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  1. #1
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    Default What is the best way to remind yourself of licks?

    This is hard to explain. I am going down to the blues jam tonight. I have spent a bit of time getting Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines under my belt. My problem is that I only remember a few of the licks, in the "glory of battle", probably 30%. In Jazz Blues Assembly lines you learn some licks to go over the 1, some that go over the 4, and some that go over the 5. I can remember maybe two from each group. There are music stands at the jams so I could print something out to remind me of the way different licks start. Once I play the first few notes, the rest comes back to me. Perhaps the first 5 notes of each tab? Any other way?

  2. #2
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    I have those crutches myself I depend on but hey, it's my band. Sometimes, even though I have played a song 100x, when live, I will have a mental block and just can't think of an opening riff or a lead break run. My little onstage "senior moments." Thus every song has a 1 page cheat sheet I refer to in a binder on my stand. I put them in set list order and flip them as I go. 75% of the time I never even look but about 5% of the time it saves my ass. We just added Radar Love to our set list and those bass runs near the end are easy to forget so they are on my cheat sheet :o

    Practice and muscle memory help alot. In a blues "jam" I'm not sure if you want music other than chord progressions out front. I have done a few of these and even on my worst playing most of the guys made me still feel welcome. Just relax (easy to say) and play what you feel, if you remeber the correct notes play'em, if not....jam!

    Good luck, it takes some guts to get up and jam with a bunch of blues cats ;)
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  3. #3
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    I am trying to break myself from "pent wanking", which I do pretty well (if I say so myself). It's like from a woody allen movie. A woman in 18th century Russia says to Woody when smoking an after sex cigarette "you are the greatest lover in the world". Woody answers "that's because I practice a lot when I am alone".

    Bottom line I can pent wank with the best of them, but I am trying to break that habit.

  4. #4

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    Take it 1 or 2 licks at a time, and really digest them so you can apply the idea over any root, not just the original. From there, try to move the lick to a different CAGED form - some ideas won't really work in some forms, but you can get close. Alter the line slightly to fit within the form. This also includes different registers - learn it in every playable octave.

    You can go another step and alter the quality of the line - Make a Dominant line fit over a Minor 7 by flatting any 3rds. Voila! 2 licks for the price of one! Now do it for Major 7 by going back to the original line and replacing b7's with Natural 7ths. Again, not everything will translate, but it's a geat way to really delve further into an idea.

    The biggest thing is to take it slowly. You can't apply every new idea immediately - pick one and stick with it. Then do another next week. I've been on gigs where my head was swimming with under-developed ideas....I end up playing the same old stuff. If you start to think in this analytical manner, you'll naturally start to make more music by altering phrase over and over again. You're actually creating lines, rather than just playing memorized licks. That's where it starts, but the next step is to push beyond that initial stage of just mimicking.

    Also, remember the importance of articulation. A single phrase can be played in a multitude of ways by using vibrato, bends, legato, rhythmic alterations....try to play the same lick 3 different ways - same fingering, but differnt articulation. Blues music is a great resource for this type of thing. Listen to how BB can restate a line numerous times without repeating himself exactly.

    I think at some point it's necessary to think as much about the "how" as the "what"...if you know what I mean.

    J
    Last edited by Josh Gibson; 09-13-2008 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #5

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    Focus on a lick for a short amount of time (maybe 5min).
    Take a 10-20 min break.

    Then focus and take a break again.
    Do it approx 4-5 times.

    Then get a good night's sleep.
    While you are sleeping your brain will keep working on it.

    There's a smart dude (I don't remember his name) that studied the brain and wrote a book. He says that is one of the best ways to learn something: Short repetive focussed study seperated by breaks and a relaxing night's sleep.

    Also, try to visualize the licks while you are away from your guitar (you probably already do this because we are all so obsessed :D )

  6. #6
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    Well here is my post jam report. It was a disaster. The other players were fine this time, but my playing wasn't. First I went into a Funky Country Blues room. Blues my foot. I got there early and got a twin reverb amp to use. Not too bad. One of my issues is that each time I play I get a different amp and often times my Electromatic is so clean that is almost impossible to play. After they broke into Secret Agent Man and we were up to 4 guitar players I went over to another room called Intermediate Rock Blues. Again, blues my foot. But these guys, from the guitarist to the harmonica player to the drummer were really good. I got stuck playing through some funky Roland amp that was almost impossible for me to play on. So clean that I sounded like a child playing with pros. I finally got a Marshall that had a little distortion, but but that time I was exhausted, and almost sick from the heat.

    Forget the Jazzed Blues I was hoping to be able to play. I was barely able to play in the correct key in that type of situation. Anyway, I think I need to start bring a distortion box with me so I am less affected by the amp I happen to get. Also, I am only going to play in blues rooms from now on.

  7. #7

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    I am not familiar with places that have Jam nights with different rooms (Funky Country Blues Room, Intermediate Rock Blues Room, etc). What type of place is it? Is it a school? Is there an audience in the rooms or mostly just the musicians. I'm just curious. Sounds neat that there is a variety of rooms.

  8. #8
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    It is a practice studio that becomes a "club" once a week. There is no audience (and no alcohol, I might add) just lots and alot of musicians. Here is the link:


    movie about the studio

    I found this movie too.

    another movie about the Studio
    Last edited by richb2; 09-15-2008 at 01:22 PM.

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