How to Kickstart Your Jazz Guitar Practice Routine After a Lull

How to Kickstart Your Jazz Guitar Practice Routine After a Lull

If you haven’t been playing your jazz guitar lately, and finding it hard to get back into a practice routine, then today’s post is for you.

I’ll be honest with you:

It’s not easy to maintain a jazz guitar practice routine.

Whether you’re a student at jazz school seeking to be a pro player, or retired and just want to learn a few jazz standards for your own enjoyment…

The pressures of life can easily disrupt the practice routine of even the most well-intentioned.

But:

There’s a simple approach to firing up your jazz guitar routine and getting back on track.

It’s my ‘Three Day Set-List’ Method. 

Let’s check it out!

Step 1: Choose 3 jazz standards you’ve learned (or half learned) in the past

Go back through your set list or song collection and choose 3 songs that you enjoyed playing in the past. This is going to be your “mini set-list” for the next few days.

 

 Step 2: Get all your ingredients in order

One of the biggest obstacles preventing you from kickstarting your practice again is when your tools and resources are hard to find.

Make sure you have all the “ingredients” at hand to cook your jazz cake, namely:

  • Your guitar is tuned and ready and waiting on a guitar stand (rather than in the guitar case).
  • Get backing tracks for each of the songs you chose in Step 1, and assemble a playlist on your computer or audio player. (Hint: as a shortcut, my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy has high-quality backing tracks for loads of jazz standards at multiple speeds). Otherwise, find some backing tracks on Youtube or elsewhere.
  • If you don’t have them already, get copies of the charts by looking online, or have your real book handy on a music stand.

In a nutshell, I want you to be able to just go straight in your practice session without having to look for tracks or charts. It’s a great feeling to be able to walk straight into your room and begin your “set”.

Step 3: Commit to practicing daily for the next 3 days

When you’re trying to get into a routine again, I find it works better if you don’t focus so much on the analytical and technical aspects of playing.

Instead, what you should do for the first 3 practice sessions is to just “get in the thick of it” and start playing the songs again that you chose in Step 1, running them through as if you were playing your set at a gig.

Don’t be too concerned if it’s all a bit rusty. I just want you to get started again making some music and not trying to get everything perfect. Put self-judgement aside!

So for the next 3 days, play through each of the tunes once or twice through doing the following:

  • Play the melody (reading from the Real Book or charts is perfectly okay)
  • Play through the comping
  • Improvise around the melody for a couple of choruses or do some simple lines you know
  • Play a chord melody version of the head (if you’re skill level permits)

Rinse and repeat for each of the 3 tunes you chose earlier. That’s it!

Benefits of the ‘Three Day Set List’ Method

Try this for 3 days, and you’ll be surprised at what’s happened:

  • You’ll feel like you’ve made a strong start back into your playing.
  • You’ll have the confidence of knowing you’ve got 3 tunes under your belt.
  • You’ll have given yourself a general workout on the guitar and things won’t feel so rusty.
  • You’ll have a good stock of material to develop specific soloing, comping, and chord melody approaches.
  • You’ll be more motivated to practice jazz guitar regularly, and feel like you’ve “gotten over the hump”.

Why this method works

By avoiding self-judgement, and simply committing to playing a set list daily for 3 days in a row, you’ll instantly have a set of tunes under your belt that you can improvise over a little.

That’s a very satisfying outcome for just 3 practice sessions, and it will give you the confidence and encouragement to continue your studies.

Here’s the thing:

Often players start to lose interest in jazz because they get too caught up in analytical approaches, technique, and “trying to get it right”. In doing so they miss the heart center of jazz, which is beautiful melodies, cool harmonies, and a living rhythm.

Once you have a solid set-list, it then becomes much easier to build more advanced approaches to soloing and so forth.

If you don’t have a set-list, it’s hard to put the various jazz techniques you’re learning into context. It’s very important to make sure you have a set of tunes you can play with familiarity.

If you’re stuck in a rut, I highly recommend you give this ‘3 Day Set-List’ method a try.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for jazz standards to build your set-list, with all the resources and backing tracks in one place, it might be worth giving my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy a try.

