In the meantime, there are ways of maximizing your practice time while your fingers develop into battle-hardened. Play lower strings more often. Note these are thicker ...


0

Some Tips: Hire time with an actual Flamenco guitarist if you are interested in true flamenco technique. This will answer most of your questions. Make sure that you thumb nail is properly trimmed. It's ok in the beginning steps if you hear some nail with this technique. If you are doing this to play the lightning fast scales that Flamenco guys like to ...


4

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. ...


3

Dependent as to how cold it may be, you could get in the car and drive to somewhere quiet (or noisy for that matter), park up and play in the back. If it's a left-hooker, then passenger seat may do.You could still use laptop and whatever, plugged into the car power. I suggested this to a drummer I work with, who has a young baby. He finds a corner of a ...


2

I can relate to your concern. I had the same problem when I lived with a roommate who felt the need to sleep while I felt the need to practice. Now I live alone so I can play as loud as I want whenever I want. Sounds like you've tamed the majority of sound by playing through headphones. If you are using a solid body guitar, that is about as quiet as you ...


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

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 ...


0

Practice makes permanent - my highschool band director. Play it slow and purposeful. Take it from someone who always wanted to play it fast. The brain seems to have two approaches to getting good at something. One approach is to become "passably good," and the other is to become "the best you can be." As you spend more time in music, you'll find that ...


0

I read once that "running downhill" prepares your body and mind for what it will be like to (eventually) run quickly. I was a firm believer in "play slow and correctly, gradually speed up"... well I still am. HOWEVER I did not make the jump to playing lighting fast until I FORCED myself to. I joined a thrash/tech/grind metal band and at first I objected ...


1

Are you seriously suggesting you should practice playing it WRONG? :-) Play at the speed you can play it right. Then sleep on it. The result will show tomorrow.


1

One approach that can sometimes be helpful is what one director called "wood chopping". Identify a small section of the piece an exact number of bars long and play it repeatedly. For rhythm guitar, if there's a hard chord change, make certain you include any "set-up" that's necessary for it so that the chords before and after the change are fingered the ...


1

Just because you mentioned piano: to learn something quickly, rehearse it one hand at a time. Drill the right hand. Drill the left hand. Occasionally put them together (or drill one hand while plunking out a few notes with the other, claims this survey paper by an old colleague of mine). That gets you from zero to sixty in far fewer hours than struggling ...


1

I use this guide, as a teacher once advised me: Start slow enough to avoid mistakes (Optional) Try alternative rhythm patterns in the same speed (like playing four eighth notes with the middle ones as sixteenth notes) When feel comfortable on the above (let's say 3 times in a row each, or more, depends on the passage, with no mistake) play it (only ...



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