Watch the Mr. Chester online guitar lesson by Muriel Anderson from Innovations for Acoustic Guitar
This is a very important chapter - working on phrasing and connecting the notes. These are ideas you can apply to add emotion and develop your own personality in the way you bring out the melody. Sometimes it helps to finger the notes in a different way with the left hand to allow one note to ring out over the next, or to slur into the next, or to allow a finger to slide, connecting one note to the next. Listen to which notes want to connect and which ones want to be detached. Then find a way to make it so! You're not limited by only one place to play a note on the guitar - we have choices! Sometimes it means stretching for one note while holding down the last one instead of letting go of one chord shape to move on to another chord shape.
Here are five biggies when it comes to playing expressively:
1. Timing - the ability to play exactly in rhythm or leaning to the front or to the back of the beat, holding an expressive note a little longer, pushing or pulling a phrase. Where you place the notes in time is perhaps most important.
2. Tone - Work on getting the best sound out of your instrument on every note you play, and vary the tone to provide interest.
3. Dynamics - that means always changing the volume!
4. Connect or detach notes - listen to how they connect and when they should be detached.
5. Listen to everything you play - be an active listener, enjoy and shape the music as you play it.
Video 2 brings us to an instrumental I wrote in honor of Mr. Chester B. (Chet) Atkins. I tried to incorporate licks in a style that Chet might have played (even if he didn't). I had fun writing this one.