Tips on Improving Guitar Phrasing

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Four melodic embellishments that can help in the improvement of guitar phrasing include hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and bends. Learn about leaving space in guitar playing with help from a professional musician in this free video on guitar phrasing.

Part of the Video Series: Guitar Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hello, this is Lucian Williams, from Here are some tips for improving your guitar phrasing. I'm going to show you four melodic embellishments; hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and bends. Now, let's move down to the guitar. I'm going to apply these melodic embellishments to an A minor blue scale, in fifth position. Now, this pattern contains two notes on each string. The hammer-on picks the lower pitched note and just let's the top note ring. The opposite of the hammer-on is the pull-off, where the higher pitched note is picked only and the lower note is left to ring. You can slide into the pattern with your first finger from below, or slide down to it with your fourth or third finger from above. You can also bend notes. Instead of fingering every note with your left hand you can bend up to it, so instead of doing this you can do this, and that gives it more of a vocal quality. The next tip is to leave space in your playing to feel the rests between the phrases of notes properly, and the best way to do this is to sing what you play or play what you sing. So, that's just a little bit about guitar phrasing. This is Lucian Williams. Thank you for watching.


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