It’s got a huge collection of lessons on the site and features many courses focussed around learning classic jazz standards (melody, comping, soloing, chord melody and more).

The best part:

You can get a no obligation, 14-day FREE access pass to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy to see if it is a good fit for you, no credit card required. To get instant access, go here: https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial/

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on this very important topic of re-kickstarting your practice routine for jazz guitar.

How about you – what ideas do YOU have for getting your practice routine “back into gear?”

Leave a comment below with your ideas and thoughts on this topic…

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

Video: After You’ve Gone

Video: After You’ve Gone

I thought it would be nice to play you a chord melody arrangement of After You’ve Gone, a beautiful jazz standard that works really well for solo guitar.

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

Jazz Guitar Comping Lesson – 4 Cool Steps To Sound Like Ed Bickert

Jazz Guitar Comping Lesson – 4 Cool Steps To Sound Like Ed Bickert


Want to learn how to do jazz guitar comping like Ed Bickert? In this deep dive Youtube lesson, I share with you the 4 essential things you need to do to sound like him, which will supercharge your rhythm section chops (the lesson comes with PDF and audios of the examples played + backing tracks for practice – see the link above to get access).

By the way, I recently released an in-depth course on the secrets of Ed Bickert’s jazz guitar comping approaches, so you can learn the fast path to sounding just like Bickert on the bandstand.

Want to get FREE access to the Ed Bickert course? It’s included in my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy membership, my premiere online learning platform for jazz guitar, and I’m currently offering 14 days access free. (You also get a HUGE amount of other jazz guitar courses included in the membership on all aspects of jazz guitar instruction – improvising, comping, chord melody, learning standards, and a whole lot more.)

Get a 14-day free pass to the Academy by going here (LIMITED OFFER): http://bit.ly/2DXprNX

Happy woodshedding!

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education
www.fretdojo.com

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

JOE PASS Chord Phrases Guitar Lesson

JOE PASS Chord Phrases Guitar Lesson


Want to play a chord solo like Joe Pass? In this short Youtube lesson, I show you the method that I’ve used to incorporate some cool Joe Pass style chord licks into my playing (the lesson comes with PDF and audios of the examples played + backing tracks for practice).

By the way, I recently released an in-depth course on Joe Pass single line and chordal style based on his approaches over his landmark recording of “Watch What Happens”, from the album Intercontinental.

Want to get free access to the Joe Pass course? It’s included in FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy membership – Get a 14-day free pass to the Academy by going here: http://bit.ly/2DV8vYu

Happy woodshedding!

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education
www.fretdojo.com

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

Not progressing with your jazz guitar practice?

Not progressing with your jazz guitar practice?

What happens when a jazz guitarist goes on a random bush walk to clear his mind?

The answer:

A sudden burst of insight into what most jazz guitarists are doing wrong in their practice, and the primary thing you should focus on instead.

It might not be what you expect. Watch the video above to get a scoop.

 

Cheers,
Greg O’Rourke

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

Video – “Runny” Sunny Double Time Solo (Free PDF)

Video – “Runny” Sunny Double Time Solo (Free PDF)

Get your Handy PDF TAB & Backing Track Download:

Click this link to get a print friendly worksheet and backing track for your practice.

Thought you might be interested in this very cool doubletime jazz solo I recorded in my studio recently.

Here Stuart King, one of Australia’s greatest guitarists, is busting out some very tasty minor lines over Sunny (which I’ve aptly named…”Runny” after editing this video).

The best part:
 
Stuart’s agreed to give you a full accurate transcription of his improvised solo completely for FREE! (I’ve also included the backing track Stuart uses).
 
Download it above so you can follow along with the video (very cool substitutions are being used in this).
 
Have fun with this and hope you find it useful.

==

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Want To Become...
A Jazz Guitar Jedi?

•  FREE Guide: Jazz Guitar Practice Checklist

• FREE 49 Page eBook: The Top Ten Mistakes Jazz Guitarists Make in Their Practice Session, for FREE as well!

• My hottest tips for boosting your jazz guitar playing, delivered straight to your inbox!

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