Phrasing and musicianship

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
DavidKH
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:42 pm

Phrasing and musicianship

Post by DavidKH » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:13 pm

When it comes to turning a piece of music into vibrant And living art rather than a series of notes rotely played, I would be interested in hearing how other forum members approach phrasing the music and any other way that they breathe life into it . This is something that I’m trying to work on more. I want to be able to make the music live and communicate that feeling to others who are listening. Thanks for any responses .

User avatar
Anthony Campanella
Posts: 2418
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:29 pm

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Anthony Campanella » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:32 pm

Sounds like you are on the right track
Observing the phrasing that we are using is how we can start to improve it
I'll often replay pcs mentally until I'm satisfied with how I want to present it
And then work on accomplishing that with the guitar in hand
My main focus is that it is a singing voice which can accommodate a wide variety of dynamics

Crofty
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Crofty » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:35 pm

1. Singing [where appropriate]

2/Work on silent conducting.
[Obviously, make sure that you are hearing the music in your head though.....]

Paul

User avatar
Lawler
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Lawler » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:49 pm

Crofty wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:35 pm
1. Singing [where appropriate]

2/Work on silent conducting.
[Obviously, make sure that you are hearing the music in your head though.....]

Paul
Yes to both of those ways of working. They help get the music clearly in the mind's ear re the details of pitch and rhythm and also help develop, in a very natural way, expressive playing.

celestemcc
Posts: 1242
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by celestemcc » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:57 pm

:D Singing, for sure. Where would you breathe? Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's not (especially as the music doesn't have words). Conducting, yes, and speaking the rhythms aloud if needed.

Also listen to other music of the same composer, style, or period. If the piece was written for another instrument, eg, cello or piano, listen to the piece on that instrument. And look at the original instrument's score. Bowings and pedal marks can make it clearer as well. Guitar music rarely has phrase marks, but music for the bowed strings and piano often does.

And then keep singing it! :D
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Wuuthrad
Posts: 1155
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:16 pm
Location: USA

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Wuuthrad » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:26 pm

I think of the rhythm first. To me all music is rhythm first and foremost. Not BPM but a range of tempo, one that feels right when seeing where the melody is, what the chordal structure is, what the bassline is. Singing these in the head or soloing the different parts. Also, think of the Piano, the only instrument that can compare with Classical Guitar, which is a percussion instrument.
So if I'm practicing etudes I will purposely play them at different tempos to get a feel for how different interpretations can sound.

And always not being constrained to the bar lines;
Much music has only a structural relationship to notation but not a musical one- especially Lute music originally on tablature, which tells us how to play not what to play.

So I think adopting this attitude is important for interpreting music: how to play the music rather than an instruction manual idea we might get from the "what to play" of notation, which isn't really accurate anyway.

(Look at why so many composers never wrote for guitar; it's only one clef and not even the proper notes!)

Also for me A430, or even A420!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

User avatar
Rick Beauregard
Student tutor
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:23 am
Location: Blaine, WA

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:48 pm

All of these suggestions are great. I think, though, that to own the interpretation you need to infuse emotion into it as well. What does the music say to you? What do you think of when you hear it in your mind? How do you want others to feel when they hear you play it? Of course the previous advice and technique needs to me mastered before you can go there. But mastering the rhythm and dynamics is just a beginning.

I admit to being a neophyte in this respect. I’m not yet able to technically produce the music that’s in my head, except in all too short intermittent and ephemeral flashes of relative brilliance.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

DavidKH
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:42 pm

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by DavidKH » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:55 pm

Thanks to all the reply’s on my post of phrasing and musicianship. I think they all must go together to make the whole. The emotion part that Rick Beauregard mentioned seems to be the life part of making music and singing the melody lines is a great idea because singing is a most human and emotional thing to do. This may sound silly or or elementary but I think I’m finding that if I mentally build a narrative or story of what the music may be about, that helps me feel the emotions and perhaps infuse them into the piece.

User avatar
Rick Beauregard
Student tutor
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:23 am
Location: Blaine, WA

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:50 pm

DavidKH wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:55 pm
Thanks to all the reply’s on my post of phrasing and musicianship. I think they all must go together to make the whole. The emotion part that Rick Beauregard mentioned seems to be the life part of making music and singing the melody lines is a great idea because singing is a most human and emotional thing to do. This may sound silly or or elementary but I think I’m finding that if I mentally build a narrative or story of what the music may be about, that helps me feel the emotions and perhaps infuse them into the piece.
It works for me. And a bonus is that I keep my interest through the long repetitious process of learning the piece. Otherwise a piece that may have spoke. To me once loses the magic after dissecting it and repeating it so much.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

User avatar
Justfun
Posts: 1038
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:58 pm
Location: New York Queens

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Justfun » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 pm

I'm trying to model Kyuhee Park she is a master at Phrasing.
But one must think through out the piece, How would a singer sing what is written, Breath etc..

Fred
Richard Reynoso, Cypress \ Spruce 2016
Ramirez 4NE, IRW \ Cedar 2011
Yamaha CG192S

Wuuthrad
Posts: 1155
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:16 pm
Location: USA

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Wuuthrad » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:28 pm

Justfun wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:34 pm
I'm trying to model Kyuhee Park she is a master at Phrasing.
But one must think through out the piece, How would a singer sing what is written, Breath etc..

Fred
This is a very important part and I often overlook it.
If I do remember to breathe at rhythmic intervals related to the music, it has a beneficial effect on everything!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

User avatar
Justfun
Posts: 1038
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:58 pm
Location: New York Queens

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Justfun » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:37 pm

Very true, I'm always looking at pavorotti and the way he sings. Much to learn and to be implemented on the guitar or any instrument.
Last edited by Justfun on Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Richard Reynoso, Cypress \ Spruce 2016
Ramirez 4NE, IRW \ Cedar 2011
Yamaha CG192S

User avatar
Lawler
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Lawler » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:41 pm

DavidKH wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:55 pm
...This may sound silly or or elementary but I think I’m finding that if I mentally build a narrative or story of what the music may be about, that helps me...
Similar to that, I often visualize the sound of the music I play as geometric shapes rotating and turning, changing colors, form and size as the music moves.

prawnheed

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by prawnheed » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:51 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:48 pm
.... I think, though, that to own the interpretation you need to infuse emotion into it as well. What does the music say to you? What do you think of when you hear it in your mind? How do you want others to feel when they hear you play it? .....
I think this is really the key. Being able to understand and articulate what emotions you want to convey is an essential step. The techniques for consistently doing so then develop with practise and (self) criticism.

Wuuthrad
Posts: 1155
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:16 pm
Location: USA

Re: Phrasing and musicianship

Post by Wuuthrad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:54 am

Additionally, pieces often make me think of a story or even a mini play so to speak. Easy to do with composers as Sor, who also wrote for ballet and opera, and has such songlike qualities.

And to think of serenading! Imagine Romeo and Juliet, Rapunzel, et. al. How might we write our own Faerie Tale by serenading our audience, our loved ones, our dog...
Or even just our selves?

Certainly the imagination is key! And fundamental to not only musical interpretation and classical guitar, but also to playing music in general, or listening to another players interpretations as inspiration or guidance, and certainly imagination is also an essential part of a fulfilling and rewarding life, no?

Also playing with a smile and not looking as though we forgot to visit the toilet before playing!
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

Return to “Classical Guitar Classes”