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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for the more experienced lead players about phrasing. I consider myself a decent lead player but have only been playing solos for less than 2 years. I've been mainly a rhythm guitarist for 14 years believe it or not. If you've heard some of my cover tunes then you know what my soloing sounds like, decent, but due to lack of theory knowledge, proper scales and transitioning, I know I can improve by leaps and bounds if I could just understand some theory.


What exactly is a good definition of "PHRASING"? I hear so much about it. Can anyone post some examples of phrasing as it applies to rock/metal soloing?? I'm only able to play well in the major scales right now.

Feel free to listen some of my cover song solos and maybe that will give you an idea of what areas I could improve in.

Thanks alot
 

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My approach to phrasing is never play more notes than a typical sax player could belt out in one breath...then as he "takes a breath" you take a break on the guitar....it becomes natural and not "choppy" which I think is not what one would want their phrasing to be like. I think this method should work for any style of playing. I listened to sax players for years just hearing the natural phrasings they do...joining two phrases into a longer phrase also helps...it's like building upon short pieces and making a "sentence" out of it. My thoughts on the subject anyways....good luck man!!
 

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i don't think you can really put it into words, i don't think there's any real concept to it except mould your playing in harmony and in time with the backing music (listen to a john petruuci song and you'll notice he hits a new note for every chord change) and to really just play music
- just improvise over a lot of music and you'll start to phrase naturally
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I'm soloing, usually over a cover song, I usually stress certain recognizable notes and improvise in between. To me it sounds decent but I always wonder if other guitarists think its boring or over simplistic like maybe they're waiting for me to play something mindblowing or to throw a unexpected transition in there. I don't know modes or very many scales so I just play 100% by ear. Thats how I taught myself to play rhythm guitar. Do you think phrasing is a natural gift one has or is it really just learned like everything else?
 

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it can be learnt .. definately .. if you want i can post a basic lesson on how i was taught phrasing (not that i'm a master or anything) lol! but i might be able to help?

Stig
 

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my definition of phrasing is a little song....alot of little songs....they have a little begginning, a little middle and a little end....play every note with feeling....but the key is to know your "root" note and your scales in position but also on each string individually, so your not limited to keeping your hand in positions.....and to know your scales so well you dont think about them but you concentrate on your creative phrase...comprehendo?
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Riff Addict said:
Thanks Stiglar, I'd like to look at the lesson if you don't mind posting it.
This 37 yr old dog would like to learn some new tricks.


[/ QUOTE ]

Sure i'll get right on it .. i'll write it up .. might take me a while to phrase (scuse the pun there) my sentences to make it easy to understand .. i'm shocking when it comes to getting my point across !
 

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I always thought phrasing was sorta making the guitar 'talk'...leaving gaps as you would in a conversation...building some parts LOUDER and some s.o.f.t.e.r. to give your playing a voice and let it talk. For example, you wouldn't say 'hellomynameischriswatsonandi'veplayedtheguitarforever' if you see what I mean. You'd pause and emphasise certain lines and points for dramatic effect. Points you wanted to get across more would be more forceable and other points you weren't so sure on would be more held back or withdrawn. Just my two cents.
 

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Riff Addict, I stickied a thread in this forum, called "In a rut with your improvs? Read on... " where a lot of answers to your question have been addressed.

Summing up my feeling about the problem you're referring to: you can try humming the lead line you imagine in your head, then try to match it with the guitar.
To kick things up a bit, you can imagine a 2-guitar conversation during this lead part, where you play one sentence with the neck pickup for instance, concluding it on a root note from the key you'replaying, or on a note that leaves the solo suspended (like a question mark). Next, you flip the pickup to bridge and you go by answering the question your guitar asked the measure before (in a slightly different voice).
One of your parts can be played legato, while the responding part can be done with plam mutted strings and a descending lick in two-handed hammer-ons.
Find your voice(s) and see how jaws drop!

Note: Shredding and cramming the most notes per measure can have catastrophic effects if you don't know how to pace your phrasing. This is why some really good and fast players are boring as heck, because no-one can make sense of their playing,
 

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that was well written CC .. some great tips in there.! . and i agree read the stickied thread it has alot of helpful hints in there ! ...
 

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Just think of sex, it's somthing you know and get better at with practice. Sometimes ya start slow then fast then slow..it just feels right. Depends on the song. For a slut, just romp and make it rough and fast. But for a serious tune (or woman), it varies on what it calls for and...oh gotta go..gotta do some phrasing ...my women are calling out for me.again.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
CanyonCarver said:

Note: Shredding and cramming the most notes per measure can have catastrophic effects if you don't know how to pace your phrasing. This is why some really good and fast players are boring as heck, because no-one can make sense of their playing,

[/ QUOTE ]

Excellent point. I think thats why personally I dont listen to long scale runs played at a million miles an hour. I find it quite boring, where a blazing run in the middle of some blues phrasing for example adds contrast and excitement..
 
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