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What is a wast of time?

  • Scales

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Learning licks in 12 keys

    Votes: 10 8.9%
  • Long tones

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • Overtones

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • Learning to sight read

    Votes: 2 1.8%
  • Learning to sight transpose

    Votes: 8 7.1%
  • Transcribing

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • Memorizing tunes

    Votes: 3 2.7%
  • Learning tunes in 12 keys

    Votes: 26 23.2%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 68 60.7%
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Discussion Starter #1
In light of a recent thread....

For the jazz musician, what do you think is a waste of ones practice time?

I've allowed multiple choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: What do you consider to be a wast of time ?

The only one I voted for was "Learning tunes in 12 keys".

If I practiced 8 hours a day maybe, but it's very unlikely that someone is going to call Body and Soul in E.

There are however a couple of tunes that I've learned in 2 or 3 different keys because they are sometimes called in those keys.
 

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SOTW! (just kidding...sorta)
 

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...with regards to knowing your tunes in all the keys. You may not be able to play the melody of all of the tunes that you learn in all 12 key (but you should be able to at least play the melody of the simpler standards and jazz tunes in any key). But if you "really" know a tune you should be able to solo over it in any key that it's called in. Trust me, if you do enough gigs in your lifetime some singer will eventually call Body And Soul in the key of "E."

It all depends on what your goals are in developing your musicianship. If you truly want to play music (any style) at a high level there's a TON of stuff that you are gonna have to learn...and learn it well!!!
 

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I think that a few of the choices would be dependant on where you are as a player.
I have no problem with 'shaping' my tone, so for me long tones are a waste of time.
Now when I get a new instrument I'll use them to get to know where it's quirks can be found. :)
 

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None of these are a waste of time. You have to prioritize depending on how much time and what your needs are but I see benefits to all of these things.
I agree. Some of these might be more important or beneficial than others, depending on what you're trying to accomplish, but none of them are a waste of time. In reflecting on myself, I would say the thing I've done that comes closest to being a waste of time has been spending extended periods of time trying out different mouthpieces or reeds even after I already had a set up that worked well for me. But I think it's fun to try out different stuff, so even that is not a total waste (IMO).
 

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There is one thing that was left out, and is often under rated.

LISTENING

The best players are the ones that usually have the largest music collection. If you are a decent player, and you can hear it, you can play it.

I just did a gig last night with a kid that is a great player, but has a hard time hearing/soloing over complex changes. Mainly for that reason.

Phineas
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I said none of the above, but learning tunes in 12 keys can be a waste of time.

What isn't a waste is learning a tune in one key and then, because you have developed your ears to a large extent, you can automatically play the tune in any key without having to "learn" it in that key, you just "hear" the intervals and play. I can do that with some simple tunes, more complex ones take more work, my ears aren't really (yet) that good but I know many people whose are.
 

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There is one thing that was left out, and is often under rated.

LISTENING
+1 Since joining SotW a few months ago I've been working on this a lot, but I've got a long way to go.

I wouldn't consider any of the other topics a waste of time. Just because I'm too lazy to do them doesn't make them a waste.:scratch:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
None of these are a waste of time. You have to prioritize depending on how much time and what your needs are but I see benefits to all of these things.
I completely agree with that.
I'll admit that "waste of time" isn't the best term, I was referring to the other thread by calling it that.


...Trust me, if you do enough gigs in your lifetime some singer will eventually call Body And Soul in the key of "E."
Only singers would do that.

It all depends on what your goals are in developing your musicianship. If you truly want to play music (any style) at a high level there's a TON of stuff that you are gonna have to learn...and learn it well!!!
Absolutely, that's why you have to prioritize. If you spend all your time learning Cherokee in 12 keys, you're missing out on a lot stuff you have to work on.

....What isn't a waste is learning a tune in one key and then, because you have developed your ears to a large extent, you can automatically play the tune in any key without having to "learn" it in that key, you just "hear" the intervals and play. I can do that with some simple tunes, more complex ones take more work, my ears aren't really (yet) that good but I know many people whose are.
Yeah, I do that. Sometimes I even find myself playing a tune in a key I've never played it in and only realize it half way through. I attribute that capability to working on licks in 12 keys.
 

