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Practice, Do You? Part 2-3

Dom Minasi By

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3. Major and melodic minor scales and modes in every key into the high register and the pedal register (down to E, the lowest sounding note on the bass), and often diminished scales. ii-V-I arpeggios (cycles) in every key—start improvising on them.

4. The famous excerpt from Stravinsky Histoire du Soldat where 16ths are in groups of five, double-tonguing backwards. If it's clean my tonguing is cool for the day.

5. Maybe a tune or two to check playing on changes.

I'm always trying to work on tone, control, flexibility, and endurance. The goal is to be able to execute instantly what one hears. I rest as much as I play during these sessions. On the gig I do not play what I practice. In my studio I do not practice what I play.

Voice

Andrea Wolper

I still practice. The word "still" in this question surprises me. As for how much: Not anywhere close to enough, but as much as I seem to be able to manage. On the rare days when I feel I've hit "enough," I feel better.

I practice from a large bag of resources. Some things stay pretty constant, while others float in and out of rotation over periods of weeks or months. The current rotation includes vocal exercises and improvisation practice, ukulele, a bit of piano, working through a course of modal and rhythmic training, readings on vocal pedagogy, and learning new music (or reviewing old, as necessary) for upcoming gigs. I suppose this is separate from writing and arranging music, though it doesn't feel separate to me. Items that are a bit more in the background at the moment include exercises from various vocal jazz books, sight-singing practice, working with various music theory apps, and more.

Kendra Shank

I still practice and am always learning new things about my instruments (voice & guitar). How much I practice varies. I'm not consistent.I practice 30-45 min. of vocal exercises & scales as a warm-up with attention to breath control, placement, tone and intonation. After that, I'll work on a song: either learning a new one or practice soloing over changes of a song in my repertoire. Or I might just free improvise, often using a loop station and other electronics to spontaneously compose multi-voiced pieces. As a vocalist I have my instrument with me at all times, so I can practice while walking down the street, doing intervallic exercises,improvising, or just exploring what kinds of sounds I can make with my voice.

On guitar my practice begins with very slow scales, resting every 10 minutes (because I'm retraining after an injury), until I'm warmed up. Then I work on songs with chords, since most of my playing is geared toward accompanying my singing.

Nora McCarthy

Daily attention to whatever may be the focus at the time is part of the "practice." It is continuing and inclusive. Whether I'm preparing for a concert or advancing a new idea, I devote as much time beforehand as is necessary, but as a daily thing, let's put it this way, "I'm always singing." Specific as to "what" I practice, the answer is "development" and "awareness." Keeps me very busy.

Bass

Michael Bisio

Honestly I am one of those weirdo's who even after more years than I care to admit loves to practice and like to think I practice daily, upon consideration there are some exceptions, e.g. on Tuesday Matthew Shipp Trio recorded a Duke Ellington tribute for Rogue Art, it was such a wonderfully intense experience I was barely able to move on Wednesday let alone play bass. That being said this type of rest (time off) is extremely beneficial to completely digest the experience, a great value to any artist.

At this point in time I probably average 2 hours a day and can imagine the reality is probably between 1-4 hours, 4 being the extreme. My practice routine varies, lately I have enjoyed studying the masters on an aurally microscopic level where the pitches and time are just the beginning the process, and in repetition it can be very myopic and must remind myself the ultimate goal is macro. I try to remember there I a difference between practicing and playing but always leave time to practice playing. The goal is to be ready

Dominic Duval

I don't practice. I play. I think I've had enough practice. Doing is the best medicine.

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