Hello Marcin. I’m a beginner with only a few months of practicing with the help of this website so I’m not an expert but I think I could at least share how I move forward with my practice routine. When I was able to do the beginner test with the swing rhythm shuffle left hand pattern I immediately started the Part 1 licks with that left hand pattern because by that time I also had the backbeat accents without having to think about it.
I focused more on getting my two hands in rhythm with each other at first even if it meant that my left hand accents were becoming unsteady. I knew that once I got both hands working together (beyond the test and with the licks) I could then focus on correcting the motion of my left hand so that the accents (on beats 2 and 4 for example) would come back in without having to worry about the right hand. In other words, once I play that 12 bar blues with a particular left hand pattern and a lick with a steady timing and dynamic I then move on to the next Part 1 lick with the same left hand pattern.
When I first started utilizing this website it did not take long to notice that the swing shuffle left hand pattern (the one that Arthur uses in all the Part 1 example videos) is far easier to achieve a steady timing and dynamic than the first Albert Ammons left hand pattern in the “Monster Left Hand“ section. So I practiced this difficult left hand pattern by itself for 2 weeks before I even attempted to spend an inordinate amount of time to test it with the C6 in the right hand. When I did attempt to test the Ammons left hand I went super slow.
When I began attempting Lick #6 with the Ammons left hand I learned something. With the swing shuffle pattern you could very easily match note for note between the left and right hand to produce a clean steady melody and rhythm. Matching fingers per se. It is far more difficult to match fingers with the Ammons left hand and lick #6. This is when I started to train my right hand to be a slave of the rhythm in my left hand. Not based on fingering but what I’m hearing as I play it.
This revelation changed the way I practice these licks. Once I see that I can do a 12 bar blues without paying attention to fingering (relying more on sound) than I move on to the next lick. I’m not running up and down higher octaves yet with my right hand but I think this is a good approach to getting ready for that.
Thank you so much. This really helps a lot. And after 3 days of using your exercises I have already made an enormous progress. I'll post some video soon :D
Thanks for quick answer. What if I can already play the test exercise? I mean this is quite slow so for next exercises, what tempo should I reach while playing smoothly to move to the next exercise? And how much time should I spend daily on each exercise?
These are good questions. Keep in mind that because this website is largely set up so that you can "teach yourself", you are in control of setting your own pace. Without hearing you play I cannot really give you my opinion on what you should do...
This forum allows you to post videos (you can also face the camera down and block the video so that it is only audio if you like). You can post a video of your progress and get feedback. In fact, I will create a NEW THREAD especially for that purpose right now. A place where people can post videos and get feedback on their progress. I think that would be helpful to everyone.
You can also take a private lesson with me if you want an hour of one-on-one guidance.
If neither of these sound good, just trust your ear. If you can play along with a recording and keep up with what your are trying to imitate then that is a good sign. If not, work on increasing the tempo until you can match it to the recording. You can also record yourself and listen back and see if you "sound good" to you as a listener. If not, try to identify your weaknesses and work on those.
Spend as much time as you need to make it work. 1 hour, 10 minutes, 6 months... it varies. If you can practice 3 -5 hours a day then you should see progress pretty quickly. If you can only put in 20 min a day, 3 times a week, your progress will be much slower. 1 hour a day, 5-7 days a week is probably the minimum requirement to see progress that makes you satisfied. That doesn't have to happen all at once. You can sit down for 20 min, 3 times a day and it will also be good.
Hope this helps.
This is a great question! You can move on to learn the next step whenever you feel comfortable to do so. Learn as much as you like at one time.
However, I would not consider you to be at a "performance level" until you can play what you have learned smoothly and without stopping (even when you make a mistake). Hope this helps!