Practice, Do You? Part 3-3

Dom Minasi By

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You want me to be serious. The word "practice" means different things to different people. Yes, I still practice, but I don't practice technique (scales, arpeggios, etc.). I mostly blow through tunes all day long and try to figure out various ways to raise hell.

Barry Finnerty

I still practice, a little bit almost every day. I try to work on things I can't do!

Frank DiBussolo

These days I practice every day in the mornings. I usually start by warm-ups with alternate picking finger exercises, then two octave scales through the cycle of 4ths. Maj, Rel. min, harmonic and melodic. Then I take Bucky's advice and just play tunes. I look at re-harmonizing, chord voicings,' transposing etc.

Solo guitar is one of the most beautiful things in the universe, so I try to keep up with you guys. Next, I keep a lot of literature, clarinet, trumpet, violin, and classical guitar and open them up to keep the sight-reading sharp. I'll spend about 90 min. to 2 hours every day. Then later I go to work! Playing with singers is a challenge, you've got to be able to transpose any tune to any key and make them look and sound good! I'm not getting any younger, so I feel I have to work hard.

John Abercrombie

To briefly answer your questions: Do I practice? Yes, but it's a bit more like playing. Not so specific in terms of technique and such. What I practice is difficult to answer exactly, but it's more like playing melodies, and ideas, usually in relationship to some harmonic framework, but not always. I like to come up with ideas/shapes/lines, etc., and practice those things in different situations. Some of my practice (many times) leads to composition. I also play things that i have played many times before, and try to get them better, or maybe phrase them a little differently.

Steve Cardenas

I still practice, but it's not so much of a regiment, more geared towards the music I'm learning for an upcoming tour or shows and/or an area that I happen to think about working on, such as learning a new tune, reading through new music (or music that's new to me I should say, could be very old music). Whenever I do practice in more technical terms, I approach from working on it slowly and thoroughly. Also, I try to pace myself for not practicing for long stretches at a time, as it tends to be less effective. Honestly, seems I have less time for practicing in general than in years ago.

Dave Kain

I still practice. I'm happy if I get two hours in a day. That is not always the case unfortunately. I practice a number of things.

1. Articulation is a LARGE part of my practice routine.

2. I try to spend some of that time composing and writing tunes.

Lately, I've been working VERY hard on my repertoire. It never ceases to amaze me how many tunes there are that are considered standards and I've really been trying to get as many as I can under my belt. My goal is to never have to say, "I don't know that one." when somebody calls a tune.

Anders Nilsson

Ok, My summary reads thusly: The right note, with the right tone, the right charge, at the right moment, for a really long time.

James Keepnews

I practice, but not enough. An hour a day is standard if I'm not too busy with the thousands of other things going on in my life. Most weekends I can set aside a few hours across each day my main music stand is always stacked with a variety of materials I'm working on at any given time. These currently include: The Real Book (the "real," legit one), Vol. I; The Real Book (the illegal one), Vol. II; Yusef Lateef's Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns; two books of Jim Hall's work, The Best of Jim Hall featuring transcriptions of his playing and his more theoretical tome, Exploring Jazz Guitar (cover by the great Gary Larson); a chart of Joe Zawinul's "Directions" written out for me by Ras Moshe; a chart of John McLaughlin's "Spectrum" I found online; a photocopy of scale materials taken from Vincent Persichetti's Twentieth-Century Harmony; among others. Increasingly, however, the most valuable "practicing" I can do is simply to improvise.

Bill Farrish

On teaching days I practice Scales, Arps, review a song or two with progression to improvise, I usually put in about 4 hours before I get t school. Teaching takes care of reading. Between lessons I play along with recordings.I'm lucky I end up with about 5 hours of practice. On days I have a gig, very light practice just enough to make sure I'm being creative. On days I'm not teaching or gigging I practice 6-8hours I practice finger exercises, scales intervals or scales on two strings one string, 3 strings etc. Sometimes I just review a particular scale or mode straight up using Arps, long, short, anyway I can think of or that I feel needs works such as Kreutzer or the Bach Sonatas and Partitas: Voicings.'


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