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What do you practice? How do you practice??

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:05 am
by Clifford D
If we're all bad ass and wanna be bad ass blues players, what do we practice and how do we practice?
I admit I rarely worked on blues academically but I did study jazz, went to college in '82, I read, write and teach all types of guitar, I have a vast cllection of jazz, theory books.
My blues books are typically great solos transcribed. I have no "start playing blues" books.

Non of that stuff makes me a better blues player, in fact I really keep a lid on the hi tech stuff around my blues brothers, it hurts their brain lol. Really.

The way I practice blues is for the most part two basic things. I transcribe a lot, that gets right into the heart of the idea. I also write out 12 bar blues using different approaches. I basically write my own books.
The other thing I do is get out and play, as often as I can, be it a gig or a blues jam. In my area there is is a farely strong blues brother/sister community. We have around four jams a week to pick from.
Getting out and playing live is where its at. All those emotional blues moments get played to the audience and the direct response (applause, dancing, shouting, whistling, tittie flash) that direct response tells you if you able to capture the crowd. That is what I shoot for if I'm mentally/emotionally prepared. If I'm bummed or mad, that really messes with me and I don't pull it off.
That becomes one of the most important things I work on. I'm by no means an ego head, but I do want that connection.

I also leave all study at home when out to play, I believe in osmoses, or the spagetti method, throw
the spagetti on the to see if it sticks, that's what studies become eventually, if it has value, it will stick.
Ok, this has made me hungary.

Peace and fuzz to all
Clifford D

Re: What do you practice? How do you practice??

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:23 pm
by Jakeblues
Guitar is a hobby now. I took endless lessons in my teens, then attended college for three semesters surrounded by roughly 2000 guitar players with a heavy emphasis on jazz and fusion. It certainly was educational, reading, arranging, writing, ear training, theory, harmony and all manor of practice: reading, chords, scales, traids, etc.. I don't read very well (music, or text), so it wasn't a lot of fun for me, but I'm a better player for it.

It's interesting that you mention transcribing (which I stink at). Two of my classmates, who were beyond exceptional at transcription, have gone on to become quite well known as players.

I gigged for a while in my early 20's, as my primary source of income. I practiced and rehearsed with a vengeance. The live music scene around here turned more towards styles I wasn't really interested in. Olaying out stopped being fun, so I stopped. I worked some as a sounds engineer on the side, but let that go as I had enough on my plate.

I got back to playing in the last couple years. How I practice depends greatly on my mood. Sometimes I'll work on certain techniques (double stops 6th, thirds or Wes Montgomery Octaves), or scales, maybe on chords/inversions, or maybe slide intonation by playing scales or other exercises. Mostly, I just pick up a guitar and play. I might work through part of a tune or a style of lick. For me, the most important thing is not to practice too long. I always reward myself by playing some after. Most times, I just pick up a guitar and play. (Just like Yesterday).

Re: What do you practice? How do you practice??

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:22 pm
by texas blues
A writer once interviewed Keith Richards....

Writer: How much time do you spend each day practicing?

Keef': Practice? What for? I'm already IN the Rolling Stones.

That being said, I haven't practiced in years. I rehearse an awful lot though.