March 31, 2013

Wayne Johnson on Timing & phrasing part 1

 Timing and phrasing with Wayne Johnson.

Part 1 consists of a number of questions I asked Wayne.
Part 2 consist of excerpts from a brand new series of lessons on phrasing Wayne sent me! Here makes a clear distinction between melodic and rhythmic phrasing using great singers like Tony Bennet as an example.

What's your definition of phrasing?  
Phrasing is one's ability to take a melodic & rhythmic passage and play it in an inherently unique manner… one that may not even be able to reproduce a second time. Interesting Phrasing can define a player.

Did you train this consciously? 
Not at first. 
Were you aware of it or did people point this out to you?
It was pointed out and then I discovered the reasons. 
How did you train this?
Listening to jazz singers
What were you listening for?
Time considerations

Did you record yourself in order to improve? 
Do you think of some kind of 'grid' between beats as to where to place the notes? 
Like drummers do, I heard Pat Metheny talk about this. Straight 16ths or 16th triplets in the pit of his stomach he said, depending wether he plays straight or jazz. 
Yes.. I've heard Pat talk about this. I think of this as more of a "feel" issue… not phrasing.

Is the bass player more of a rhythmic anchor than the drummer? (steady pulse) It really depends on who you're playing with. 
Either can be an anchor but…it is always best to feel the time in an idio kinetic fashion…bypassing the conscious mind … not counting in your head… but feeling deep from within… your internal metronome!
Do you still work on your phrasing?
I work on and consider "concepts" for phrasing when I play but not as a practice routine.  

Wayne Johnson & Taylor guitars.

Do you still steal licks from records?
Only for right hand techniques (picking hand).
Any recent cool licks? 
Very cool latin/salsa pattern
Do you keep a diary of licks like Scott Henderson? 
No but I do keep a diary of concepts regarding the simplification of improvisation techniques as applied to guitar.  It's ongoing and very exciting.

Do/ did you notice a difference in timing when you play with different people? 
Do you consciously vary your timing? 
Hold back and start a phrase a wee bit later? 
All. I do this to the extreme… probably more than I don't, if that makes sense! 

"Here's another way to think of Phrasing:  Just like we take a melodic idea out of key momentarily for tension and then come back into the key center (as when you are improvising), we can do the same with our "time" or rhythmic ideas.  We can slow down, speed up and even take it completely out of time… coming back into time. " Wayne Johnson (preview part 2) 

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