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Good place to learn about phrasing?

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  • Good place to learn about phrasing?

    I understand phrasing in theory, but putting it into practice is a whole other thing.

    So, just trying to get info, lessons, videos, etc. etc.

    I know a lot of you guys here are pros, so looking forward to some good info.


    d
    Looking for a small bodied and good quality guitar for travel

  • #2
    I think the only way to learn it is by listening, then through your own trial and error.

    First thing is to take a line you know from one of your favorite players and try and see how many different ways you can play it. The first thing is to change the accents. Think of it like pronouncing a word- everytime you say a word you accent a specific syllable. In fact, let's take that word- syllable.

    Say it out loud- SYL-la-ble. It's the first part that gets the accent. Now try accenting the second part, the la- syl-LA-ble. Now the last, syl-la-BLE. Each pronunciation has a different feel even though the word was said in the same amount of space. That's what phrasing is about.

    There's two ways to accomplish this when playing. One is to literally change the accents in your line, as we did with the syllables in a word. The other is to start the line in a different place, which will change the accents in relation to what else is going on.

    With the first one it could be a matter of the way you pick, holding a note a little longer, a little shorter, etc. The only way to learn this is through trial and error- just screw around. And most importantly, listen to your favorite players and see how they phrase things. Phrasing is kind of like your swagger when you walk- we all do it but everbody's a little different. Try and learn the impact of changing a syllable and what effect it has, and what you naturally do (and why). When you break down a lot of guitar player's phrasing often it has to do with the kinds of fingerings they're using. Most players don't put a lot of thought into it and do whatever comes naturally.

    As for the second way, it's basically the same but harder to explain. With this one it's best to do it to a backing track of some sort. Again, take a line you like, and start it on the down beat of 'one'. Play it a couple times so you get how it feels. Then, play it again but instead of starting on the downbeat of 'one' start on the upbeat of 'one'. Be sure to play it the exact same way, with the same accents- pronounce it the same. You'll notice that even though you're playing it the same it feels different. That's because of the way the accents and rhythms relate to what's going on beneath them. You may want to record this and listen back as it's hard for some players to both play and really hear it at the same time. Another way to learn this is to use a recording program that has a grid, and take a line and move it in increments on that grid and listen.

    Hope that helps...

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    • #3
      thank you.
      Looking for a small bodied and good quality guitar for travel

      Comment


      • #4
        Killer phrasing:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXQ18I402w
        "The mics themselves couldn't give a **************** what source they're on..."
        - Fletcher@mercenary.com

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        • #5
          Here's a lesson from my website...

          http://markweinguitarlessons.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemi d=35

          Minor Pentatonic Scale Phrasing Lesson #1 Written by Administrator Saturday, 09 February 2008 Hello!

          This week we are going to learn a simple device to help you build coherent phrases with the Pentatonic or Blues Scales. If you do not already know these scales, you can download a worksheet on the Minor Pentatonic Scale Here :

          Minor Pentatonic Scale Worksheet - Home Position

          We are going to use just a small section of the scale in A Minor Pentatonic on the 3rd and 4th strings, and play small 3 and 4 note ideas. Then we will try another section of the scale on the 1st and 2nd strings. The main thing is to listen to how each phrase ends. Does it sound resolved, or does it not sound like it comes to an ending?

          The idea of "call and response" or "question and answer" is very useful. If you think of a complete phrase as having a "question" first half, where the phrase does not sound like it has ended and an "answer" second half where it does come to an end, your idea will sound more complete.

          If you are having a conversation with someone and they asked you a question such as "Did you take the trash out?", even if you didn't speak the same language a listener would get the idea that you had been asked a question because of your vocal inflection...basically, the pitch of your would go up at the end of the phrase among other small clues. The answer "No, I did not take the trash out!" will sound more resolved, and probably will have the pitch of your voice end lower. Try it and see!

          The licks in the lesson do not all have the last note of the "question" idea ending in a higher pitch, but I want you to do is to listen to what each ending pitch sounds like, and determine for yourself what sounds like a complete phrase!









          Here are some recommendations for you to check out...simple blues guitar with short phrases that really make sense from two of my biggest influences and a really useful book that I use quite a bit in my studio from Robert Calva...

          B.B. King Live at the Regal is one of my all time favorite albums, and the solo on "Sweet Little Angel" is a must learn...
          MarkWein.com and Forums
          Study with me on Truefire.com!
          McFeely Custom Guitars Artist

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          • #6
            There is also a book from Tom Kolb - Amazing Phrasing.
            Mita

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            • #7
              You will only get phrasing when you learn to hear it, in YOUR head.

