This year, I'm going to be focussing on quite a lot of phrasing in the modules that I'm teaching. There is so much information on scales, chords, picking etc with loads of exercises everywhere, that I thought that to focus on phrasing, and really look at it in depth would be offering some "value", rather than to re-print pages of scales and picking patterns so that people can develop the skills required to play super fast scale and arpeggio runs.
While I've called this blog entry "New Year, new ideas", I'm actually going to start with some old ideas from my youtube channel:
"Phrasing part 1"
"Phrasing part 2"
These video lessons, while in essence very simple, actually get to the very root of what "phrasing" really is and offer a good starting point. As a very general rule, (and as always there are exceptions), phrasing is a question of stepping outside the patterns which people seem to practice, but not in terms of notes, in terms of note values and rests. Patterns generate a measure of predictability, but breaking patterns generate a measure of interest. Music actually requires a measure of both of these things. If you think in terms of sentences and paragraphs, and never fear rests and leaving space, you will be "speaking with your instrument" rather than just rambling off a scale you may have learned. Spaces contextualise your note choices and give them a position in time which is essentially what phrasing is all about. "Note choices in context".
In the words of Buddy Guy: "Notes are just a way of getting from one silence to another."
More of my video lessons can be found online here