A phrasing technique, or device, is a way to handle a common musical pattern. These patterns could be rhythmic, melodic, structural (based on the form) or something else.
Each phrasing technique is in service of a Phrasing Concept. These techniques are methods to achieve the goal of a larger concept.
These are perhaps the most versatile and handy phrasing devices:
- Cross the Bar Line – This simple practice habit will make everything you play sound more music.
- 3 Dynamics Rules – These three rules work 90% of the time, and make music beautiful. If you train yourself to default to this way of playing, you’ll be 90% of the way there.
- The “Long-Short” Pattern – This pattern connects the bits in a piece of music, and makes them into longer lines. It makes music more naturally vocal-sounding, and “conversational”.
- How to Create Forward Momentum in Music – This trick expands on the “Cross the Bar Line” from above. It’s a way to “pull” the listener forward. You demonstrate the movement of the music, like a game of “Show-and-Tell”.
If you only use these four above, everything you play will sound much better. So start with those. Then dive deeper below for more phrasing techniques.
All Phrasing Techniques and Devices
- 3 Phrasing Rules for Dynamics (Volume) on Classical Guitar
- A Musical Phrasing Exercise for More Expressive Playing: Conduct and Sing Your Pieces
- A Quick Guide to Musical Ornaments on the Guitar
- Balance Ratios: A Way to Quantify Musical Expression and Phrasing
- Classical Guitar Phrasing Lesson: Note Pairs
- Complete Guide to Vibrato on Guitar
- Cross the Bar Line for Better Phrasing, Better Classical Guitar Practice
- How Much Liberty Should We Take with Musical Interpretation?
- How to Connect Guitar Chords Beautifully in Music – Overlapping Chords
- How to Create Flow and Momentum in Your Music
- How to Master Chord Balance on Classical Guitar
- How to Play (and Practice) Accents on Classical Guitar
- How to Play Beautiful Tied Notes and Syncopations
- How To Play Guitar Expressively, In Layers
- How to Play Mixed Meter More Musically
- How to Play Rolled Chords Musically on Classical Guitar
- How To Stretch Time in Style: More Effective Ritardandos
- How to Stretch Time, With Rubato
- Musical Climax: Find the High Point to Sculpt Your Pieces
- Musical Transitions: How to Connect Musical Sections More Beautifully
- Next-Level Polishing: Three Areas to Elevate Your Classical Guitar Music to Advanced Levels
- Phrasing Tool: The Springboard (for Longer Lines)
- Play Dynamically, with 3 Levels of Sound
- Rubato Mastery: How to Practice Stretching Time with a Metronome
- The Fermata: How to Play Beautiful Fermatas in Classical Guitar Music
- The Final Chords: How to End Pieces of Music
- The First 4 Seconds, or How to Start a Piece
- The Long-Short: Classical guitar lesson in phrasing and expressive playing
- The Power of Half-steps in Classical Guitar Music
- What is an Agogic Accent in Music?
- What Is an Upbeat in Music? The Definition of a Musical Upbeat
- What is “Phrasing” in Music? Interpretation and Expression in Pieces of Music