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I said none of the above, but learning tunes in 12 keys can be a waste of time.
Playing tunes in all keys is a major part of my practice. First I learn them by ear on the piano from a recording that I like. I figure out how to play the melody and voice the chords underneath. Then I do it in other keys to be sure I understand the construction of the song and the function of all the chords.

Once I have that I go to the horn and work on delivering the melody. Then I practice playing through the changes, very slowly, playing the clearest melodic material I hear. I make sure I'm playing what I hear and not stuff my fingers like to do. I'll spend all afternoon working on two or three keys. In a matter of some days I've gotten through all twelve. No printed music involved.

In the end it's like singing on the horn. Hard to think of something better to practice. It's fantastic for the ears. Interestingly enough, playing it in all keys helps me to play it that much better in any one key. Helps in so many other ways too...
 

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If you spend all your time learning Cherokee in 12 keys, you're missing out on a lot stuff you have to work on.
I wouldn't underestimate that one. That and Rhythm Changes in all keys. While I'll likely never call Cherokee on a gig I practice it regularly in all keys. Remarkably, my free playing is much more accurate after this kind of practice. It gets the cobwebs out of my ears in a hurry!
 

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Re: What do you consider to be a wast of time ?

The only one I voted for was "Learning tunes in 12 keys".

If I practiced 8 hours a day maybe, but it's very unlikely that someone is going to call Body and Soul in E.

There are however a couple of tunes that I've learned in 2 or 3 different keys because they are sometimes called in those keys.
I have to respectfully disagree. Sure, playing Body and Soul in E may never show up in real life, but there is a lot to be gained from being able to play it in E - namely the effect it would have on your ear training. To me, playing in all 12 keys is more of an ear-training exercise than a music memorization exercise.

Of course, learning tunes in all 12 keys may not be the #1 most important thing to focus on, but I'd be hard pressed to label it, or anything else on the poll for that matter, a "waste of time."
 

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I said none of the above, but learning tunes in 12 keys can be a waste of time.
Playing tunes in all keys is a major part of my practice.
Note that I didn't say "playing tunes in all keys is a waste of time", I said "learning tunes in 12 keys can be a waste of time"

Big difference, see the rest of my post to follow my reasoning.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: What do you consider to be a wast of time ?

I have to respectfully disagree. Sure, playing Body and Soul in E may never show up in real life, but there is a lot to be gained from being able to play it in E - namely the effect it would have on your ear training. To me, playing in all 12 keys is more of an ear-training exercise than a music memorization exercise...
Yes, that's why I find playing licks in 12 keys very important, you can easily run through a lick in 12 keys in one practice session.

If you play only one horn and you practice 8 hours a day, then learning all your repertoire in 12 keys is feasible.
If, like myself, you're a doubler and you work on being equally fluent on all of your instruments, spending all your time on one tune in different keys is not the most efficient use of your practice time.
I did at one point, when I was younger, learn Donna Lee in 12 keys, but I can't imagine doing that with the over 200 tunes I have memorized.

Once again, I was referring to the other thread by using the term "waste of time", maybe "least efficient use of time" would have been better.
If some of you are actually learning their repertoire in all keys, you have my admiration.
 

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I make sure I'm playing what I hear and not stuff my fingers like to do. I'll spend all afternoon working on two or three keys. In a matter of some days I've gotten through all twelve. No printed music involved.

In the end it's like singing on the horn. Hard to think of something better to practice. It's fantastic for the ears. Interestingly enough, playing it in all keys helps me to play it that much better in any one key. Helps in so many other ways too...
Playing what you hear, not where your fingers want to go is what I struggle with, I may have to suck it up and start practicing in 12 keys. Where for you it's a few days for a tune, a project like that may take me years :(
 

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LEARNING TO SIGHT TRANSPOSE

It's come up a time or two (first rehearsals) but never when it mattered, by that time I can learn it through other means. I never practice this. I can sight transpose a chord chart, but not the notation.

I just listen to how it goes and play it, if I am asked to sight transpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
By sight transposing I meant reading a chart in concert pitch when playing a Bb or Eb instrument.
 
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