#1
Lately, I've come to notice something about my playing... I have no problem coming up with short phrases that fit whatever I'm playing over, but I can't keep adding on to make them into longer melodic ideas. The longer I try to go with one phrase, it starts to lose its feeling, whereas the artists I listen to keep pushing their lines deeper and creating emotion. What are some ways to overcome this? Is it all about knowing which "color tones" in the chords to emphasize, or is it something else?
#2
Can you give us an example of artists/songs that use this type of extended phrasing?
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#4
Idk about Andy Timmons, but in my music and a lot of jazz music, extended phrases usually utilize non-diatonic chords to allow some fresh melodic possibilites. Like if i had a progression in F major and the last chord was a Gminor, I would add another measure of like Edim or E7 to, first off, draw me towards F, and also to let me utilize those chord tones that arent normally in the key. Extending phrases is kinda hard to do, but its pretty awesome if you can do it. I have a piano instructor who once tried to extend a phrase indefinitely and got to like 36 measures before the class decided it too much. but hes been playing for over 50 years and have perfect pitch.
#5
You need to train your mind to THINK in longer phrases. This involves ear training and practice.

Develop your ear so that you can hold longer and more complex musical ideas in your head, and so that you're really playing music with your brain, not your fingers. If you can't hold a long musical idea accurately in your head, you'll never be able to really compose one.

Secondly, practice. If you're comfortable with a one-measure phrase, spend a day playing with six-beat phrases until you're comfortable with them. Then try eight-beat phrases. Don't just jump in and try to do something five measures long.
#6
Quote by -Blue-
Lately, I've come to notice something about my playing... I have no problem coming up with short phrases that fit whatever I'm playing over, but I can't keep adding on to make them into longer melodic ideas. The longer I try to go with one phrase, it starts to lose its feeling, whereas the artists I listen to keep pushing their lines deeper and creating emotion. What are some ways to overcome this? Is it all about knowing which "color tones" in the chords to emphasize, or is it something else?

Think about the rhythmic contour, direction of the notes, how the dynamics unfold etc.

You could take a particular rhythmic idea, and change the notes to acknowledge the underlying harmony. Or use similar notes, and change the rhythm.

Also, repetition of ideas will give your solos a sense of cohesion and inherent logic.

What you're asking would be about thematic development with phrases.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 2, 2012,
#7
Using longer phrases (and writing longer pieces/songs) means that there has to be a much clearer sense of structure on both a local and global level. Melodic contour, rhythm, harmony etc. all have to combine in a way that directs the music to short and long term goals. It's very difficult to give a general answer about how to successfully do this, but if we could see some examples of your writing where you think your results have not been as successful as you would like, then I'm sure that people can advise you in things that you could do (or stop doing) to help you create the longer phrases that you want.
#8
Quote by -Blue-
I'm mainly thinking of people like Andy Timmons when I'm talking about this sort of thing, where their melodies can go on and on and never lose anything.


How many years have you been playing in relation to him?

Some things you get and refine through knowledge and experience and years of playing. Or if you want to know his style because you like it, break it down, analyize it and see why it works, why it fits together and what about it sounds good, phrasing wise. Phrasing is a very personal, individual thing. It's like one's voice.

Best,

Sean
#9
keep very little notes in the chords so when you're gonna play, you have a lot more melodic "space". say using an Emaj and an Amaj just ties you to 5 notes Db,E,G#,A&B. So in your melody you can use more notes and add different feels. Joe Satrianis lesson on the modes might help.
#10
Its because youre thinking of it as "phrasing" and not creating "melodies". The best way I found to develop deeper playing like you spoke of was to play a "phrase" and then wait a second and see what your mind tells you to play after. Then just build and build. Most great guitarists use this technique to come up with their melodies & lines