Can't get enough, huh? Me, too!
I mean, why practice this stuff? Why practice scales, patterns, etc.
In fact, why practice.......period!?
I expect there might be different answers depending on the skill level and intentions of the player.
As for myself, and players like me who have been doing this for a while, it's about making new connections (musically, not necessarily politically or professionally), creating new pathways, growing new synapses, etc.
In other words, trying to get away from playing the S.O.S.
As I mentioned on my home page, the more you learn, the more the universe seems to expand exponentially, whereby, instead of feeling larger within it, you realize how little you really know.
The great part about that is: There will always be something interesting and challenging to learn, and get this:
YOU WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF THINGS TO PRACTICE!
But hey, that was 'Trane. He had his own special, private hotline to the Universe. But then again, so does each and every one of us.
Without going to cosmic on you, all I can say is the stuff I post here on this blog, as well as the exercises, etc. in my Slick Licks! books, are things that interest me personally, things that I've been trying to master or wish to infuse into my vocabulary. I figure if this stuff is interesting to me, it'll probably strike a chord with at least a few of you folks out there.
Which brings us back to the "Why practice this stuff?' question.
Constant repetition creates 1) Muscle Memory and 2) Subconscious Response.
Athletes do it.
These two processes work on the outer and inner levels, respectively, during improvisation, not unlike a spoken language. The former deals with the physical while the latter deals with the mental and emotional aspects of spontaneous musical creation, kind of a "Head, Heart & Hands" philosophical approach (hey, that was a pretty good group, back in the day).
The point in practicing these, or any, exercises, licks or patterns, etc. is not simply to plug them in and repeat them as is, but to add them to your subconscious stream of material, as well as to create the necessary neuro / muscular familiarity.
Add to that the all important element of 3) Imagination, and you've got yourself a winner. Even just a little bit of this element can go a long way, when combined with the other two "perspiration" elements.
I remember both Miles Davis and Michael Brecker mentioning that it would take many months of practicing certain new material before it began to creep into their musical conversations in a natural and organic way. So patience is indeed the virtue here.
Oh BTW, The Exercise:
This is a descending 4 bar patter pattern, over a minor ii-V7-i, working a Pentatonic b3 and two Pentatonic b6s.
As you may already know, both of these Pentatonics are derived from the Melodic Minor scale.
Breaking it down:
The basic construct of this pattern is step up / skip down / which repeats according to the number of notes in each measure. The "skip down" part is where the "descending in 3rds" comes in, not Maj. or min 3rds necessarily, but 3rds diatonic to the Pentatonic Scale.
The three pentatonics used in line 1 are:
C Pentatonic b3 (C-D-Eb-G-A) = A-7b5 11
Bb Pentatonic b6 (Bb-C-D-F-Gb) = D7#9 b13
D Pentatonic b6 (D-E-F#-A-Bb) = G- (Ma7) 9 13
I like how the connection via a half step between the last not of measure 1 and the first note of measure 2 breaks up the symmetry a bit.
Get it in your head, heart and hands.
Then just forget about it and play!