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Old 08-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Playalongs are very good. I used them as well. When I was training to walk bass, I used Ron Carter walks that were recorded with just drums and a piano playing the basic chords so that I could walk with it. And someone even thought enough to realize that these recordings might go too fast for a student and re-recorded them playing a half-speed so that those fast, tricky areas could be distinctly heard. Makes all the difference.

I have also used YT as a guide. When I play jazz, blues or ragtime guitar--I NEVER use a pick. I play with my bare fingers. I can't use fingerpicks--bass-player's fingers, I just can't get used to them but the intricacies of the music preclude using a plectrum.

But, anyway, playalongs are, IMO, a necessary training device.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Your ear is your best friend. Listen like crazy to others that improvise that you just can't get enough of. Listen so much so that you can sing all or a lot of their solos. Then figure it out on your instrument. Learning to improvise is like learning a foreign language- you can't expect to learn a language you never hear spoken out loud. You don't learn a language from a book, you learn it by immersing yourself in it, by living in a country that speaks it as their native language for a period of time. You also can't be afraid of babbling or making mistakes when you're first starting out! No child ever learned to speak by reading a book, they learn through loads of experimentation and saying things many times wrong before they learn to say it right.
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