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The Biggest Mistakes You Made
#3037095 10/18/20 04:52 PM
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Just out of sheer curiosity, what were the biggest mistakes you made as a beginner, if any?

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Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3037098 10/18/20 04:58 PM
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Once I made the realization that tunes were strings of ii-V-I progressions at one of my earliest gigs I figured since I didn't really know any tunes why not just play ii-V-I progressions!

After about 10 minutes of playing random ii-V-I progressions someone approached me and said I can't just sit there and play ii-V-I progressions . . . So much for the secret that I had just discovered.


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Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3037104 10/18/20 05:15 PM
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Hi

For the first 10-15 years of my playing (roughly age 8 to 20), I was totally dependent on having music in front of me. This is fine if you want to study classical, but not for Jazz/Rock/Funk/Blues/Pop/Folk etc.

It wasn't really a mistake as my parents said would I like to play Piano, and a classical teacher lived just round the corner. So I took it up. But by the time I was 15 the last thing I wanted to play was classical......

The big breakthrough happened around the age of 20 when someone showed me how you could play from the guitar chords. My playing expanded massively over the next 5 years.

That's not to say that the early classical years were a waste of time. They certainly weren't, but I wasted quite a few years not really playing much at all.

Cheers


Simon

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Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3037123 10/18/20 06:37 PM
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I made the mistake of practicing scales one after the other in succession instead of learning on one scale at a time. And by learning I mean not just the scale itself but the relative minor, the chords, extensions, and inversions associated with that scale. I would've learned much quicker.


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Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3038831 10/24/20 07:24 AM
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While I certain made lots of performance errors as a young pianist - and I still make lots of performance errors as an experienced pianist - I think my worst and most consistent mistake was not paying attention to older wiser musicians when they were trying to pass on suggestions. I remember playing a jam session with a locally respected bass player. He listened to me play one passage, and then showed me a different chord sequence - one he learned by listening to a recording. I told him flat out I was playing what I saw in a book so it must be the CORRECT and ONLY WAY to play that. It took me a long time to be able to accept others' suggestions and be willing to try them.

Sure: part of the problem is the hubris of the young: thinking I know it all. Part of the problem is skills/ability. As a young player, I didn't have the skills to make changes on the fly, so I simply ignored a lot of suggestions. And part of the problem was being insecure about my abilities, so any suggestions sounded to me like criticism. So there was a maturation process I had to go thru: I had to mature enough to become teachable.

These days I seek out different players and experiences for what I can learn from them. And I see some of the same behavior in other younger musicians: they are resistant to suggestion. A lot of times it is the young musician does not want to think their playing is anything less than spot-on as it already exists, and so they do not want to hear any other than "you're great". Sometimes it is a lack of musical knowledge: they cannot understand musically (guitar player are the worst: so few know basics like note names, scales, notes than make up a chord, etc. - it's difficult to have a musical conversation with someone who doesn't know the language of music).

So as on older and more experienced musician, I am now learning and getting lots of opportunity to practice patience and forbearance.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
Simon_b #3038889 10/24/20 11:05 AM
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I'm still a beginner but can say that my biggest mistake was taking years after my first year of playing then I came back and now play daily and love it. I probably would not have taken the years off if I had a teacher and engaged more here on the forum as I do now.

I also should have had a pop teacher from the start of lessons as I have little interest in classical studies so a lot of my practice was forcing myself to sit and work on it and I didn't enjoy the lessons much. Once I moved to a pop teacher few months ago I now get excited for the lessons and love what I am working towards.

Originally Posted by RhodesFanatic
I made the mistake of practicing scales one after the other in succession instead of learning on one scale at a time. And by learning I mean not just the scale itself but the relative minor, the chords, extensions, and inversions associated with that scale. I would've learned much quicker.

I'm still a beginner and happy to hear this as I very very slowly learn scales. Such as I dont just learn the notes and move on I drill the scale for weeks and months, HS, HT, parallel, contrary, chords, arpeggios, adding dynamics, etc. I didn't know if I wasting time but it sounds like this is a good thing to do.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3038924 10/24/20 12:51 PM
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Not realizing it is all about developing your ear sooner. Doesn't matter what genre of music you play it's all about your ears. The rest is about making the ear, brain, hand connection.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
MrShed #3039056 10/24/20 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MrShed
Not realizing it is all about developing your ear sooner. Doesn't matter what genre of music you play it's all about your ears. The rest is about making the ear, brain, hand connection.

