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Jazz Practice

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Drama Happy and Sad Masks ImageJazz Practice focuses on the practice needed to become a better musician.

There is no doubt that to become a better musician, you need to practice. What you practice will indeed influence what kind of musician you become, infact, whatever you do with your time will influence what kind of musician you become.

Over the years we at notz.com have tried numerous approaches to practice, some with great results others have failed to produce any results.

There is no one method that is best for all, but here are a few gudelines which you may find useful in your daily practice:

bulletIf you really don't feel like practicing at that moment - stop, don't practice, take a break, get some fresh air and don't beat yourself up about it !
bulletRepetition creates boredom, boredom decreases motivation therefore work on a wide variety of things, in different orders at different times ( No, I must do 1/2 hour of scales and arpeggios to warm up ! )
bulletDecide what your practice goal for the session is, determine how you are going to achieve that goal, define the obstacles and then set about removing those obstacles.
bulletYou are not a machine you are a human being and therefore cannot always practice to order, don't beat yourself up !
bulletBreak your practice time up into numerous areas:
bulletEar Training
bulletSight Reading
bulletTranscribing
bulletScales and Arpeggios
bulletPatterns and Licks
bulletLearning Tunes
bulletImprovisation
bulletReading
bulletProgression Analysis
bulletetc.....

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Notz Recommended Reading

The Art of Practicing : A Guide to Making Music from the Heart by Madeline Bruser, Yehudi Menuhin

Art Of Practicing Book Cover ImageMadeline Bruser, a New York based musician looks at the art of practicing. Her approach is from a "Classical" music perspective and focuses on the need for correct posture and right mental attitude Sections of the book look at therapys such as the Alexander Technique and the physical strains practicing and playing an instrument. Although the approach is from a "Classical" perspective, the book is extremely relevant to all musicians. A Must read.

 

The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green, W. Timothy Gallwey

Inner Game Of Music Book Cover ImageFirst published in 1987, "the point of the inner gamne of music is ... to reduce mental interferances that inhibit the full expression of human potential. What this book offers is a way to acknowledge and overcome these obstacles in order to bring a new quality to the experience and learning of music". This was one of the first book to examine what it means to be a musician, a classic, and should be in everyone's music library.

 

With Your Own Two Hands : Self-Discovery Through Music/50482589 by Seymour Bernstein

This is a new Hal Leonard publication which has received great reviews. Focused mainly for the pianist, it is of use to us all. ( Any way who doesn't play piano - Chopsticks anyone !

 

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Last modified: March 22, 2002