Tales from the Woodshed – Week 2

Hi again! Hope you all had a great weekend! My time was spent “noodling”, which lead to a few new riff ideas :) I’ll upload them if they turn into some good songs. So this week’s practice routine is going to be pretty similar to last weeks. I've swapped some of the exercises around and incorporated a few different sequences in my scale practice. On the Improvisation side I added the jazz standard “Blues for Alice “, I love this tune! After last week, I felt the need to include some more “real” music in my routine so I added Holdsworth’s “Road Games” to the list. If you haven’t heard it, check it out below! [jwplayer mediaid="231"] Today’s session was short, focused and went really well, even though I drove the missus mad with all that jazz!  ...
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Legato Exercises

Legato Exercises

As promised here is a couple of Legato Exercises I found useful and effective in my warm up routine. When playing through these exercises  practice slowly whilst being aware of any tension that may arise. I've written out each exercise on one string, but as always it's best to practice both exercises on all strings. If you would like to make the patterns more challenging, move down the fretboard in small increments to increase the stretch.   Exercise 1 - 3 note per string finger groups   Exercise 2 - 4 note per string finger groups          ...
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Tales from the Woodshed – Day 4 & 5

Hi again, Yesterday (day 4) was a little busy, however I managed to fit in 3 hours of practice.  After yesterday's session I started thinking about  how I rarely read music nowadays  so I decided to spend some more time on music reading today. Today's session went really fast and I had a fun time trying to slow down and work out a few Thelonious Monk licks. Today's practice plan is below. Tomorrow I'll post a couple of exercises I found useful. Have great weekend all!     Day 5's practice plan looked something like this: Warm up – 4th intervals over neck,  mMaj 7 chord inversions, M.Min, H.Min, Major - 3 note per string, Diminished, Wholetone  Alternate Picking exercises focusing on Upstrokes Permutations of spider exercise, again focusing on Upstrokes Scales –Melodic Minor scale (1 octave) in half steps, whole steps, b3rds, 3rds and 4ths Reading - Rhythm reading, Ragtime piece (focus on 16th note syncopation) Bert Ligon concepts (from Connecting chords with Linear Harmony book) Improvisation – Jazz blues – focusing on phrasing Comping...
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Tales from the Woodshed – Day 3

Hello again! All is going as expected in the woodshed, my upstrokes feel better already ;), however today was a bit challenging. As I stated in the first post, the aim of my practice time is to undo a few bad habits and focus on sound, which means every exercise, scale, chord etc. has to be practiced as slow with as much awareness possible. Today's challenge was fighting the temptation to play everything at my "normal" tempo, it was almost painful playing so slow today and a real struggle to keep in time on some exercises. I found it quite funny as the most common phrase I use when teaching is "slow down!" I have to admit the last time I practiced this slow was around 8 or 9 years ago and the difference in my playing was noticeable within a few weeks. In the end I decided to dust off the metronome and set it to 40 bpm leaving me...
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Tales from the Woodshed – Day 2

Today I went through the same routine as yesterday but had more time to spend on improvisation and transcription. I also went through  Major, Harmonic minor, and Melodic minor 3 note per string shapes, Diminished & Wholetone scales, plus worked on some Dominant 7th chord voicings as well as blues comping. I had much more time available today, but didn't want to overdo it. To avoid injury, it's always best to increase practice time gradually. Stay tuned for more posts, lessons etc....
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