I agree, but let me ask you this. I played my first gig since March yesterday. A duo with a sax guy. It was an event for a movie premier. They wanted specific time period popular music. I sent pdfs to the guy so we could be on the same page. So, he claims never got pdfs which I don't believe. On the gig he tends to want to call out all the tunes. I expected that since I've done gigs with him before. However, I believe in treating a paid special event with more detail. On a couple instances, he calls out some tunes in keys I'm not familiar with. Not going to use transpose button sorry. I got thru it ok with a spot here and there that was trying. My question is should people be using this developing your ear stance on a paying gig? There were no rehearsals. I think playing a paid event should not be like a cutting contest at a club jam session calling out whatever songs in whatever key.
On the flip side. When I asked to do some of the songs in the setlist I sent him, if there was a key problem or whatever he just didn't want to play it. Ha, Ha. Ain't life grand.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
joggerjazz #3039109 10/25/20 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MrShed
Not realizing it is all about developing your ear sooner. Doesn't matter what genre of music you play it's all about your ears. The rest is about making the ear, brain, hand connection.
+2.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3039124 10/25/20 05:14 AM
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Choosing the wrong teacher(s).

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
joggerjazz #3039211 10/25/20 11:53 AM
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Quote
I agree, but let me ask you this. I played my first gig since March yesterday. A duo with a sax guy. It was an event for a movie premier. They wanted specific time period popular music. I sent pdfs to the guy so we could be on the same page. So, he claims never got pdfs which I don't believe. On the gig he tends to want to call out all the tunes. I expected that since I've done gigs with him before. However, I believe in treating a paid special event with more detail. On a couple instances, he calls out some tunes in keys I'm not familiar with. Not going to use transpose button sorry. I got thru it ok with a spot here and there that was trying. My question is should people be using this developing your ear stance on a paying gig? There were no rehearsals. I think playing a paid event should not be like a cutting contest at a club jam session calling out whatever songs in whatever key.
On the flip side. When I asked to do some of the songs in the setlist I sent him, if there was a key problem or whatever he just didn't want to play it. Ha, Ha. Ain't life grand.
My money gig is violin/fiddle. I never know the next tune or the next key. I'm a side man, not the boss. It still sounds inconsiderate, what your sax guy pulled. It's not like a squeezebox that can only play certain keys.

Last edited by Farmerjones; 10/25/20 11:54 AM.

God Bless Leon Russell
Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3039219 10/25/20 12:03 PM
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My mistake was to buy a keyboard, only to find out it didn't have weighted piano type keys. Couldn't return it. Paid for a DP essentially twice. Ouch!


God Bless Leon Russell
Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3039577 10/26/20 02:51 PM
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Didn't join marching band when i had the chance. In high school and college I thought it was beneath me boy how stupid especially since I have struggled with timing issues

Last edited by dpvjazz; 10/26/20 02:52 PM.
Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3039586 10/26/20 03:24 PM
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My huge mistake was at the very beginning of my career - at the first gig at the age of 16. There were no charts, my repertoire was haphazard ; and nothing was agreed upon in advance. I knew local songs, could play boogie-woogie , but I had no idea about rock and roll. The performance of "Jambalaya " was divided into singing with the ensemble, and the dealer's shouts to me: "Play, damn it!" .
The ability to grasp harmony by ear partially saved me ... 2 chords laugh

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
joggerjazz #3039681 10/26/20 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Originally Posted by MrShed
Not realizing it is all about developing your ear sooner. Doesn't matter what genre of music you play it's all about your ears. The rest is about making the ear, brain, hand connection.

I agree, but let me ask you this. I played my first gig since March yesterday. A duo with a sax guy. It was an event for a movie premier. They wanted specific time period popular music. I sent pdfs to the guy so we could be on the same page. So, he claims never got pdfs which I don't believe. On the gig he tends to want to call out all the tunes. I expected that since I've done gigs with him before. However, I believe in treating a paid special event with more detail. On a couple instances, he calls out some tunes in keys I'm not familiar with. Not going to use transpose button sorry. I got thru it ok with a spot here and there that was trying. My question is should people be using this developing your ear stance on a paying gig? There were no rehearsals. I think playing a paid event should not be like a cutting contest at a club jam session calling out whatever songs in whatever key.
On the flip side. When I asked to do some of the songs in the setlist I sent him, if there was a key problem or whatever he just didn't want to play it. Ha, Ha. Ain't life grand.

