'The Shed'

(20 posts)

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  1. Matt
    Member

    So this summer i want to get in the shed. 8 hours a day. i know this is like saying 'i want to be an Olympic gold medalist' in some ways, but i really want to try it out. i'd appreciate any advice, meditations, experiences with shedding, as i've not practiced that much before in a short span. i really want to do this - to do any job well, it takes this amount of work, so why not give music the same attention ?

    i don't claim to know exactly what to practice, but my idea is organizing the time like this for six days a week - *broad catagories*

    3-4hrs - technique: picking, legato, switching chords, finger picking
    2hrs - improvisation: learning tunes, licks, improvising, analyzing solos
    1hr - chord voicings & comping: inversions, transcribed voicings, from books applied to tunes
    1hr - sight-reading

    and every day, i would transcribe sometime or do ear training, and of crouse listen to music!

    i really want some criticism on this, and your ideas on shedding: what to practice, time ratio, books/music to check out, etc.

    thanks everyone!
    ~matt

  2. david6strings
    Member

    i think 1 hour per day for sight reading is too much, with 30 m or less 6 day a week you soon will be rewarded. u have 30 extra min to rest. stop smoking if you do. quit the internet in the room you're going to practice. other considerations seems some kind of personal choice for me. rest a lot. it's almost impossible to be focused 8 hours. start learning stretches an good body position habits or you will pay your mistakes. study-rest study-rest study-rest hahaha and my last advice is to do less technique and more transcribing work, it takes a lot of time at the beguinning. i wish i have been useful 4u. cheers

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  3. Matt
    Member

    yeah, i don't smoke, but the plan would be to do a morning (9-12), 3 hour session (the tech. stuff), an afternoon 2 hour session(1:30-3:30), a pre-evening hour session (6-7) and a nightly 2 hour session (9-11). therefore, if i wake up at 8 and go to bed at midnight, 8 hours i have free :)

  4. minty
    Member

    you might want to do one song a day and have all these techniques and whatsoever done around that tune

    it'll be better than just working on these components and cant play music at the end of the day

  5. Quintricacy
    Member

    Never under estimate the power and learning that comes from playing with other people. Some of the best things and best music that has come from me is by being thrown in the deep end with better players at jam sessions. While I do think "Shedding" has it's benefits, you're completely cutting off the playing with people aspect, where you really learn how to play music with people as opposed to getting up on the band stand and playing all the stuff you've practiced for the last month or so.

  6. Matt
    Member

    @quintricacy, that is very true. i'd love to play with people, but i feel the need to really dig into practice for a solid 2-3 months before i get on a bandstand.

    i do like the idea of using technical stuff relative to tunes. i think technique is a weak spot in my playing.

  7. arewolfe
    Member

    30 min of reading a day, 6 days a week would be great. 60 minutes is tough to do day in and day out. I found it was hard to find that much fresh material to read. Learn to read bass clef also.

    I was never able to do 8 hours a day for multiple days in a row. It was just too much energy to reproduce that many hours of shedding every day.

    Try to spend at least 30-40 minutes on ear training, this is a phenomenal asset to your musicianship.

    One thing I wish I'd practiced more when I was younger is rhythmic strumming and comping. Whether it's Latin or Brazilian strumming on acoustic, or just comping swing on 2 and 4, I found this really helps solidify and build my chops. I wish I had done more of it earlier on.

    Ultimately, in the long run, practicing comes down to you personally narrowing down what is most important, and figuring out what will produce the best results for you. For me, transcribing is the best way for me to build my chops... just taking something, writing it out, and then starting out extremely slow with a metronome and building it up over the course of a few days. I did this with the head to Turns a few months ago. I still can't play it as fast as any of Kurt's recordings, but shedding it for 20-30 minutes a day for 1 week really gave my chops a noticeable boost.

    DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF TRANSCRIPTION: Transcribing is super beneficial because it forces your hands to do things they've never done before. With repetition, those awkward hand positions and movements will really help your chops.
    Good luck!

  8. jseaberry
    Member

    I agree with Arewolfe. Shorter sessions, intensely and well-spent, will generally find you absorbing the material better than long sessions that you think you just MUST do"x" amount. That works for me.

  9. Matt
    Member

    thanks for all the info guys. really helps me a lot.

    i should mention i am only an low-intermediate (at best) jazzer: i don't know modes of nor applications of melodic minor; i don't have my arpeggios together as well as i probably should; i don't know more than (at best) 20 tunes; my voicings are weak; and i don't know much language. i know this probably sounds pretentious, but i guess i just don't necessary know what i don't know...i'll talk to my instructor this week and ask what he thinks, too.

  10. docbop
    Member

    Many people try to practice that much and don't progress. Trouble is they get bored or and sidetrack themselves and end up just noodling for hours. If you take a 10-15 minute break every hour you will find it easier to keep your focus for the rest of the hour. On that break get away from your guitar and have drink of water or something, a bite to eat. or smoke if that is your thing. Were like dogs and like to be rewarded so that drink or whatever will reward your inner dawg.

    Sound crazy but this works.

  11. g_2_the_izzo
    Member

    What types of technical exercises are you planning to work on?

    I got a lot of new ideas from incorporate patterns, stacked intervals, etc in my technique practice. These tend to be great technical exercises and they can actually be applied in your improvising and when trying to learn new scales, too.

