Hi Tim hi to you all!
I have a basic question that even if I play guitar since more then 20 years I still find not really covered and I think it is a reason why I struggle in developing further in my playing.
We are exposed to thousands of licks and often these are presented (also by Tim) as just a phrases without any connection to the harmony (chords).
In my experience there are phrases or licks as you prefer to call them that works fine over tension chords (min7 or dominant) and other that works fine over major but it also depend on the context, are we in a minor tonality or major what is the function of this chord? and so on…
So when I am exposed to a lick without any reference to the context like in the line of the week I don’t know how to use it if not as a technical exercise…
I am thinking to start creating my own lick book but my problem is thinking how to organize it in order to cover all the possible harmonic situation, so thinking for static chord? thinking at common progressions? referring to standards.. but often in real life chords (unless you are playing in a modal static tun) last at most one measure so you need a micro lick for each chord, so?…or?…
I am sure my approach is wrong and overcomplicated and there is a clear reason why Tim does in this way, so could you please let me understand how to use these licks/lines in order to evolve my playing?
I spend a lot of time practicing every day (at least 2 hours) but I think I am not using this time at the best…. maybe I neglect something..
Thank you for your help, I al looking forward to hearing your answers!
September 1, 2012
Thanks for the post. I include the “lines of the week” to give you ideas. I think that playing something that you have never played is a nice way to invite creativity into your practice time. The majority of the “lines of the week” have a harmonic context. In this case, my advice is to try the lines on tunes that you know. The idea is not to learn 50 lines and string them together in a solo, for example. The idea is to give you a new fingering, or harmonic tool that stimulates your own creativity to create your own lines.
When I present chromatic phrases without a harmonic context, the idea is to give you a sound that is not tied down to a specific chord. If you like to analyze the ideas, then find a fragment that fits into a harmonic context, then realize that the rest will sound “outside.” In order for this to work, you must 1.) like the sound of the phrase. 2.) be willing to play it without fear over different chord changes while enjoying the dissonance. 3.) Be willing to “not think about, and only hear” what you are playing.
Try not to “over think” it. If you like the line, figure out what it could sound good over, and try it. Let go of the need to be perfect with every note…enjoy the dissonance and resolve the line with chord tones over the next chord.
Thank you Tim! It is more clear now.. I think I over think too much and I should be more open and relaxed to sounds as you are saying without fear of justifying theoretically everything I play..
Maybe it could be useful a lesson where you show how to use licks in general to evolve our playing or to feed creativity. I am sure many of us are already able to do it instintively some like me, being adult students need a more rational direction in order to let it go.
BTW I will put in my practice plan to learn every week your line of the week, something will happen…
Thank you again, it is an honour to get you advices and get into you thinking!!
September 1, 2012
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