Frank Potenza great Jazz guitarist and head of guitar department at USC talked about similar situation. He was works in a group and person that called the songs was really bad about being clear as to what song and key he wanted. Frank a few times had to just let the song start and figure it out and play. Frank he was getting good at it so he told the leader don't call the songs any more just started it and I catch you within two bars. Frank said now that he had to use his ears it has become easy for him and actually made the gigs easier.

One of my favorites was one night at the jam at Mezzrow trumpeter Jeremy Pelt sat in. Piano player running the jam was experienced, but a lot of young people for the next tune. Typical trainwreck of all the players trying to figure out what they all knew to play on. Piano finally calls a tune the young people said they could handle. Piano player ask Jeremy if he knew the tune. Jeremy said I don't just start the tune and I'll catch you in a bar or two. That's exactly what Jeremy did.

Last story Jazz guitarist Bruce Fowler play in legendary bassist Ray Brown's band for awhile. One time Ray called a tune and Bruce wasn't sure if he knew it, so he asked Ray about the changes. Ray just looks at Bruce and says.... It's all just cadences and then Ray kicks off the tune. Bruce knew to not ask and use his ear.

It's like when learning to improvise one of the best teachers is to give yourself restrictions to play within. It forces you to be creative because you can only play within the restrictions. Well that can work on gigs too, like Frank Potenza saying don't call the tune just start. Working with the restriction forced him to improve his ears and think about the common cadences most tunes use. It's scary but fear is a great teacher.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
MrShed #3039871 10/27/20 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MrShed
[quote=joggerjazz][quote=MrShed]
It's like when learning to improvise one of the best teachers is to give yourself restrictions to play within. It forces you to be creative because you can only play within the restrictions. Well that can work on gigs too, like Frank Potenza saying don't call the tune just start. Working with the restriction forced him to improve his ears and think about the common cadences most tunes use. It's scary but fear is a great teacher.

I think you're missing the point. This was not about being afraid of playing a tune in a key you're not familiar with , but more of the type of event. Trying to decide and having people watch the discussion of what tune to play between songs and in what key at a special well paid event reeks of being non professional. Would you hire a wedding band for your wedding calling out tunes in keys decided on spot? This wasn't a jazz club. The more I think about it, the less I want to play with this guy again.

Last edited by joggerjazz; 10/27/20 10:15 AM.
Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
joggerjazz #3039931 10/27/20 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Originally Posted by MrShed
[quote=joggerjazz][quote=MrShed]
It's like when learning to improvise one of the best teachers is to give yourself restrictions to play within. It forces you to be creative because you can only play within the restrictions. Well that can work on gigs too, like Frank Potenza saying don't call the tune just start. Working with the restriction forced him to improve his ears and think about the common cadences most tunes use. It's scary but fear is a great teacher.

I think you're missing the point. This was not about being afraid of playing a tune in a key you're not familiar with , but more of the type of event. Trying to decide and having people watch the discussion of what tune to play between songs and in what key at a special well paid event reeks of being non professional. Would you hire a wedding band for your wedding calling out tunes in keys decided on spot? This wasn't a jazz club. The more I think about it, the less I want to play with this guy again.

That is what I was talking about those people I mentioned were talking about paid gigs and concerts except Jeremy who was at an NYC jam. Point is the bigger your ears are the better you can handle any situation.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
MrShed #3040933 10/30/20 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MrShed
Not realizing it is all about developing your ear sooner. Doesn't matter what genre of music you play it's all about your ears. The rest is about making the ear, brain, hand connection.
Hi, question for you or anyone if you don't mind, what's the best way to develop your ear while learning to play?
After 3+ years on guitar and some basic experience in Piano my ear is still pretty lame.
I want to develop my basic playing technique and sight reading of course but it would be good to develop my ear alongside this.
Over the summer I did a lot of ear training with musical-u.com but a lot of it was kind in isolation from my instrument
so I'm not sure much has been retained!

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
SlowBurn #3041023 10/30/20 10:48 AM
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Try to develop relative pitch. Record all common intervals melodic and harmonic ascending and descending. Doing one by one to get used to them.

Re: The Biggest Mistakes You Made
joggerjazz #3041656 11/01/20 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Try to develop relative pitch. Record all common intervals melodic and harmonic ascending and descending. Doing one by one to get used to them.
Thanks, the alfred book seems to be doing that with exercises so hopefully that is what I need!


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