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practice matters
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6507 posts
Feb 22, 2020
10:44 PM
its obvious i know, but case in point:
its easy to sit around, on yer laurels so to speak. you know you know, yes you mess it up 50% of the time but glass half full you know, that means you hit it right on half the time, right?

ive been doing that. i learned the song, i know how it goes, then i get to band practice and i play it but i make a small blunder and a mental note to practice that. or i think yes that solo could be better i must do a bit of work on that when i get home, but next week is here already and i didnt get around to it, so week after week the same thoughts, the same procrastination

we had a 'big' gig yesterday. i knew it was coming, and i knew we were in name company and there was gpnna be a decent crowd of people who mostly would not have seen the band before...even though weve been gigging under this name 3.5 years, in some form.
the main worry for me was that my chromatic songs were on the list and im rarely happy with those, so the fear of this gig, which turned out to have hundreds of people watching, was enough that i started practicing every day, with the chromatic. then i remembered the Kim Wilson lick on the diatonic which i need to get right, and started adding in some practice on that, and including the lyric i forget. then, i thought about that gliss in Mellow down easy where i am supposed to hit 8 draw and miss ithalf the time, so i started practicing that move several times a day. oh what else do i get wrong? she caught The Katy, hit the octaves on the intro, and dont start it too fast. work out something better to do in the second chorus of the I'm Ready solo, and stick it...
so a flurry of activity over a week of actually going through the list and attending to all the little things i have trouble with, mean to get around to then forget...
and guess what? the result was a smooth performance, an unworried mind. who'd have thought it would be so easy.

of course theres a lot of background underneath it all; years of work shoring it up enabling a burst of intense focus to kick in, but it makes me wonder, what if i actually had a regular practice session discipline going on. what could i achieve now if i really dedicated some regular attention in a systematic fashion instead of these fads and flurries of work.

i have another gig in 9 days; another one which might have people watching and thinking about job offers. my instinct is to relax after that good outing yesterday but im going to resist that. yes, today i'm taking it easy.

i guess im just blowing steam here, maybe trying to impress on myself how much difference it made to practice and focus on details, and that it doesn't have to be long sessions, just regular and focussed
463 posts
Feb 23, 2020
10:04 AM
Reminds me of Tomlin Leckie's 10 minutes for 28 days. I've been applying that to my bending with what I think are some decent results, tho I may/will have to extend it to forever.... Details can be a slog, but striking how when you get them to the level of comfort how good it feels. And how much more successfully they become part of improvs.

Phil Pennington

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