Re: [Harp-L] re: phrasing and spaces

Dear List,
  This is a great topic.  
  I was taught to relate phrasing to conversation.  It's no fun conversing with someone who just rambles on not letting you get a word in.  A good conversation is one in which you leave room for your counterpart to digest and consider what you just said.  He then says his piece, and leaves you space to reflect.  
  As a soloists, we often forget the other side of the conversation.  Admitedly a musical solo is one-sided, but you should still leave your audience spaces in which to consider what you just "said".
  It's like you're the story teller, but instead of words and theatrics,  you have this bag of musical tricks with which to tell your story.  Your bag may be full of tricks, or relatively empty, but that's ok.  You can still create tension, be playful, and/or keep your audience "on the edge of their seats".  It just takes slowing down your brain and remembering that it's not just you up there.
  Licks, techniques, theory, chops, gear. . . etc.  It's all a means to an end.  
  Dan G.

Jim Alciere <jim.alciere@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
  Listen to stuff other than harmonica--Listen to the old soul tunes, the
folks backing up Aretha for example. Listen to how they can play a killer
riff that's very simple, and never, ever, steps on the vocalist or draw
attention away from the vocalist. Huge spaces in the music and it moves
beautifully. Bob Marley the same way, listen to the bass and drum
interaction, especially in songs like Stand Up for your Rights and I Shot
the Sheriff. That's the mark of the real musicians. I'm listening to Sara
McLaughlin right now. Voice like that, you don't want anything distracting
you from it. The band is there to support that voice, when she takes a
break, the band kicks in to notch up the tension, rock it a
little.Shestarts singing, everyone backs off again. Another good
example is the recent
Emmy Lou Harris CD with Mark Knopfler. Couldn't ask for a better guitarist,
but he stays way back, comes to the fore only when it's necessary.

So how do you do it? If I knew, maybe I'd be up there playing with
Aretha.These are my rules for faking it,. With a band--don't play when
anyone is singing. .Take a solo for a verse and a chorus, then shut up.
Trying leaving a hole for the snare on the two beat and the four beat. Use
some variety rather just relying on speed and power--alternate between
single notes, octaves and chords. Alternate slow and fast. Alternate the
rhythm--switch from triplets to eight notes, etc. Build it up and bring it
down. The Dead were experts at this.
So relax, breathe, and listen. It's a team effort to put out a song, it's
not a competition, it's not a showcase for one guy's blowing prowess.
Rainbow Jimmy
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