Phrasing Chops: 7 Reasons Why

7 Reasons You Need to Improve Your Phrasing Chops

My apologies on the buzzfeed style title hook but it’s true and it’s probably more than seven reasons.

First let’s make sure we’re an the same page as to what I mean about phrasing.
Generally it may be thought of as a “musicianship” skill.

Let’s imagine a performing musician, orchestral, even rock, certainly jazz, or any kind of vocalist – the approach to delivering phrases of music that will be taken-in by the listener. (2.) When you command the listener’s attention musically, the listener feels like something more than a listener, they become a participator in the musical experience. The music comes alive.

The music comes alive.

What is the point of music then, if it doesn’t deliver the goods? Even RAP has a (3.) compound phrasing and delivery angle that gets fans excited.


Orchestra and Jazz pros know to get the “room” eating out of their hands. Delicious phrases of melodic communication transcends the paper charts and written scores. Even players sitting in their sections are employing phrasing skills whether playing exact lines from classical composers or interpretive charts from the jazz world. (4.)

What exactly is it? This thing called “Phrasing”. It’s (5.) so so SO closely related to breathing. It is nearly augmented reality for the listener. The next Four (or so) measures of melody are like when your talking, explaining an important idea, and you must breath, talk for a handful of words, comma, breath and continue.

If you are forced to digest a long long run-on sentence where several concepts are brought up and you don’t have a chance to let it soak in before more concepts come at you and the lack of pauses is getting to be too much but it won’t stop and the presentation just becomes unbearable. Like that sentence. No phrasing and it sucks.

If your playing classical and have to play whats written before you, yes your sensitivities must be refined. You still control the dynamics. Even with forte and pianissimo right there on the page, (6.) the classical music interprets the real sound that reaches the listeners ears. Yeah, it’s a responsibility.

The Composer/songwriter. Thanks for reading all the way to this point (7.) I talking now about the rock writer especially.

The song.

As a songwriter, the creation stage can allow the sense of phrasing to be placed to make a great tune. Phrases in melody and progression (of chords and harmony – arrangement) can make your musical creation strong. Very strong. Even if your tune has a sparse or dense arrangement, the breath of the song, is one aspect of this special kind of communication, yes kids, that we call “Music”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s