Having a Lack of Motivation to Practice Chord Inversions and Modes

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by Subshadow, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Subshadow

    Subshadow SS.org Regular

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    I recently made the decision to take private lessons from a highly regarded jazz guitarist in my area and after returning from the first lesson with my study material, I lack a lot of the motivation to learn the chords and modes he has prescribed to me.

    The study material is chord inversions for maj7, 6, mi7, 7, and 9 chords and the scales are all the degrees of the major modes. My teacher said to take as much time as I needed to learn, but I gave myself a personal deadline of 3 weeks which is in a few days.
    I desperately want to move on to the next lesson, but the one I'm learning now is a huge roadblock I can't seem to pass. Is there a way to help myself be motivated to learn the material? Or maybe some assistance to help make memorizing it easier?
     
  2. asher

    asher So Did We

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    Sounds like a great thing to bring up with your teacher ;)
     
  3. Subshadow

    Subshadow SS.org Regular

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    Well I'm asking here because I wanted to do the material independently since I don't meet with him regularly. I would ask him, but I don't want to bother him with something like this.

    He's a busy man and I don't want to be a nuisance.
     
  4. asher

    asher So Did We

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    I wasn't trying to be snide. I understand the concerns - but he's still your teacher. It's part and parcel of being good at his job here to do more than just throw assignments at you. If he's not actually helping you understand and learn, he's a ....ty teacher.

    Could you just give him a call or shoot him an email? "Hey, I'm not sure this is worth a full lesson and I'd really like to get this under my belt before we do our next one, but I'm really stuck here...."
     
  5. Subshadow

    Subshadow SS.org Regular

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    Well he said specifically that if I needed any help to call and ask, but it's not him it's just my personal apprehension to not call him. And I understand what you're saying, but I would really appreciate the advice before I resort to calling him for help.
     
  6. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Few are the lucky guys that have the chance to train with a highly skilled musician.
    Take advantage of this wonderful chance you have.
     
  7. Fryderyczek

    Fryderyczek Hates UG, the ....s

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    Perhaps try to find a few songs which feature these chords and learn them that way. Or perhaps learn them and write your own songs with these chords, learning songs is one of the most fun ways of learning.
     
  8. FRETPICK

    FRETPICK Banned

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    Motivation: Extra Musical Tools at your disposal.

    Remembering: Visualisation Connections.

    To Not Call Him: There are two types of Guitar Teacher.

    1) A Driving Instructor where allotted time runs out.

    2) A Guitar Teacher is for life, not just for Christmas.

    Call,email or phone. Test the commitment and see which one of the two categories they fall into but more importantly, which one you prefer.
     
  9. eggzoomin

    eggzoomin Derp Contributor

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    Two ways to view this:

    1. Find a way to practice something that you're not really enjoying.
    2. Practice things you enjoy

    I'm not that great at the first one. Where there are really tedious things I need to power through, I use the Pomodoro technique. I quite like the free Pomodoro Challenge app on my phone. Practising that way means you can easily chalk up practice time on stuff you're finding unpalatable and monitor it as the days pass.

    On the other hand, there are also benefits to pursuing only what interests you or gets you enthusiastic. About 15 years ago, I felt that I ought to learn jazz because I wanted to cop some fusion licks. I went to the local well-respected jazz guy and he sat me down with "Stella By Starlight" and told me to call him once I'd learnt it - "Autumn Leaves" was up next. I realised that he intended to walk me through to fusion right from the start of more traditional, Joe Pass styled guitar and realised that would take a massive amount of work - my desire to master that style was far less than my motivation to do so.

    Obviously I never learnt "Stella By Starlight" and spent my time working on other things that I *was* motivated towards instead - engineering, improvising, chops, songwriting, other musical styles etc. End result? I've still progressed and become a better musician, but I still can't play "proper" jazz (although I can play over changes when I have to now). However, the things I enjoyed and pursued shaped my style just as surely as grinding out hours on stuff I wasn't digging and I actually enjoyed the process! :)
     
  10. octatoan

    octatoan Acoustic tech-death!

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    But Stella . . . :O
     
  11. extendedsolo

    extendedsolo SS.org Regular

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    I guess what is your intention by taking lessons? Goals long term? If you are wanting to be Joe Pass level of chord melody and Coltrane level improviser overnight, not going to happen (if ever). If you are wanting to learn jazz songs and be able to jam, try to learn the chords and then find a couple jazz standards online and try to incorporate them. Play ii-V-I progressions of the chords. I always find learning jazz chords to be kind of daunting since they pretty much use all 4 fingers and there are so many inversions shapes etc. Maybe break it up into learning for only 15 minutes at a time? It's hard to know what your current level is.

    What I always find helpful is to think of my end goal and realize that "I have to go here to get to THERE" Like if I wanted to go to Disney world by driving, but didn't leave my house because 20 hours is too long to be in a car. Think about how great it will be when you get there, because with enough patience and practice you will.
     
  12. TheFightingCPA

    TheFightingCPA SS.org Regular

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    I also recently started taking lessons from a well respected jazz musician here in vegas (might even be the same instructor maybe?). The way he had me learn the chords and inversions was to practice them through the circle of fourths/fifths and to a metronome. This has made it so much easier for me to learn them. I never use to practice chords in that way but I have noticed a dramatic improvement.
     

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