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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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Tim said it and at the time I thought it was simplistic but now 4 years later I get it. Practice what you can't do? It took years and help to find my limits and how to get past them. So if you have no facility with the whole tone scale. learn 1 pattern well to start, with the met of course. If you want to improve your blues (I do) can you arpeggiate V7 chords at MM +100 in 16ths? I can't so that what I worked on today. Can you use the altered scale in one pattern or portion consistently . I couldn't so I have a simple 4 note thing that brings out the lowered 5th in the scale and sounds cool. I have to practice that until it can use it in a solo. I don't practice lick s as much as I practice a grouping of notes in many many ways so I develop my own "licks" . At times I don't like my tone so I copy and emulate vocalists. Currently Alicia Keys and try to pull the soul into my tone. it does sound simplistic but I bet 99% of us could come up with 3 things we can't do now that we'd like to. It is that simple. ? K
 

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K go and blow with the best Blues bands you can find...remember what I did to put myself up there onstage with some legends..don't think about the blues man, play them..
 

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I agree,... practice what you are poor at. Most of us I believe are really poor at knowing (or feeling) how music works. I am and that gives me loads to work on. It's the nuts and bolts.


I've been practicing connecting chords through voice leading. Lately I've been using the cycle of 4ths as a form and try to play mixing vertical and horizontal ideas (arpeggios and scales) with a focus on voice leading. Especially the age old practice of moving from the 7th of one chord to the 3rd of the next chord. Not only does it get some things under your fingers,... it also forces you to consciously know where you are on each chord and where you are going. Where's the 3rd, 7th, b9, 6th on this measure? It changes every measure and you have to know it. When you start building your phrases based on these resolutions, things naturally become more lyrical and fluid and nuanced with tension and release while having solid structure and form. If you pick apart any great melody, you are bound to find this happening all over but it is anything but random. It's harnessing the inherit tension, release, drama that is hidden in the chord progression, kind of like a sculptor removing parts of a stone to reveal a beautiful form. The more I practice and internalize this concept the more and more I hear it in the playing of all the Jazz greats that I admire. Then I have much more insight on what is actually happening every time I hear a really great phrase by Charlie Parker, Hank Mobley, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, etc. There is a LOT to learn.
 
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