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--- Feb 24 2000 Go to category
Subject: live playing vs. home practice
Category: Improvisation/Soloing
From: javier othon (monterrey /mexico)

Hi pat, I just love the music you play, and your style in phrasing and melodic ideas...I find a certain richness in your musical ideas that I cannot find in other guitar players...I'm looking for some advice, the thing is that I seem to play "better" at home than live, I grew up playing a lot of blues and rock, and at home I can "nail" the "jazzy" stuff that I want to put in my playing, but as soon as I hit the stage I seem to draw out of the blues bag a lot. I guess I have to work on my technique more to build more confidence in a live situation (wich I'm doing)but if you have any suggestions on how to address this problem I would really apreciate it. have a good one... jazzfly

Pat’s Answer:

hi javier,

what you describe is pretty common - i have, and have always had, pretty much the same thing - that i can put together things away from the bandstand that kind of elude me in the heat of battle. i think you hit it on the head with the word "confidence" - that is sort of what it all boils down to. when you are alone and practicing, it is almost like a "beta-test" situation for your ideas - they don't really exist yet in the real world, but they are close to being able to stand on their own. the process of practicing and playing these newer kinds of ideas and things is as much for you to get used to what you CAN do as much as the actual doing of it. once you have absorbed the concept that "in such and such situation i actually DO have the capacity to deal with the internal voicings of this chord rather than just play a blues scale over it" - or whatever, and your really know that you can do it everytime - then those ideas will start to show up in regular way in your onstage playing. at least, that is how it works for me. also, for better or worse, this is a neverending process.....