Anti-Master Class, #1

The opposite of a master class: a student (me) sharing the stuff that I practice, in hopes that it may help or inspire other students. Also, maybe people will chime in and give their opinion of what I’m doing.

I’ve gotten into a daily routine that feels really good right now. It is about 3.5 hours of practice time:

30 minutes of scales & digital patterns
Choose a key, then:
5 min – Superlocrian: set metronome to 132 and practice eighths, triplets, and sixteenths
5 min – run digital patterns up the scale (4213, 3124 etc…)
10 min – do the same thing for half-whole diminished scale
10 min – do the same thing for harmonic minor scale

30 minutes of block chord melody, along with bass organ pedals
Pick a song (e.g., Shiny Stockings). Choose a passage, say 8 measures, and work it up to tempo using Errol Gardner style block chords, playing bass line with feet.

15 minutes of technical exercise from Schmitt method book
I usually pick one at random and work it up to the fastest tempo I can.

30 minutes of practicing arpeggios over a jazz tune
I currently work on 1 new song every two weeks. Practice broken arpeggios over walking left-hand bass line.

30 minutes of practicing scalar ideas over a jazz tune
Same jazz tune.

Another 15 minutes of technical exercise from Schmitt method book
Choosing a different exercise at random.

30 minutes of practicing chromatic approaches to chord tones.
Again, over the same jazz tune, using either arpeggio ideas or scalar ideas to connect from one measure to the next.

30 minutes of practicing deflections
A jazzy-sounding thing where the b5 resolves to the 5, or for half-diminished chords, the natural 9 resolves to the b9

If I have to divide my practice routine into 2 parts throughout the day, the Schmitt exercises are a great way of warming up again.

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