Practice before rehearsal or jam

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Practice before rehearsal or jam

Postby jeffl » Sat Jan 24, 2004 9:24 pm

The other day, I was invited to jam with a guy who was having two guest mando players up from Chicago, and some of our mutual friends were invited,too. The fiddle player, Betsy, showed up about an hour late, and I jokingly asked her where the hell she'd been. She hit me with a one word reply. . . PRACTICING. I thought, "that's a novel approach". I never intentionally practice before a casual jam- but, I'm thinkin' about it now. The warmin' up is done, with that approach. Incidentally, Betsy is one of the best musicians I've ever heard anywhere, being a 3-time Minnesota fiddle champ, and playing in an all-female band that routinely draws $15-$18 covers in clubs that are usually 5 to 10. You pros prob'ly think this is a no-brainer, but it was a revelation to me.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby allanlummox » Sun Jan 25, 2004 7:11 am

You know how some bands sound much better during the second set than the first?

Well, if you have the first set while you're still at home...you hit the stage as good as you're gonna get.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby bosco » Sun Jan 25, 2004 3:03 pm

well said, Allan...

Another huge plus is that if you stumble onto a new lick, phrase or turnaround while warming up/practicing it will be fresh on your mind to try and incorporate it into your existing material at the jam or rehearsal.

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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby cas » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:30 pm

Yeah, but she was an hour late--isn't that kinda rude?? Or was it just a real casual arrangement on arrival time?

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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby bosco » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:52 pm

Owing to the title of this thread, I'm surmising that Jeff is more interested about the concept of practicing before said event than the schedule...

You are absolutely correct CAS, If a member of your BAND shows up an hour late for rehearsal, keeping the other members waiting, that is considered extremely rude and self important.

On the other hand, if a three-time state fiddle champion elects to grace the presence of your casual jam, I suppose she can show up whenever she wants too!

Just my opinion...I could be wrong.

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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby jeffl » Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:11 pm

Yeah, it was a casual thing, so the lateness wasn't an issue.It was more of a social event to get these guests around some friends in a music environment. The point was, it WAS CASUAL, and she practiced before even a casual jam. It was a signal to me that she prob'ly finds time to practice every day, no matter what's goin' on. Me- if I have a casual jam, I think I look at that as a practice sometimes, just cuz' I get to work on some stuff in a setting that gives me more flexibility than performing.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby bosco » Tue Jan 27, 2004 12:49 am

>It was a signal to me that she prob'ly finds time to practice every day, no matter what's goin' on.<

It's all relative my friend and the reality is that 99% of the folks inhabiting this planet elect to be proficient/mediocre/average in a variety of activities because that is what is socially acceptable. An individual hedges their bet to be mainstream by playing some golf, fishing a little, doing some gardening and dabbling in some music, while becoming exceptional in none of the aforementioned activities. People that are "only" into stamp collecting, electric trains or bowling are considered one dimensional and odd.

This was all brought to light almost 30 years ago for me by a friend who was, of all things, state ping-pong champion. I asked him how often he played. His response, "At least 5 days a week, every day if I have the opportunity."

In other realms, namely sports, this is known as "commitment to excellence." If you are ready to woodshed for several years as R.J. did, literally giving up many or all other aspects of your life, you too can be among the elite. No wonder the phenomenon is often paraphrased in history as selling your soul to the devil.

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"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it."
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby allanlummox » Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:55 am

Bosco, I love it when you talk dirty...
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby badfinger » Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:45 am

It didn't come across to me that she was practising for the jam, but practising, per se. Most professional musicians will see the daily practice (as much as 6 hours per day) as their daily work, the musical equivalent of driving a bus, or delivering post, or...

There was a time when I would religiously guarantee myself a minimum hour each day. Now I often forget where the damned thing is! (That could explain a few things!)

As for "a three-time state fiddle... can show up whenever she wants to!" - there is never an excuse for discourteous behaviour. Never.

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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby jeffl » Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:22 pm

On the other hand, her main commitment is to her main band, the one that pays the bills, and we're always glad to have her. The lateness was not an issue in this particular situation. If it would have been a rehearsal, that would have been a different thing.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby allanlummox » Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:37 pm

On the same wavelength, perhaps, as my relationship with the fellow who did the mastering and much of the recording on "Please and Thank You".

He's one of the most musically appropriate people I've ever met...I've told him that any time he wants to step onstage with me, he is invited to - and he can make any sound he wants to, I know it'll fit.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby exodus » Wed May 26, 2004 3:12 am

Did u see Steve Vai's 30+ hour workout in one of those guitar mags?
It is crazy you do it in 3 days and practice lots of different stuff
for exemple:
Hour 1 - exercises
2 - scales
3 -chords
4 ear training
5 sight reading
6 composing songwriting
7 music theories

etc..
you practice 10 hours a day and rest your fingers on the other hours

Butthe best things are his ideas. I'll make you guys a big favor :) and write the final part of the article by Steve Vai:

"Becoming a rock star, a movie star, a powerful executive, or a rich and famous anything is easy compared to controlling the mind so that it stays focused without iterruption on the music within. I do not claim to have that muchcontrol, but I'm working on it. Some people have an abundance of natural talent and are more gifted in soem areas than others. I'm not naturally gifted; I had to work very hard to develop my chops and techniques...

...I think Being a musician and being abl to paly an instrument is about the coolest thing in the world. Creating music (and specially playing the guitar) is most rewarding when its based on pure passion. It's our birthright to play an instrument and to create


Of course you can toss the whole concept of this article and just do it your own way. However somethings don't change. The amount of focus, passion and time you put in are going to be reflected in your art. Whatever the case, I hope you find yoursoul in it all. THats the payoff."

Words by Steve Vai



I don't know what you guys think about that but it makes me rush to my guitar on the spot, so that's what i'm doing now...

See you guys later

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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby ricochet » Wed May 26, 2004 5:12 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-26-04 AT 01:13 AM (EST)]Yeah, I read that. It's a repeating cycle of workouts on different things over the 30 hour period, not a quickie course to success in 30 hours. He talks about the consuming drive and dedication to working at it that it takes to reach his level. Sounds like he pretty much outlined what he does.
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby thalo blues boy » Thu Jun 24, 2004 3:58 am

Segovia once said: "If I skip one day of practice, I notice the difference, if I skip two days, my family notices, if I skip three days,...the audience notices."
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RE: Practice before rehearsal or ja

Postby seanmack » Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:08 pm

What Via says about natural talent rings totally true. Take perhaps the two most famous rock drummers ever, keith moon and john bonham, every time the who wouldnt practice for more than two weeks, moon would forget how to play drums, so they had to play only the easiest songs till he got it back- which apprently was one song's worth, and then he was slamming away as usual. Bonham on the other hand practised everyday for hours on end form when he first got a kit to when he died. There is a huge difference in their style, but who could say who was the 'better drummer'?
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