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> Practice A, B, C
Larry F
post May 17 2013, 04:01 AM
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In my blues soloing, one particular kind of move I would like to be more spontaneous with and sound more confident is dyads 3rds, 4ths, 6ths, and 8ves. 6ths are the most interesting sounding to me, and I generally like to use two, a step apart, for some kind of punctuation or emphasis. I have several different ways of practicing all of these dyads, which I will call A.

Another move I like to use is a rapidly descending line, usually slurred, often based on the minor pent, but frequently using the 2nd instead of the 3rd, and the 6th instead of the 7th. By substituting these notes, I avoid playing dorian runs. For me, the semitone between 2 and 3, and between 6 and 7 is non-idiomatic in blues playing. Even the greats make exceptions, so I am only speaking of generalities or tendencies. When practicing these runs, I mix up their direction, so I might play a scale: - - - + - + - - - - + - - + - - -. The minuses are usually played as the next step down, whereas the + could be a step up, or two steps up, or maybe three steps. I am describing the + intervals as steps, not as thirds, 4ths, etc., because if the minor pent is my basic scale, there are two pairs of steps that are minor thirds. I'll call this kind of practicing B.

Another move is string bends. There are a lot of ways of integrating bends in one's playing, which often rely on the guitarist's ability to get into the best hand position and bend right to the target, with no out-of-tuneness. I'll call this kind of practicing C.

I probably have 6-10 routines for each type, A, B, C. In reality, I have maybe more types, say, D, E, F, G, H.

I'm of two minds. Part of me wants to keep each type of move fresh in my mind and fingers, so that I can quickly and spontaneously integrate these into my soloing. Another part of me wants to immerse myself into one type, so that I can feel that I have mastered it, and then move onto to something else to practice. The word mastered is, of course, completely relative.

What works for others here in this forum? Immersion or maintenance?
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Darius Wave
post May 17 2013, 08:58 AM
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Thank You for sharing Your thoughs and practice routine Larry F. I found that for me mastering the lick for a one purpose / one musical situation / song very often stays in the place if was made for. I had similar thoughts and I was angry for being not able to use some cool licks I made, in my regular improvisation. So...I've started to test those licks in a different harmony concepts and try to make them one of my "fingers habbits"collection. This makes me able to use some once I feel they fit the moment for example - fit perfect between two notes of the main melody. I cought myself that I have to go back to some of my originals to learn again the licks I made for the song purpose. It's annoying. That's the reason I've started to bring those licks in my regular playing but it takes more time to find them usefull in different harmonic concepts than just adding in the one precise moment of Your song.

IMHO the thoughts You have are probably one of the most common player's issues smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 17 2013, 10:03 AM
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I'm with Darius here, regarding the idea in which you come up with some licks and then you realize that you can't use them as they are. My thought towards this is the following - thee rhythmic component is the most important factor in the flow of a musical phrase and if you are able to feel the rhythm and understand where the rhythm elements that sustain you (drummer, metronome and so on) are going, you will be better and better at phrasing.

It is always awesome to think in terms of phrases and give them a continuation as you go - I can do this in my head with ease, but not as easy with the guitar at the flow I'd like to have tongue.gif

One friend of mine who is a great improviser, has suggested the following routine:

- Pick up your guitar and invent a rhythmic phrase in a time signature of your choice
- Play it against tapping your foot until you can do it instinctively
- When it feels super natural, start changing a few notes so that you develop the initial formula
- Add notes/ substract notes, add pauses and so on, until you can freely improvise around the initial formula, playing it from time to time so that it becomes the motif of your drill

The goal of this whole thing is to be able to keep a constant groove and always be aware of where you are rhythmically and in respect to the initial idea, regardless of what you might add or substract


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klasaine
post May 17 2013, 03:43 PM
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I'm definitely the guy who tries to figure out as many situations as possible to use any lick/line/concept.
I may ultimately disregard most of my experiments but I find the act of just trying to 'force' a line over a chord or into a genre will help me truly internalize it so that I can call upon it when I feel it will be appropriate.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 17 2013, 05:24 PM
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Hi Larry! Thanks for sharing this. I think that it would be really cool if you can add your explanation with a video showing the examples to let us see more clearly how your moves are and maybe we can give you more ideas and how to get out of them to get more spontaneous licks and improvisations. What do you think? Is it possible?


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 18 2013, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 17 2013, 04:24 PM) *
Hi Larry! Thanks for sharing this. I think that it would be really cool if you can add your explanation with a video showing the examples to let us see more clearly how your moves are and maybe we can give you more ideas and how to get out of them to get more spontaneous licks and improvisations. What do you think? Is it possible?


Indeed, as Gabe said and I forgot to mention - a video would make things very, very clear for all of us and we would be able to help out even more.


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