    Here is one that I used to work on. First, make a grid like this:

    2,2 3,2 4,2 5,2 6,2 7,2
    2,3 3,3 4,3 5,3 6,3 7,3
    2,4 3,4 4,4 5,4 6,4 7,4
    2,5 3,5 4,5 5,5 6,5 7,5
    2,6 3,6 4,6 5,6 6,6 7,6
    2,7 3,7 4,7 5,7 6,7 7,7

    what you do is, take whatever scale you want to work on (G major) and an interval pair (say 5,2) , then from the first note in the scale play a fifth up then a two up from there, then go to the second note in the scale and do the same thing. In G with 5,2 it would be G, D, E, down to A, E, F#, down to B, F#, G and so on until you get to the other end of the fret board. Then go back down. Hope that is clear.

    A lot of interval pairs will only rarely be used when you are soloing but they are still valuable for working on techniques like string skipping, etc.

    I would love to hear exercises that you guys do.

    Good luck,

    G.

  12. Matt! Great that you find time to concentrate exclusively on guitar! I wish I could do the same! Just one short remark: Mental and physical recovery is essential in the process of learning. There is lots of information (books, web,..) how "learning" works in general and how the process can be optimized - stubborn and mindless "following a schedule" is definitely not optimal. Do not practice "mechanically" without enjoying it and without listening to yourself only because your schedule/ program says so. A day off helps more than a day working hard against your needs.
    I would suggest a more flexible program - use some time every day before you pick up the guitar to think what and WHY you will practice certain things and reflect at the end of the day what made sense and why some things worked while others were just annoying. Write e.g. a "practicing diary" - this helps there because you need to formulate your experiences.
    All the best!

  13. silverwater
    Member

    If you're going to do this, develop a stretching routine for before you start, one that covers the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and fingers.

    And to echo what a few have said already:

    - If possible practice things like chords, scales, and arpeggios in the context of a tune. If you want to work on something in all 12 keys, sometimes it's more beneficial to do half of the keys one day, then the other half the next. Or even 4, 4, 4, or 3, 3, 3, 3. Personally, I've never gotten through doing Single String Arpeggios on all strings through all 12 of the keys before my mind starts to wander.

    - 30 minutes of sight reading is fine.

    One more thing - Don't forget to practice comping in a duet format with walking bass, it's a really valuable ($$$) skill to have ;-)

  14. Matt
    Member

    I already do stretches and try to meditate a little before i pick up the guitar to practice. it helps a lot.

    again, thanks for the replies! it sounds like practice should be very personal...thus we all play differently!

  15. guitarmo
    Member

    I don't know if this has been said yet but listening and knowledge of the history is extremely important. For every hour I practice I listen for 3 hours.

  16. Matt
    Member

    g2theizzo - can you elaborate on the grid? I think that's a very interesting idea.

  17. animitta
    Member

    Don't know...just thinking about this thread....I suppose i would be bored practicing 8 hours a day...probabilly this is the reason why i suck playing : ).Actually it's really difficult for me to find 8 hours free, just to practice...Music is just a part of my life....a really important one...but not the only one...Enjoyng life,family,wife, work, music...these are the priorities for now...so, i dedicate most of my "music time", the few hours i can spare from my daily life, to practice and playing...i tried to make a daily schedule...but it was a shit....really well organised but no human being will follow that schedule....crazy one....i wrote that schedule one day thinking about what i need to practice...and i found so many things that i felt lost..and still am...now..recently..i try to just stay some hours,hopefully two every day,with my guitar...practicing..playing some tunes....trying to play some tunes....every time i make this...with a conscious mind and body,i really grew up with that spirit...i can easily play....most of the time, instead,i need to really practice slow, some kind of exercises i use...some scalar pattern, some cromatic exercise, some free chords...some progressions....some stuff from the "knew ones"...from mine practiced stuff... ...some are news ideas: where they come from?...from where? : )...this is the aspect i am trying to investigate...and that really interest me now..but it is so unpredictable, you can't put rules on it...just be in the moment in wich the mucis is played...be in the moment..practicing...playing...and mainly living...
    I know, all this writing could seem so pretentious..."some wise words from someone who get there"...it's not true...or maybe that could seem really confusing phrases..yes...that could be....i never be sure about...
    i am a deep believer of John Coltrane's words:"become a better person,a better human being and you will become a better musician"...worse or better come from yourself....you must really feel to play......you must really feel to live deeply...
    Anyway i am still trying to become a better human being and a better musician...who knows where it will bring me?
    All the best
    Animitta

  18. JorgeRubiales
    Member

    But still Coltrane was known as one of the musicians that practiced obsessively, even in between sets...so I think he said that making a reference to one's inspiration, phrasing, etc. But, as Miles said, "you have to know your chords"...

  19. animitta
    Member

    Absolutely agree with Miles too...with the phrase of Coltrane i don't wanted to significate a "shortcut"...i think that everyone needs TO PRACTICE A LOT, FOR SURE! But i think that be a musician is a "whole"...a deep way inside your being and spirituality....there are many parts...not only practice..you have to make a balance of many things....
    Sure, to have 8 hours free is good to dedicate to music, but i suppose that here few people have...at least i have not....
    Just my two cents....
    All the best
    Animitta

  20. Matt
    Member

    i'm curious (and there are TONS of info and threads here that mention it, and i've stalked those conversations), but what are the best books to buy for development? I'm ready to buy two, and i was thinking two of: The complete book of harmony theory and voicings from mel bay, a ted greene book (single note soloing vs. chord chemistry?), The Guitarist's Guide to Composing and Improvising by jon damian, teh advancing guitarist, and any others reccomended...i'm just lost and am only an intermediate guitarist, so which would be best?

    also, maybe this - http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Jazz-Improvisation-Scott-Reeves/dp/0131896717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1293599660&sr=8-1


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