1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Phrasing Books..

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by lpengineer, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. lpengineer

    lpengineer Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    I dont know about anyone else, but I feel that my phrasing is stuck in a rut....I mean jamming on pent's and dorian, and phygian, etc. modes is fine. But actually making sound like some of our favorite players is much harder than it looks. I have read elsewhere that a good technique was learning solos of your favorite artist, then applying to your own style. But I was wondering if this book helped? It kind of gives you different "ideas" for soloing.....anyone try it? (I checked the book out in a store and looked informative, but didnt buy it)


    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Books/Video/Books?sku=902962
     
  2. Kappy

    Kappy Member

    Messages:
    14,044
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    West Village, NYC
    I've not checked this book out --too many similar books (Charlie Parker Omnibook, Bebop Licks for Guitar, Ted Green's Single Note Soloing series, etc.) languishing on my shelf in the mean time. If learning this stuff out of books is good for you, then it's possibly worth trying. This one has a CD too, so if the dude playing the examples has a good feel, it will be helpful to hear how he does it.

    Most people would probably tell you to either transcribe "some of our favorite players" or to just play along with their records and try to cop the feeling of what they're doing. The reason being that standard notation might tell you something's an 8th note, but they can't accurately convey the attitude with which it's played, nor if it's behind the beat, on top of the beat, etc. etc. That's the stuff you have to hear for yourself. Good luck either way. And if you get the book, post your thoughts on whether it's good or not.
     
  3. flatfinger

    flatfinger Member

    Messages:
    1,919
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    $an diego
    " Phrasing is a difficult thing to teach, which is why people teach harmony, because you can systematise it. You can't do that with phrasing. You just have to advise them;Think about it, Leave spaces, Don't play on the beat all the time, use rythumic devices- Things that can make a passage sound more interesting."

    By........John Etheridge


    In another thread http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=124496



    Just leaving all the theory and systems behind is mentioned by Tomo. Don't look at the fretboard, don't use the left-brained , ingrained patterns and habits. basically , just relax, let loose and think musically w/ your right brain.



    :AOK
     
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass

    It's really tough to deliver exact meaning about this matter.

    I think everyone need to have several choices. Not just one answer
    like... "Theory + Scales + positions= good improvisation.

    Most problem we have is we tend to rely on too much information
    or seeking fast answer?

    I didn't say ... leaving all the theory or systems... You can learn
    things as much as you can. but I would like you to make sure that
    you HEAR music, sound and tone before any attempting (learning)
    ... Again I can't teach on web but I want to add some hints.

    I have just started my blues/funk lab and my private lessons at
    Berklee. First thing I asked to my students was do not look at
    the fingerboard. I encourage to make more mistakes while
    practicing. Watching the fretboard in order to not make mistake...
    not great for ears. I ask my students to get eye mask. Great
    result.

    So you can study, transcribe, analyze ... many things you can
    do... but when you play I would like you to connect your soul
    (body) with your guitar(Tone).

    That's why don't play anything if you don't hear things...
    again for this purpose, but sometimes you need to play things like
    triads... in order to know your neighborhood(color).


    I have to cook a dinner! I am good at improvise this.

    Tomo
     
  5. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass

    How about this?

    Buy this and practice a lot... Let us know what your thought
    about this. It's only less than $20. You just need a lot of
    efforts.


    Tomo
     
  6. flatfinger

    flatfinger Member

    Messages:
    1,919
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    $an diego



    Tomo,
    Please excuse me, a poor job of paraphrasing on my part. I guess what I meant is It is a bit of a problem because you do need to know your scales and patterns (obviously you gotta hit notes that fit somehow) But those same patterns can become a rut inducing thing.

    one has to really practice so much that you know where the notes are , without really thinking about where they are, hence the not even looking at tthe fretboared thing. Sometimes when I'm "in the zone" I have no Idea where some of the stuff I play comes from , but when I record it and analyize it latter , I can see that some of the stuff that I was practiceing in an strucured fashion just came out in a different way . I love it when that happens!!!!!!!



    What,s for dinner?:dude
     
  7. kfowler11

    kfowler11 Guest

    I struggle with this so what I'm about to say sounds easy but is much harder to apply.

    Don't noodle!!! I mean if you're practicing over a progression, don't just mindlessly run up and down the scales. Think about what you want to say. Tell a story with the lead. Think about what emotion you're trying to get across. To me, this helps with phrasing more than anything.
     
  8. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,689
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Two tips for working on phrasing:

    1. Learn how to play the drums. You'll be much more aware of rhythmic devices, note placement, and (perhaps most importantly) rests. See if you can make an interesting solo from a single note by changing only the rhythms.

    2. Sing what you play and play what you sing. You'll phrase things in a more natural manner, as you'll need to incorporate breathing into your lines.

    Bryan
     
  9. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    No problem at all. When we have real conversation, we can feel the meaning
    from simple sentence... but internet like this we can assume many things.

    but you have great points about seeking playing freedom.
    Thank you so much for stepping in saying that. Thanks.

    Before working on phrasing. I would like address 2 things.
    One is you already mentioned it.

    Knowing location of notes, names, degrees. I call this
    "Locations/ notations" I probably taught this idea somewhere
    in TGP. Basically how to learn your notes in the fret board
    before you learn how to play notes.

    Second, working for listening. Sound easy... but it's not just
    listening. Actually listen to roots of music that you are interested
    in .... if you don't know the specific sound from music.
    It's impossible to learn or practice.

