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Thread: Connecting licks

  1. #1
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    Connecting licks

    I have trouble playing extended lines. My mind seems only to be able to comprehend or plan a few notes at a time, and when I try to play anything which is isn't simply up and down a scale, I find myself being limited to only a few notes at a time (this is in the context of improvisation). I have heard from one or two sources that one of the tricks to playing longer lines lies in learning a multitude of short licks and then piecing them together, but I anticipate that my brain would not work fast enough for me to connect them on the fly in different combinations and variations. In fact, I find myself astounded at how musicians in general can think so far ahead of what they play.
    Is it really a matter of practicing these small licks, putting them together, playing them over some music?

    I guess indirectly I'm also asking, can the speed at which the mind thinks about and anticipates the music be improved? Is there anyone out there who used to process their playing slowly, and after however much practice, is now able to think ahead or think more quickly? And if so, what is it that improves this?

    As always, any replies are much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Four note patterns. Our ear likes to hear patterns.
    Chord tones are four note patterns aka R-3-5-7 or R-b3-5-b3 or R-R-8-8
    Think in 4 note patterns tied to the chord. Not just chord tone notes but end each four note phrase with a chord tone note. Of course follow the changes.

    Songs tune then embellish with a four note phrase.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx...eature=channel
    Last edited by Malcolm; 11-18-2010 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    Four note patterns. Our ear likes to hear patterns.
    Chord tones are four note patterns aka R-3-5-7 or R-b3-5-b3 or R-R-8-8
    Think in 4 note patterns tied to the chord. Not just chord tone notes but end each four note phrase with a chord tone note. Of course follow the changes.

    Songs tune then embellish with a four note phrase.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehOx...eature=channel
    Thanks for your reply Malcolm! When I read your post I wasn't too sure what you meant, but after watching that link you've sent, I feel like I've learnt a very important lesson!!
    I guess it's time to slow it doooown

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Registered User urucoug's Avatar
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    Wow, great resource, Malcolm. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
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    I would advise him to practice meditation. From my personal experience I can say that it really improves your memory. I am a budding musician and I used to have problems remembering the notes. Finally I started practicing meditation. I used to meditate for nearly one hour per day. It has improved my memory to a considerable extent. At present I am not having problems memorizing notes.

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    Last edited by nagrm; 01-14-2011 at 10:54 AM.
    Appreciate to be appreciated

  6. #6
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Using chord tones - four note patterns - notice how each pattern moves to the next four note pattern, i.e.
    7-8-8-8 ---- 7-5-4-3 ---- 4-5-5-5 ---- 4-3-4-5
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-05-2011 at 09:13 PM.

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