a couple of things to consider-

where improv/creativity is the underlying focus,"interest" on the part of your conscious mind in what you're experiencing yourself playing vs."this is what i'm supposed to be working on" while thinking about who's going to be in the world series with the rockies or spmething and then "returning" to active cognitive involvement in what you're doing is probably the best way to develop the skills that will show when you go to improvise.......

for ex.lets' say that while you're practicing 2-5 voicings you start to improvise some ideas in a given key over them;then yoy stop yourself because "you've got to play them in al keys"etc...i'd keep a tape recorder on hand for these times,tape what you're playing,and see how these lines compare with the ones you're trying to internalize from transcriptions,etc........

more to come about this.....
There are 5 comments, leave a comment.

btw sorry about typos this am,i was trying to get it done in a hurry.........
if you start to develop a sense of when you're actually "deadening" your active inner ear by practice routines that,although they ostensibly are what you use to "keep your chops up" and have been part of your daily routine for x amount of time,actually do more to negate the faculties of cognition all the more important musical factors involved in playing depend on,then you can start to come up with new ways of playing the same things(or start working on new things for your technical warm-up,i.e. there's no reason "those diminished patterns" you've been planning to start working on when you can squeeze some in with all the other stuff you've "got to work on"(and which are really the one thing you want to get into being able to use when you go to solo...pianist x,who blew you away last weekend with their use of these types of patterns,obviously has resolved this dilemma and spends a good portion of their practice time playing them over actual sections of the tunes they use them on.... couldn't be substituted for the "basic scales in all keys" hour you've been led to believe you must do to develop your chops) and end the time wasted with the underlying "but this is what everybody does/i'm supposed to be doing/used as a means to end (while intrinsically sleep-producing in of themselves)" justifications to yourself.........
a word of caution here for developing players..if you're new to all this and studying with someone good who has their own approach involving "mastering the basics",by all means please disregard this or discuss it with them before changing up your routine;in this case what may have become a dead weight around the neck of a player who needs to make these kind of revisions is being used to give you the grounding you'll need to mess around with this.....

some of the things you might want to take a look at in respect to this-

1.past a certain point,using the same approach to everything you want to internalize(around the cycle,through all the keys etc)probably leads to a state of information overload in the subconscious area of retention leading to a state where everything has the same effect on the ear and gradually you don't distinguish different voicings/lines for a given progression...to this end i'd recommend-

practicing patterns/ideas intended for use in specific harmonic situations(progressions within a tune) on that tune and only transposing them to keys/situations which are used similarly vs. "overpracticing"

"shaking up' your ears'active memory by practicing things in new patterns/cycles etc(i.e interval movements,using new rhythmic approaches,etc......

2.being in touch with your own processes so that you notice when you're starting to get bored with something and changing up the groove rather than continuing will lead to a more intuitive,creative approach...or you could go on to something else and come back to it.....similarly rather than a lot of voicings in one key/over one type of progression or a lot of similar lines through all the keys,try to break things up with one type of voicing/progression/line for each key etc....so many people think being a creative musician (past a certain point re-initial advisory above)has to involve endless rote hours of determined practice vs. a creative practice approach.......

a lot of what i'm trying to get across here(like the above re-dim patterns)was discussed in an earlier thread about  
lots of time it's one or two things that a good teacher(or even a local player who you might be able to befriend at a gig and take a couple of informal lessons with)can see you need to focus on that are being neglected with your well-intentioned but ultimately useless dedicated daily routine-often you're past the point that you think you need to stay at and having them hip you to this and suggest ways of working on it might just turn out to be "the key that unlocks the door" to your own creative growth and active involvement in your development as the kind of player you want to become...this idea of working on something seemingingly unrelated to what you want to get together which turns out to be able to impact your overall approach and leads to this kind of thing happening is a very important one..i.e. "decorating the outside of the house vs.working on the foundation"..........a practical example of this for players working on getting a pattern/line approach usable on given chords/progression types together might be your present focus on a lot of transcribed lines and patterns "through the keys and with different rhythmic approaches" when spending some time over at www.goodear.com or with another of the many excellent ear training sites/methods working on a basic capacity to hear and think on the chord type followed by some of what you're currently overloading your memory bank with is really what you want to do.."less is more" etc.............

foe anyone who's wondering about how to come up with ways of practicing things that are a little more interesting to your conscious mind (leading to activating more of the learning-related factors in the "murky,mysterious" world of the subconscious)and how to resolve the dichotomy between "working on changes" and "practicing technique"(something i think can be started right at the beginning of a players' developing approach rather than put on hold until...???)..i'll post some ideas later on this weekend or something.....as always,if you want some online troubleshooting for specific situations you're dealing with,get in touch with me over at 360 degrees..........
here's an example of some ways i use to keep things interesting vs. the usual patterns often overused in practicing....i was working on lh voicings in the way m.levine describes as "moving around constant structure voicings",paying attention to range..these are 2nd inversion maj.7ths...start on the c one octave below middle c-


in addition to these voicings being used for maj7(here the root movement would be the scale f g bb c eb) ,they can also imply min9(the first one would be based on a root of d,etc..)or dom7w/9/11/13(here you'd be thinking in terms of a root of g for the first)....using patterns like this (or others like it,see following ex.)helps train your ear to think in terms of the "quickly moving 2-5's" used in a lot of the jazz originals of the late 50's which often tend to throw a beginning/developing player for the simple reason that they're not used to hearing these accurately,no matter how much they've practiced lines/patterns usable over them)...here are some other patterns-

these all use the same voicing/range concept,hopefully the above explanation is clear enough that i can just list the movement of the bottom note of each..the next one is an ascending/descending pattern-up maj2,down maj3,up min3.....start on the a below middle c-


the next one is pattern which takes you over the whole instrument..the bottom note interval movement is up a maj2nd,up min3rd,unlike the previous ex.which are designed to focus on a specific voicing range(the octave below middle c)you can use this one any way you want(including of course transferring the voicings to the rh and practicing them with the indicated bass notes,more about this in a sec...)


another way of practicing voicings is to use the three dim.chords as "root of chord" or "bottom note of voicing" patterns,i.e.-

descending-bb-g-e-c#-ascending-c-eb-f#-a-descending-ab-f-d-b(also in reverse)

you can extrapolate this type of concept to the aug. chords, pentatonic scales,etc......

the last point about the type of voicing being focused on here (2nd inversion maj.7ths)concerns their usage harmonically.........

taking the first one again-(d-f#-g-b)you'll see that if you transfer it to the rh and put these lh roots under it-g-e-a it works for the three chord types i indicated before,in g this would be imaj-vi-v7
also the same rh voicing/lh roots works in the next key adjacent around the cycle of 4ths,in this case d,where the progression would be
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