    About a dinner? Vegetable stir fry and cooked rice.
    Japanese wheat tea. Good food makes me play
    better.

    About playing guitar is similar as cooking food...
    Before you cook something, it's better to know the taste.

    Learning guitar with clear goal is really fun to do.

    Trust your taste.


    PS, Great thread. Hope more people find their right path.
    Look carefully!


    Tomo
     
  10. Sub-D

    Sub-D Guest

    Transcribe something every day.......
    also.....
    music is a listening art, play every melody you can think including
    nursery rhymes and the chords that go with them....
     
  11. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,336
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    Listen to players you like and jam along with them as said before and secondly play along with a drum machine. Set the drum machine up to whatever kind of beat it can create and then play along with the drums playing everything in time. By playing all the possible drum rhythms in a drum machine you will force yourself to phrase differently. My old Boss unit has about 120 different drum beats and some of them just tear me up, once you find the ones that give you trouble focus on those because they are the ones which are breaking down old rhythmic patterns.

    Secondly listen to and mimic the phrasing of singers, it worked for Miles Davis (he used to mimic Frank Sinatra).
     
  12. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    Great ideas there, Tomo!

    Many years ago I saw Larry Carlton at the Crest in Sacramento. He had just begun touring again after being shot, and losing the use of his left arm. I was expecting to see someone who was recovering, but I saw a guy who was "one" with his music. (I didn't say "instrument")

    He played the first song without ever looking at his hands. When the solo came up, he walked to the front of the stage, gazed up toward the ceiling, and blew an amazing solo, using the entire fretboard. He never looked at his hands!

    I was too blown away to notice if he looked at his hands the rest of the evening. He was "in the zone". Soul to music. Nevermind that he just happened to play the guitar.

    As far as phrasing is concerned, I like the idea of playing the first note of a solo with "something on it". Listen to the tune, "hear" one note, and play it in as many ways as you can imagine. Slide into it. (from above or below) Bend to it, or pre-bend and release to it. Hammer on to it. Pull off to it. One new phrasing element can "trigger" you to try others so that you'll never play 2 notes with the same attack.

    Or, try this; Play the first phrase using bends, imitate the phrase using slides, do it again with hammer ons, or pull offs. Same basic melody, totally different techniques.

    I think most people,(myself included) leave an idea before they even give it a chance to develop. Play every phrase at least 4 times varying it slightly each time before moving to the next idea, and listen to how much your "solos" start to sound like "songs".

    If you depend on bending notes, slide instead. Mix up the elements. Try new ways to play solos or phrases that you already know. Don't look at your hands. "Listen to yourself".
     
  13. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass

    Thanks. Hope more people will use this idea
    (not look at fingering at al) for better hearing.

    You got great point too, I am still work on my
    bending and vibrato technique with relax feel.
    Slow bend, 1/2 step... 1/4 step? very subtle human
    sound, cat screaming tone...

    Most people play too many ideas/motif in one solo.
    plus too long without continuity.

    Like you said, people need to examine ONE phrase
    in many different way, expression, dynamics, bend, slide
    ghost note.

    I let my student to play solo over one chord, 2 chords vamp
    blues... then I will imitate student's motif and I demonstrate
    to develop only one idea into entire chorus.

    Motif development is another important aspect.

    PS, Space is important. Play all 8th notes, triplet
    over chord changes(having choices) is important
    too. Not only one direction.

    Tomo
     
  14. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,288
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    My advise is to learn some of Charlie Parker's slow blues tones. Just dripping with soul and phrasing. Albert, BB and Freddie King don't hurt either. You can't go wrong with the classics...
     
  15. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Messages:
    14,116
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    "Good phrasing" is not a concretely defined quality. So, in a nutshell, you have to figure out what works for you as a listener, and then figure out how to do it.

    I'm personally not of the belief (in general*) that everyone should study Charlie Parker or Coltrane's solo on Giant Steps, etc...if Giant Steps has no meaning for you I think that becomes a pointless exercise. Find a half dozen melodies or solos that REALLY excite you, learn them all over the fingerboard in every octave & position, in all twelve keys, play along with them until you can nail all the articulations, dynamics and nuances perfectly, and then let all of it go.

    I guarantee you it will be a lot of work, and I guarantee it will change your phrasing to something that feels not only more three-dimensional, but more personal as well


    * obviously, if your goal were to become a professional jazz player, I'd say knowing Charlie Parker's music and how to play on Giant Steps were pretty important, regardless of how you feel about it. But I don't think that's what you are asking...
     
  16. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,796
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    For a period in the 80's I used to see the wonderful Emily Remler play almost every night is a small bar in Charlottesville, and knew her a bit.
    She would get up to play, close her eyes, lean her head back, and seem to go somewhere else. It was as if she was playing for us back here the beautiful music she heard wherever it was she went.

    Or maybe she was channeling Wes.

    I never saw her look at the fretboard.
     
  17. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    Close your eyes... Hope you find thar zone!
    It's really hard... even when you tune up your guitar!
    Concentrate to play with your feel, TONE. Even practicing,
    imagine as if you are playing with great rhythm section.

    Another thought. Listen to blues singers or any singers.

    B.B King.. I love way he shouts,
    Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles (50's more bluesy tunes)
    Ella... listen to these ... then pick one note, 2 notes
    to say something.

    Tomo
     

Share This Page