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Breaking out of ruts


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Learn a few songs by someone you like in a different genre that you normally play. Or learn a few songs by someone who's playing style is much different than yours. It can give you a fresh perspective.
So Many Drummers. So Little Time...
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Ask yourself when playing, am I jamming or am I learning? I had a guitar teacher who brought this up & I was amazed how much I jam by 'memory' vs. blazing new territory. I try to keep a 50-50 balance of jamming and learning. You are better off with 5 minutes of learning than 2 hours of jamming. I wish I could improve at the rate of learning the guitar that first year I started. -Everybody 'hits the wall' eventually, sometimes it takes a song on the radio to get you out of it, or go see a band, or turn on a concert on VH1 for inspiration. (I checked out Vince Gill today on A&E, and have been playing country style all day. I nicked a bunch of licks from him, free) New ideas are out there, you just gotta find them. Keep on playing, never give up. Matt
In two days, it won't matter.
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Try playing along with Gregorian Chants, study scale modes, especially the Eastern European and East Indian ones, try grooving on an Em9 - CMaj7 using this scale 1, m2, 4, 5, m6, 7, 8. That should break some new ground ! The danger is when the groove becomes the rut.
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[quote]Originally posted by dadgadget: [b]Try playing along with Gregorian Chants, study scale modes, especially the Eastern European and East Indian ones, try grooving on an Em9 - CMaj7 using this scale 1, m2, 4, 5, m6, 7, 8. That should break some new ground ! [/b][/quote] I'm not sure of what the official term for that scale is, me and my buds call that the "spanish melodic minor, flat 7", or the Neil Young "Cortez the Killer" scale. :)
In two days, it won't matter.
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I'll stand with Hippie on that one....rip some country or bluegrass licks, or attempt too, it will definitely enhance your play big time. Plus it'll freak out your bandmates when you do a break with these lightning fast doublestops, banjo rolls, and pedal steel licks. [ 11-26-2001: Message edited by: strat0124 ]
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in
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When I practice, I try to focus on problem areas. There are always problems to work out. If you find yourself short of "inspiring problems," try recording yourself playing material that you *think* you know well. Review the tape and see what jumps out as "not quite right."
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Ruts are caused by "no new data". Most of us get to a place where we can PLAY and then stop learning. For ruts I go back to the study hall. I learn new music, new exercises, play/improvise on very complicated chord patterns that change key radically, often. Or if I've been doing that a lot I'll play in one key or mode for a long while and try and create something fresh. I'll play blusey, with wide arpeggiated intervals, or chromatically, modally, tonally, "out there", inside, funky, rock 'n roll-y, jazz, country-ish, rhythmically diverse. I'll learn a jazz standard tune in chord melody. Or I might pick up my nylon string that I rarely play and use my fingers with my lame classical technique. Or I'll record my gigs or studio work and analyse my playing and pinpoint my problem areas. Then I'll write up a long/short term lesson plan, as if I were my own teacher - which I am. (I've done a lot of guitar teaching!). Then I'll review my progress weekly, with notes and a checklist. What generally unsticks me the quickest is to learn a solo by someone, if I'm trying to improve my soloing, and ask myself why he/she chose to play that. This is the best thing for me because it directly addresses the ear which is, of course, where music lives and primarily wells from - in a matter of speaking. But also I'd suggest to learn as much as possible about music itself. It's a vast subject that's commonly under-understood. My 2 cents.

All the best,

 

Henry Robinett

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Ruts are caused by "no new data". Most of us get to a place where we can PLAY and then stop learning. For ruts I go back to the study hall. I learn new music, new exercises, play/improvise on very complicated chord patterns that change key radically, often. Or if I've been doing that a lot I'll play in one key or mode for a long while and try and create something fresh. I'll play blusey, with wide arpeggiated intervals, or chromatically, modally, tonally, "out there", inside, funky, rock 'n roll-y, jazz, country-ish, rhythmically diverse. I'll learn a jazz standard tune in chord melody. Or I might pick up my nylon string that I rarely play and use my fingers with my lame classical technique. Or I'll record my gigs or studio work and analyse my playing and pinpoint my problem areas. Then I'll write up a long/short term lesson plan, as if I were my own teacher - which I am. (I've done a lot of guitar teaching!). Then I'll review my progress weekly, with notes and a checklist. What generally unsticks me the quickest is to learn a solo by someone, if I'm trying to improve my soloing, and ask myself why he/she chose to play that. This is the best thing for me because it directly addresses the ear which is, of course, where music lives and primarily wells from - in a matter of speaking. But also I'd suggest to learn as much as possible about music itself. It's a vast subject that's commonly under-understood. My 2 cents.

All the best,

 

Henry Robinett

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[quote]Originally posted by Hippie: [b]You are better off with 5 minutes of learning than 2 hours of jamming.[/b][/quote] * Buy a book with some jazz / rock / blues chops and try some new riffs. * Learn a new -for you- song from a band you don't listen frequently just to enrich your current style. * A very important thing to change: Experiment with new sounds. Get a stomp box, a multiFx processor, a wah, a talk vox. It works GREAT for keyboard players to just get a new board and start playing. Or simply get another guitar. My guitar player gets possesed by the inner spirit from a Gibson or his loved Ibanez and plays according the instrument.

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Senior Product Manager, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus

at Fender Musical Instruments Company

 

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