Often times, I hear people talk of practice related to achieving your goals. However, i (along with probably multitudes of musicians), while taking in the advice, never really define our goals and work on them, and we end up not getting anywhere and become frustrated. Thus, we are in the same rut after months of practicing.
In this post, i hope to change this. for anyone.
So, post your 'goals' (if you have any!), why you choose them, and how you plan to work on them.
They can be as specific/broad, structured/visceral as you want.
here's my list-
-Play phrases over barline/chord changes
+ this is what makes a good soloist. When i listen to any of my favorite improvisers, they almost always have impeccable phrasing. I hope to work on this by focusing on using any scales to get through chords, and, as i learn, use more outside ways.
-using chord [voicings] as basis for lines in solos
+i notice that a strength of mine (to me) is that i have a handful of good chord voicings i could use. ben monder really influences me to pursue this. again, the only way i can think of tackling this is to focus on using them, and learn more voicings. of course, listening, too!
-develop arpeggios as basis for lines (not just root arpeggios)
+i know my 'basic' arpeggios, and hear them used a lot (ie Kurt Rosenwinkel) in a very pleasing fashion. I figure i'll experiment with diatonic arpeggios through chords, and transcriptions of soloists that use this idea.
-learn more songs - standards, transcriptions
+this is just a way for me to apply what i want to work on in a real setting. also, solos will give me ideas for more practice goals.
That's my list. After doing this, i have noticed that, while i almost always work on a technical aspect during my practice, technique doesn't even make the list of goals. no where do i feel i want to be able to play 900 notes a second at this point, because i couldn't do it musically.
Anyway, i hope this gets everyone thinking.
Also, there's tons of other good info in the other posts concerning practice on this site.