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Here's the question we all want answered!!!

 
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kirk95
StarShip Captain


Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 277
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 4:08 pm    Post subject: Here's the question we all want answered!!! Reply with quote

How do we practice to approach the unapproachable Scott Henderson level of excellence?

What should we be practicing?

How should we be practicing?

How much should we be practicing?

How do we begin to climb the mountain?

This should be good..........hehehehehehehe Wink
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scottl



Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 52
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ear Training
Ear Training
Ear Training

Learn plenty of lines from Shorter, Corea, Brecker, Trane, etc....

Work on your time feel and phrasing.

Did I mention Ear Training???

Lastly, completely disregard anything you ever read about feel playign versus theory playing. Henderson is a theory library. You must understand all about melodic minor, chord scales, guide tones, and triadic superimposition. No way around it.

Of course, you (we) still won't sound like Scott, but don't let that discourage you (us)! Hopefully, you will get to that special level though with your own voice!!

Scott
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kirk95
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Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 277
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So scottl how do you practice ear training?
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fusion58



Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 101
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Here's the question we all want answered!!! Reply with quote

kirk95 wrote:
How do we practice to approach the unapproachable Scott Henderson level of excellence?


When I was at G.I.T. I was fortunate enough to spend many an hour hanging out with Scott in practice rooms, asking questions, jamming, trading licks, etc.

There were two things that struck me right away about Scott. First, Scott is what I would call a "perpetual student" himself. He sees the study of music as an ongoing process that ends only when you kick the bucket. He also seems to believe he can learn something from almost anyone--his students included. Second, Scott is always striving to expand his musical vocabulary. He never lets up. He reminds me of a guy whose passion is collecting stamps or rare coins or something--except he collects licks and lines--whether blues licks or rock licks or jazz licks or whatever.

What I remember most about Scott is that, of all the guitar instructors at G.I.T., he was perhaps the most world-renowned AND the most humble, most approachable, and most encouraging. He never condescended to a student, no matter what the student's playing level. He always took every student seriously and never gave the impression that he took himself seriously (which he had every right to do.)

I probably haven't answered Kirk's question here, but I hope I've at least been able to shed some small light on the subject.
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Tim Goynes



Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 19
Location: Denton, TX

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Lerner is right on the money. Time, rhythm, theoretical knowledge, and a good ear are all things that we should continually improve on, and fortunately, we CAN actually practice these things.

Transcribing as many licks as you can was also a good point he made. You have to have a vocabulary to start from, that you can build on.

Another thing, and one that we all often forget to mention: LEARN TUNES! Get a RealBook (or several of them) and try to learn and memorize a tune a week, or month, or however you wish to do it. The important part is memorization. It actually helps with improvising--when you know the tune up, down, through, and sideways, you can focus on MUSIC.

My method for learning a tune is this--first, read through the melody, and then commit it to memory, one line at a time, until you can play the whole melody with no trouble. Then, do the same thing with the changes--first just learn the chords themselves, and then go back and, by memory, play the arpeggios of those chords through the entire tune in constant 8th notes (or 16th notes on a ballad). Then if you're really adventurous, make a simple chord-melody of the tune. This seems time consuming, but you'll find that after doing this, you KNOW that tune, and you won't forget it.

As far as how much time you need to spend practicing, I think the emphasis should be on quality instead of how much. I know tons of guys at UNT (not just guitar players) that spend so much time practicing, and yet they still don't sound good. I practice guitar for one or maybe two hours a day, 3 or 4 on a very good day...and I have several days that I just don't even touch it. But here's what I do, which has worked great for me over the past few years. Basically, I just work on learning and playing over standard tunes, and/or writing tunes of my own and playing over them.

At the same time, I'm concentrating hard on playing with good time and being really critical of nailing the changes, like making sure I hit that altered dominant right or whatever. It's also important in doing this that you try to play over a new tune each time (in this case they don't necessarily have to be memorized, just pull up a tune in the book, read it and try to play through it). If you know All of Me, then go on to a new tune...All of Me will still be there when you come back. Another good exercise to do like this is to just come up with a totally random, non-diatonic chord progression, and try to play over it. Who knows, you might even come up with a cool new tune in the process!

In doing this, you're working on all aspects of your playing--melodic ability, time feel, chops, etc...all at the same time, in a MUSICAL context. That's really the key--to always practice things in a musical context, and to me, that's why this method of practice is so effective, because you're doing it automatically since you're playing through tunes. Again, there's guys here at school (and everywhere else) who can BURN scalar and melodic exercises and what have you, and they can have better chops than anybody, but they don't seem to bother with putting that into practice in a tune of some sort--which, isn't that the whole point? And as a result, they have slow progress.

