[Harp-L] Back to Phrasing...
- To: Harp-L <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [Harp-L] Back to Phrasing...
- From: Mojo Red <harplicks@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 10:32:38 -0800 (PST)
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I just read through the recent thread on phrasing and very much enjoyed most of the comments.
...until the discussion veered off into a discussion about something somebody once said, out of context, barely relevant to the discussion at hand...
Anyway, I think the concept of phrasing is of HUGE importance to harp players and I know I would benefit form further input by some of the more advanced players on the list.
First of all, how does one cultivate his own phrasing? I know harp players who are not particularly fancy or technical with overblows or whatever, but who's playing I find incredibly powerful and/or poignant... why? Because of excellence in phrasing. This concept transcends musical genres and is of equal imporance throughout the musical spectrum.
I don't believe good phrasing comes neccessarily from being well studied in musical theory, but I may be wrong. I know a local blues player here in Denver who has the most remarkable phrasing, yet adimantly avoids theory. I listen to a lot of music other than harmonica and pick up ways to phrase things that I try to adopt their ideas in my own playing -- especially jazz players such as Coltrane, Mingus and those guys.
Someone's comment earlier about "playing the spaces" rings true, but doesn't explain much to me in terms of how to advance my own goals regarding phrasing.
For myself I try to work on my phrasing with slower numbers. Take Mingus' "Porkpie Hat" for example. I will play the head several times through (third position) and each time try to change aspects of my phrasing (timing, note emphasis, spaces, etc), not the actual notes played, in as many ways as I can, just to explore the many paths that are available. Getting the most out of a song like that can mean differnt things at different times and by phrasing it differently you can pull out different emotions, and give the song a completely different feel.
I find this fascinating and extremely helpful in my development as a musician.
I would appreciate further discussion in this area.
Chris Michalek, Michael Peloquin, are you guys out there? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic as I admire your phrasing a great deal.
Harpin' in Colorado,
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