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Phrasing: Not What You Say, But How

Jay McConnell (2030) · [archive]
Style: Basics · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

A large portion of this lesson was inspired recently by Hal Galper, who has a fantastic site to read some outstanding articles on music, theory, playing, stagefright, and to hear some tunes and other stuff.


...this lesson comes from his articles on FM and also incorporates several exercises that I have been playing for a few years that really changed my perception of music.

Forward motion is the effect that music creates that makes it seem like we are going somewhere. It is a combination of rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic tendencies and placements that fuel the music forward.

I really recommend going to Hal's site for a thorough education in FM. It is a bit advanced, but the exercises are easy and really illustrate the sounds/concepts well.

This lesson will attempt to incorporate some of my own exercises and include some valuable studies to help you find your own sense of PHRASING.

Phrasing is how you say, what you say on your instrument. We're all really playing the same chords and scales to achieve our results, because they sound good, but what makes everyone truly different and unique in music is the way each persons' hands touch the instrument. The attack, tone, timbre, technique, timing, and feeling that each person contributes is unique.

Phrasing is a combination of all of these characteristics, as well as what notes you decide to play and when.