This is turning into an awfully long post, so let me wrap it up. Basically, what I've added to this pile is, LEARN TUNES, and whatever you practice, PRACTICE IT IN A MUSICAL CONTEXT (read: in a tune).

So anyway, that's my two cents. Hope it helps!

Regards,
Tim G.
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clovis



Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 40
Location: Waco, TX

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could't agree more...learning tunes and applying what you learn to playing in tune is most important. One thing my teachers have told me about their students over the years is that they always have the hardest time learning all these nice jazz lines and using them. They can play the line by itself....play the line really stiff, note for note as the learned it over a backing....but can't really take that line and do anything original from it. I think you have to learn (as Henderson has teached many times) FROM the line and not just learn the line itself. As Tim said...learn tunes....Joe Pass used to tell students at GIT "SCREW Scales!!....Learn tunes". At the end of the "Evening with Joe Pass" instrc video...you can hear Joe tell students, "Playing scales won't get you girls...learn tunes!"

I couldn't agree more....and this is just my personal opinion, but I feel it's better to learn one tune a month really well...inside and out...than to learn half of 10 tunes in the same time. When I go to learn a tune, I ask my friend's who've played it what they know about playing it......I analysis all the scales, arps, triads, subs, etc that will work for it...I try and practicing playing the arpeggios up to the 9th and back for each chord to get a feel for the sound of the changes....I think spending A LOT of time on a tune and really making it a part of you is 2nd to none in musical improvement....I try and get everything I learn under my skin....so it becomes a natural thing I play and not something I'm forcing.

John R
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Dexter



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ve read so many things about GIT that have made me to believe that it is the ultimate school for the guitarist.Problem is I live in Greece and that means I have to take a bold step to come to US for lessons. Beside the financial aspect of the whole matter , I ll have to leave my whole little world behind , only to find everything changed and distant when (and IF) I come back.What would you do in my place.I am 25 and love the guitar.How much would it cost me to attend classes and of course live in the US until I graduated?I would love some info from people who attended classes there, because their word surely counts more than the GIT site, for me.
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evan



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kirk95 wrote:
So scottl how do you practice ear training?

there is an excellent, online, free eartrainer
www.good-ear.com

try and learn the sound of all the intervals

you could also make a tape of yourself playing various intervals all over the fretboard and try and learn them that way.

then learn the sound of all the triad inversions - maj, dim, aug, dim.
then various 7th chords.
and scales....

it's very helpful to sing along with your playing if you don't already...you don't need a good voice, just be able to hit the notes.

hope this helps Very Happy
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Ivers



Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For ear training, try this site.

http://www.earplane.com/

I've found it very helpful, and the ranking feature adds a little incentive for the childishly competitive among us.

Another thing is to always try to figure out intervals and lines when you listen to music without having the instrument to transcribe with. If you've got the basic interval awareness down, you can improve a lot by doing this.
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daguitar



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: about practique Reply with quote

iīm agree with all i think that in the bottom of our minds we all know what to do but that donīt make it easier.
learn a song(in a deep way)is for sure the best way to develop your abilities,but after a few years teaching i realize that increase our improvisation skills is also very hard,usually we donīt know what to do when we know all about a song(lines,scales...)but you want practique just improvisation.i think this may help some of you:after your training session turn on the radio and play along whit whatever is sounding try to aproach the song changes in the moment and use the liks that you just learn.it is funny and very instructive.
i try to show a complementary work not oposite to learn tunes and practice everything you know over them.
best whises daguitar Very Happy
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Vinicius Moulin



Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi , this is my first post here..
please, feel free to correct me in english mistakes ... I'm trying to work this out...

so, as Dexter , I would love to have some info about people that had studied at Git.....
I'm going to mtake berklee world scolarship tour autitions here in brazil, and i need to know how much it costs to live at boston... you know, food, housing, can anybody help ???
thanks !
ps-> (nice forum...)
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jazzyblues



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 2
Location: northen CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I turn on DirectTV and go to one of their music channels - jazz, singers, swing, R&B - and try to play along with the melody. I especially like learning from singers.
It helps me to not only learn melodies to songs, but it also forces my ear to know where the notes I'm hearing are on the fretboard.
It may be stupid to some people, but it helps me. Very Happy
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RJ7



Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sat in a jam session with Scott at G.I.T. There were about 8 of us. They would play a jazz progression and go in a circle and just improvise. At the beginning when it was Scott's turn he would blow out this stuff that was like YUK!!! This SUCKS!!! But as the session went on he started hitting this really cool stuff.

It turned out that he was "focusing" on playing diminished triads over the changes. He was experimenting right there as we went. Just messing around and learning what sounded good. Making the licks his.

Scott has some good vids where he shares approaches to playing. He would probably say sit down and experiment with those ideas. Make them personal.

RJ7
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