Practice, practice

So, do you really have to practice scales & arpeggios? Can't you just practice improvisation? Can't you just learn licks by repetition, then learn to fuse and mutate those licks into a lexicon of musical phrases unique to you?

As I see it, scales and arpeggios are like learning the structure of a language from the solid foundation up to the roof. Learning the difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives, predicates, and punctuation. Learning a complete vocabulary.

Can a story be written without a thorough knowledge of the structure of language, of story-telling? Can a good story be written with a limted vocabulary? Perhaps. But it would be a story limited by the mental boundaries of its writer.

Blues music - traditionally created by musicians with little musical book learning, imposes restrictions on us that can be very liberating within its structure.

But could one get an even better result by combining all that talent with a good education? Certainly one could get a different result.

Like the difference between Blues & Jazz.

Does that mean I'm practicing my arpeggios? Not really.