In today’s jazz guitar practice routine, which I am using to prepare for my upcoming residency at the Marshall University Jazz Program, I didn’t have as much time in the woodshed as I wanted, so I had to find a way to shorten my routine, but still get out of it what I needed.
This is a common occurrence in my life, and in many of our lives, where other parts of our careers and lives take up a lot of time in our day, and time in the practice room often suffers because of this.
But, though I couldn’t get as much time in as I wanted, I didn’t let it get me down or distract me from reaching my goals, I simply did what I could do, put the time in that I could, and put total focus into each and every exercise to make sure I maximized my time in the woodshed.
Though I could only spend 90 minutes working on this material, with a good amount of focus, and variety in what I worked on, I ended up coming out at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I did what I could, which beats getting down on myself and worrying about how much practicing I didn’t do instead of being positive about things.
Throughout today’s guitar practice routine, I used a metronome that I got for free from this website.
Check it out if you need a metronome and can access one online, it’s a great free resource for any practicing guitarist.
To see the other entries in this series, check out my Guitar Practice Routine Page for the complete list of articles.
In the first half of my technique practice today I reviewed all of the modes of the F Melodic Minor Scale starting with a six-string root for each fingering.
I have been working on Melodic Minor all week, so this was a nice close to that time spent on this important and much needed scale, a lot of the tunes on the concert will be in minor keys and so I’ll be diggin’ deep into my MM vocab on stage.
For the second half of my technical practice, I worked on running a Reverse Samba rhythm over “So Danco Samba” and “Canto de Ossanha.”
This was a nice compliment to the time spent working on the normal Samba rhythm yesterday, plus it gave me some extra time spent on the duo tunes that I’ll be playing on the concert with pianist Sean Parsons.
Here is the Reverse Samba Rhythm that I practiced today written out over a Cmaj9 chord.
It was a good warm-up section, as well as a good review of the rhythms and scales that I’ll be needing to play my duo tunes on the concert, and a nice start to my Sunday morning practice session to boot.
After checking out the first scale pattern from Pat Martino’s book “Linear Expressions” yesterday, I decided to continue my refresher course on these fun patterns by working on his second scale pattern today.
I spend time running the pattern from memory with a metronome, improvising with the second pattern over “So What” and “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” on its own, as well as mixing both the first and second patterns together in my solos.
This section took about 30 minutes to complete and was a fun and productive way to review material that I haven’t worked on in years, but that has really helped my playing progress during different periods of my development.
Since time was short, I used this 30 minute section to review my solo tunes, “Stella by Starlight,” “Blue in Green” and “Northern Samba,” as well as work on the melodies to the duo tunes I will be playing on the concert, “Berimbau,” “So Danco Samba,” and “Canto de Ossanha.”
Sometimes I find that I work a lot on the blowing and comping aspects to tunes in the woodshed, and forget about how much material I can derive from the working the melody in different positions of the neck, different octave and with different fingerings.
So, having less time today wasn’t really a bad thing as it pushed me in this more melodic direction for my tune practice, which actually became the most productive part of my time spent in the woodshed.
All in all I wasn’t happy with the amount of time I had to spend on my jazz guitar practice routine today, but I didn’t let that get in the way of having fun and reaching my goals in the woodshed.
What did you practice today? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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