Blues guitar phrasing is something I have to work on all the time. If I don’t pay attention then it’s too easy to get into bad habits, so it’s always useful to have a checklist of things to do… or not do… to keep your phrasing in good shape and avoid problems.
Here’s a nice video that offers 5 useful tips to get your phrasing into shape and keep it there (you might need to click here to see it on the blog if you’re reading this in a feed reader).
Here’s a short summary of the tips from this video.
1. Repeat ideas
Repetition is one of the fundamental elements of music. Build your solos out of blocks of only a few notes, and repeat them to draw in the listener. Use only a few notes and work them hard to create the most you can out of them.
2. Open up space
Use rests to create space in your music. It gives you time to come up with something new and heightens tension in the music.
3. Sing the notes you play
As Marty put it, singing the notes you play “connects with that inner music inside of you, that is a really good thing.” Singing also forces you to breath and introduces natural pauses that will help you open up space.
4. Dynamics – loud or soft
You can break up monotony in your playing through use of dynamics – how loud or soft you play. Mix things up and don’t just play everything at full blast.
5. Know when to get out
Finally, just like you have to end your phrases to leave space around them, you also need to end your solos to keep something in reserve for the next song.
If you enjoyed these tips then click here to visit Marty’s site for many more great guitar lessons. You can try out lessons free for three days. Note that I partner with GuitarJamz because I enjoy the quality guitar lessons it provides, if you decide to subscribe after following this link I may receive a small commission. You can learn more about Marty’s lessons site by reading my GuitarJamz review.
Oh, and by the way, to get the free jam-track Marty mentioned in the video click this link.