Watch the Blues Rock Road Trip 2 online guitar lesson by Joe Deloro from Blues Rock Road Trip 2
Welcome to Blues Rock Road Trip 2. What lies ahead are 40 revved-up riffs and solo phrases composed with two things in mind: equipping you with the tools to build your own trick bag of blues rock licks, and developing your understanding of the essential role that phrasing plays in soloing. This approach will cultivate your ability to form original ideas and tastier 8,12, and 16 bar solos.
Heads up, each lesson is divided into two parts referred to as Phrases 1 & 2, and most include variations. Once you're comfortable, be sure to move into the passing lane and mix things up over the Jam tracks. Try combining phrases, TAB variations, etc. as you see fit.
So what is phrasing? Basically, it's following one complete idea with another and making sense. Again, it's two complete ideas that compliment or effectively contrast each other. When you hear a good phrase it sounds like one person answering another, or a two line couplet in poetry.
Each half (complete idea) of a phrase is called a Motive and Motives are often called Licks or Riffs. There's two types of phrases in popular music: Theme and Variation, and Question and Answer. In the lesson texts that follow, the two phrase types will also be referred to as T&V and Q&A. Both types are defined below.
Referring back to poetry, just as a couplet is incomplete until it’s joined by another couplet in order to form a stanza, so is a phrase until it’s followed by another phrase to form a period. In Music, this typically takes 8 bars and completes a basic melody or solo. Of course, things can expand from there (see vocabulary terms below).
Also, on a micro level, it’s important to understand figures. They’re the equivalent of words and get things going. So, just like 5-6 words are often found in a line of poetry (or a sentence), 5-6 figures typically make up a motive in music.
Finally, in order for music to be interesting, it needs to progress logically, like a poem or language in general. And, in order to do that, all phrasing elements need to relate well. This is called unity. Therefore, the better the unity, the better the phrasing.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the following terms:
1. Figure: like a word and typically introduced with an accent, 1-5 notes but typically 3, and primarily consists of chord notes.
2. Motive: a complete idea, like a line or a sentence and punctuated with a rest or a tie, typically 5-6 figures in length and 2 bars long.
3. Phrase: like a couplet, made up of 2 motives and typically 4 bars long.
4. Theme & Variation (T&V): a type of phrase wherein the second motive is similar (up to 50%) to the first.
5. Question & Answer (Q&A): a type of phrase wherein the second motive is different (more than 50%) but complimentary to the first.
6. Period: like a stanza, made up of 2 phrases and typically 8 bars long.
7. Part: like 2 stanzas, made up of 2 periods and typically16 bars long.
8. Riff: usually a 1 or 2 bar motive, but occasionally a full phrase.
9. Unity: the main goal of phrasing, makes things gel and stay on topic, when figures, motives, phrases, periods, etc. are variations of the element(s) that preceded them.