              You can cop licks for sure, and it will give you a sense of where your fingers go and when, and it helps find the groove. But phrasing comes up on the fly and when it does there's something YOU put together and only YOU know whether you phrased it right or you didn't.

              What I do is listen to a song over and over until I can either hum, whistle, or "la-la"/sing the melody WITHOUT the song playing. I try and learn the melody cold. Then what I do is walk away from the recording, the instrument, etc...and start doing something, like make lunch, feed the cats, etc...but I keep that melody going. As I run this melody over and over I sparse it, enhance it, break it down to the least amount of notes, add in connector notes, find other common melodies that are similar and draw from them in the current tune in my head, etc, etc...

              Out of all this I might get a few things I would have NEVER found sitting down with the instrument.

              So, then when I get a couple of firm ideas I start learning them on the instrument.

              This is a great way to START learning phrasing and "inner" solo'ing in general. The more you do it you get to the point where you can hear these things WITH the instrument in your hand, and can get things from your head to your instrument quicker.

              I find that people "go thru the motions" way too much when they have the instrument in their hand. It's almost to the point that their "regular moves" get in the way of them continuing as a musician. At some point you need to be as good of a musician without any instrument as you are a "guitarist" with your instrument.

              Many of the great "phrasers" go beyond their instruments in so many ways that it's inconceivable to reach that level by sitting with your instrument playing the same things over and over...

              you got to HAVE a phrase before you can play it. Start finding a phrase to play.
              PM me about Online One-on-One Guitar Lessons, via Skype and Paypal
              http://lessons.mikedodge.com
              http://www.mikedodge.com
              http://forum.mikedodge.com

              Hint for online instructors...play the example in it's entirety, THEN talk about it for 5 minutes.

              The only good liberal is a...well, we're still trying to figure out the answer to that one.

              Uma is a motorik.

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              • #8
                Larry Carlton discusses it in some depth on his starlicks Masters Series VHS (DVD?) from the eighties.

                I never understood why you'd hear Thelonius Monk humming to himself as he played on those live recordings until I learned about phrasing.
                hundly;buffftherdzuzuzumuntymuntymunty - Huzzah!

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                • #9
                  Larry Carlton discusses it in some depth on his starlicks Masters Series VHS (DVD?) from the eighties.

                  I never understood why you'd hear Thelonius Monk humming to himself as he played on those live recordings until I learned about phrasing.


                  My guitar teacher in college would do that, too.

                  I found that if break my phrases where I need to breathe I play more coherent ideas...singing the phrases made me pay more attention to what I was playing...less scale wankery and more melody....
                  MarkWein.com and Forums
                  Study with me on Truefire.com!
                  McFeely Custom Guitars Artist

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                  • #10
                    Great phrasing is not learned internally. Great phrasing comes from listening to tons and tons and tons and tons of great music and then playing as much and as often as you can -- particularly with new musicians who have exciting new styles or skills.

                    It's a very external process, i.e. what your drummer is playing should be affecting how you are phrasing the ideas you're playing in real time. The best way you can expand your phrasing vocabulary is by playing with great musicians and keeping your ears open.

                    A few great players to listen to for strong phrasing are BB King, George Benson, Santana, Steve Vai and Jeff Beck.

                    The most interesting musicians I've heard approach phrasing completely organically, i.e. they just play/listen "from the heart". By playing/listening more they improve. I recommend this approach personally. Exercises can be good but I would avoid becoming very regimented in this one area unless a specific problem develops -- phrasing is one of those things which seems to be at its most "liquid" when you don't think about it.
                    "The mics themselves couldn't give a **************** what source they're on..."
                    - Fletcher@mercenary.com

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                    • #11
                      Herb Ellis and Les Paul were always singing to themselves too.
                      PM me about Online One-on-One Guitar Lessons, via Skype and Paypal
                      http://lessons.mikedodge.com
                      http://www.mikedodge.com
                      http://forum.mikedodge.com

                      Hint for online instructors...play the example in it's entirety, THEN talk about it for 5 minutes.

                      The only good liberal is a...well, we're still trying to figure out the answer to that one.

                      Uma is a motorik.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Herb Ellis and Les Paul were always singing to themselves too.


                        Another one is Robert Cray, watch him play on a youtube video or two. He's constantly beeboping to himself while he plays his solos. You can tell he's running the sound through his head just before it hits his fingers.

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