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Old 05-21-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
notaspy2009
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Phrasing

Hey guys, I have really started to take my playing much more seriously and I was wondering what kind of advice you could give me on phrasing. In particular note choice. Because I was wondering if I should base note choice off of chord tones and I'm not really too sure where I should start.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
necrosis1193
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My old guitar teacher loved the idea of basing solo/lead phrasings off of chords, and he was a longtime jazz player and session musician, so I'd say he knows his stuff.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:59 PM   #3
oneblackened
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Yes, chord tones are good.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:40 AM   #4
toddkreuz
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Phrasing has everything to do with "when and how you play a note, or notes. Not
what the notes are.

The notes are very obvious. We know what the best sounding notes will be over any
given chord. They will be the root, the third, or the seventh, be it minor, major, or dominant.

For instance, in blues, there are really mostly 5 notes available. Tons of great players say most of what they want in less than that. Its more about sound, style, tone, touch,
dynamics, vibrato, timing, swing, etc etc.

Note choice is the last thing on the list. I will say that one instance where note choice
is more important is when soloing in straight eighths in bebop jazz.

But in most styles and instances, note choice is a low priority.
Think about it for a second. When you hear Clapton, or Derek Trucks, or
Jimi Hendrix improvise a blues solo, can you tell who is who by the note choices??
You dont say "Hey, that is Hendrix playing, cause he played an E flat there. NO!
You can tell its him by his sound, his style, his vibrato, etc

Just so you know im not just all talk, here is me playing some blues.



Best of luck!
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddkreuz
But in most styles and instances, note choice is a low priority.
Think about it for a second. When you hear Clapton, or Derek Trucks, or
Jimi Hendrix improvise a blues solo, can you tell who is who by the note choices??
You dont say "Hey, that is Hendrix playing, cause he played an E flat there. NO!
You can tell its him by his sound, his style, his vibrato, etc


I find it hard to agree with that - especially in music genres where there's more than a blues scale to it - no offense - I find note choice to be a pretty big factor in a player's sound.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:57 AM   #6
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I'd say note choice does matter, not really in terms of 'Oh, that player plays that note there', but more in the sounds created by the intervals. Look at players like Vai, for example. There are odd intervals all over his playing and you can really hear it.

I'd say note choice is just as important to an individuals' sound as vibrato, tone and anything else you'd care to mention.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
toddkreuz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Last Words
I find it hard to agree with that - especially in music genres where there's more than a blues scale to it - no offense - I find note choice to be a pretty big factor in a player's sound.


I was using the example of Blues. So i dont know why you're talking about other
music genres in relation to my post. Maybe you should read it again.

We're talking about Phrasing here. At least
i assumed that. In music, phrasing is rhythmic and dynamic. It does not involve any note choices.

I also mentioned that note choice is very important in, for example, Jazz/Bebop.

In blues, there are essentially 5 notes. So in BLUES, note choice is low priority.

All blues players play the same notes. Its everything else that differs. Vibrato, Bending, Tone, dynamics, etc.

I dont see what is so hard to understand about this.

Then again, i have to remind myself. As i look around the internet in general, i
realize that there are no students left. Everybody is a teacher now, everybody
knows everything already. Maybe i should just keep my mouth shut.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddkreuz
I was using the example of Blues. So i dont know why you're talking about other
music genres in relation to my post. Maybe you should read it again.


I read it again. I quote:

Quote:
But in most styles and instances, note choice is a low priority.


And I never said I know everything already, I simply gave my opinion.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Regardless of whether or not note choicer is important, "note choice" and "phrasing" are fairly distinct, separate concepts.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #10
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I'd say note choice falls within phrasing, though phrasing is primarily rhythmic if you ask me.

But go beyond bland "note choice" and look at the big picture: your note choice is dictated by the intent or direction of the phrase. Are you trying to play something dramatic sounding? Smooth? Subtle? Edgy? Outside-the-Box?

Having a solid understanding of harmony (chord tone soloing) will help you choose which notes to fulfill the necessary function within a phrase.

Read and listen to music from Bach all the way up to modern Top 40 and you'll start to notice distinct conventions with regard to note choice and rhythm.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Phrasing to me is rhythm, note articulation and dynamics - you can phrase a single repeated note many different ways.

Anyone can play loads of different notes, but playing different notes isn't enough on its own to make interesting playing.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by steven seagull
Phrasing to me is rhythm, note articulation and dynamics - you can phrase a single repeated note many different ways.

Anyone can play loads of different notes, but playing different notes isn't enough on its own to make interesting playing.


I think I read something about Vai where he said he'd sit down and play the same single note for hours, constantly phrasing it different - vibrato, (picking) dynamics, etcetera - I certainly think that doing often overlooked things like this will have a great positive impact on your approach to your instrument!
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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Definitely, a lot of novice guitarists get too wound up in pedals, pickups and tweaking...they think you have to replace or stomp on something for even the slightest change in sound.

How you articulate a single note definitely has a part to play in your phrasing but arguably is a whole other subject , there's a hell of a lot to learn there. The guitar is a physical instrument, until you really appreciate how much influence you have over the sound just by altering the way you interact with it you'll never really be able to control it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by steven seagull
The guitar is a physical instrument, until you really appreciate how much influence you have over the sound just by altering the way you interact with it you'll never really be able to control it.


Applies to everything really. The more you learn something, the further you get from mastering it.
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