Emphasis In Solo Phrases

This article is about giving emphasis to certain points of phrases, in this case, by starting from specific notes.

Ultimate Guitar

This is great exercise for your guitar playing focus, since you have to be able to audio image the phrase you are going to play before you actually play it, and hold that audio image in your mind while you play. That is the only way to make those accents you made by starting from different note hearable to a listener. So, choose your favourite licks and emphasize the starting note while you play that licks in loop. After you hear that it sounds fine, start from second note of the lick, then from third, and so on...

2 note loops

First we will start from simple 2 note loops. For example take G and B and first play a loop starting from G. I'm sure you won't have much problems with this. Then reverse the loop. What you now play MUSN'T sound like you started from G. B note must be emphasized. This rule is work for every other phrase you want to practice this way.

3 note loops

Play loops of 3 notes B, C and D. And start those loops from different notes. At this point, you might have a problem of keeping the accentuation, or even picking right so it could be emphasized well. Practice those examples (fig. 1-3), and even make yours, perhaps in some arpeggio ideas.

Fig 1: ESIPE Ex1

Fig 2: ESIPE Ex2

Fig 3: ESIPE Ex3

I also advise you to make this with loops of more than 3 notes. Maybe choose 6 notes; a 2 string pattern. This is pretty good exercise. For example, take notes of G major scale, and start on second string. The notes are G, A, B, C, D and E. Don't change your fingering when you play loops from different note.

Fig 4: Eisp Ex4

You will realize how your picking hands drives to pick differently, but that is the point, don't change anything! Take a phrase of this example which is easiest for you to play, and then analyze how do you end up picking on the note from you start the phrase you have problem with. Use a metronome to achieve the speed you want.

Once you practice out each of the loop pattern, start mixing them, and see what comes out! You might get lots of good ideas this way.

One more thing you can always use is when you play a phrase starting from some other note than you lowest one in that phrase, after playing it couple of times, it might occur to you that you actually play from lowest note.

This dazzling trick can be useful in soloing.

Another thing you can do is incorporate bends on certain note, and repeat the whole phrase from one note couple of times, then start from other note (but make the bend on the same note), and so on. Same is possible with slides, and even vibrato.

This is fairly simple thing to work out, but it will improve your phrasing abilites a lot!

Official Josip Pesut site Visit the site and enjoy playing Josip's 'Licks of the month'!

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I was duing it naturally, but not on triplet. Good article, I'll work on this.
    hey haha its me again once again asking if you could post a video of yourself doing this? or to make a guitar pro tab if you have time thanks again!
    yeah a video of this would be good... I think linke Inntertom said as well you have to use rests and not just play a continuous stream of notes. (But I know understand that wasn't in the scope of this article)
    I agree about the rests. Even prolonging some notes works really great in this. When I provide a video related to this article, I will let you guys know! Thanks!