VIDEO: Phrasing Options of Slower Tempos...



Courtesy of Jimmy Brown (Guitar World Mahazine)

I’ve always been interested in how a groove’s tempo and stylistic feel—swing-eighths versus even, or “straight,” eighths, for example—can influence and even dictate how one constructs melodic phrases.

One of the nice things about soloing over a slow tempo is that it gives you more options, technically and rhythmically. That is, there’s more “breathing space” in which to subdivide the beat compared to what is available at a fast tempo, where players who lack solid shredding skills are generally limited to playing mostly eighth notes.


This month, I’d like to offer an example of some cool phrasing possibilities inspired by a moderately slow 16th-note rock groove and i-IV Dorian vamp, Em7 to A7, akin to that heard in both the Pink Floyd song “Breathe” (Dark Side of the Moon) and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Riviera Paradise” (In Step).



Jimmy is the music editor for Guitar World Magazine and Guitar School Magazine (as well as their websites) and has a method book, Beginning Rock Guitar for Kids: A Fun, Easy Approach to Playing Today's Rock Guitar Styles from Hal Leonard Publishing.

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