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Thread: What's wrong with my Muscle Memory?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    323

    What's wrong with my Muscle Memory?

    This topic is about playing large and difficult chords and changing chords on the guitar and piano.

    I have a Beginning Jazz Guitar Book by Jody Fisher and I am going to quote him right now.

    "...Some Classical Guitar instructors teach that these movements should be learned like a "choreography" for the fingers, or like a "play" for a football team."

    "...Sometimes chords will get gradually easier, but I find most of the time the chord will suddenly "snap" into place. This will also take time so the key word here is patience."

    They sound like promising words, but up to this point my muscle memory is still the same. It's slow.
    For two months, I have been taking a Jazz Piano course at York University and I have difficulty playing some lush Bill Evans chords. I am so slow.
    I am auditioning for Jazz Guitar next year and I am preparing two contrasting pieces for two months so far and I am also slow.
    I am also auditioning for Jazz Woodwinds and I play much better on the Alto Saxophone.

    Is this problem of mine just a muscle memory issue? Or I don't have potential at all on the piano and guitar.
    I need to know some feedback so I can concentrate on the Saxophone. I am not quitting on the piano and guitar, it's just that I need to take more time with what I'm good at.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2008
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    651
    I don't know that there are many players who are truly proficient at jazz guitar AND jazz piano AND jazz saxophone - are you spreading yourself too thin?

    You seem to be concerned about how to learn "large and difficult" chords - can you play already play basic changes using typical shapes in common keys fluently? If so, the "muscle memory" learning process for the more complex chords is no different - and if not, you should worry about learning to walk before trying to run...

    In any event, patience (and real dedication) is certainly key - the great jazz players put decades of focused hard work into polishing their craft, two months is a drop in the bucket...
    Last edited by walternewton; 11-17-2014 at 02:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    I don't know that there are many players who are truly proficient at jazz guitar AND jazz piano AND jazz saxophone - are you spreading yourself too thin?

    You seem to be concerned about how to learn "large and difficult" chords - can you play already play basic changes using typical shapes in common keys fluently? If so, the "muscle memory" learning process for the more complex chords is no different - and if not, you should worry about learning to walk before trying to run...

    In any event, patience (and real dedication) is certainly key - the great jazz players put decades of focused hard work into polishing their craft, two months is a drop in the bucket...
    I know my Guitar Teacher is good at Guitar, Drums, Keyboard, and Bass Guitar.

    I have no problem playing open chords and barre chords in any key. It's the jazz chord voicings that I am slow at. Ironically, I used to be slow playing the open G, C, Em, and D chords.

    Yeah, two months is a short time, but I feel like I will be playing slow forever.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    11
    By far the most common problem that beginners face when learning guitar, is the inability to perform smooth and seamless chord changes.

    Without smooth transitions between chords, your rhythm guitar playing will always sound like there are stutters sprinkled around in the music. These stutters are very jarring and can be off-putting to listeners

  5. #5
    amazing thread

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