All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

How to make a tune your own?

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
605
Locality
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Hi all, I have numerous music books here at home, but what do you experienced players do to make it your own, I mean to make it a bit individual, rather than just play it as written, so it not so bland.Thanks Bumnte.
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
Messages
3,826
Locality
Manchester,England
1/ Embellish the melody
2/ Play around with the phrasing
3/ Pull the melody around timing wise
4/ Play around with dynamics

Any one or all of the above, I don't( I should) but my tutor would like the fact I listen to what he tells me >:)haha

Chris..
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Café Supporter
Messages
6,062
Locality
Minster On Sea
Wot Chris said.

Basically play how you imagine it could be played. Try singing it. Get to know it really well.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Chris has covered the technique, Nick the mental image. Suggest you try listening to different versions of well known tunes by 'name' artists and see how each one performs it. Sweet Home Chicago is a good starting point. Have a listen to Robert Johnson's original. Try Eric Clapton's version which is now the standard. Then try the Blues Brothers version, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy...

When you find a group of names playing it, listen to each one's interpretation..... Ask how/why/what's different.

Work out what feel each one gives the tune. What have they added to give a different, personal feel.... Now ask yourself how you feel about it. How would you lik to express/perform it...
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,669
Locality
Rugby UK
Have a little fun with it. Just because the composer wrote it in a particular way, doesn't mean you have to stick religiously to it!
I like to try and play a piece differently every time I play it. It helps to keep it lively and it keeps your mind on the job in hand too!
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,769
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
A sign of a good song/tune is that it can be played in many different styles imo.

First you have to learn it and know it. Have something to say when you play. What does a piece say to you? Sometimes just let the mood take you. Put the telly on with the sound off and play the soundtrack as you flip channels. I often sing the words in my head. Sometimes the wrong words to alter the phrasing.

I can't for the life of me play things how they go. It's the curse/gift of playing by ear. I just make something up that fits. No good when you have the lead.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,028
Locality
Essex
I agree with Taz, and would add - learn the tune just enough to play it by memory, then play it so it won't be exactly as the music is written, and as others have said, change the phrasing, add embellishments etc....
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,329
Locality
London
Great tips, I particularly subscribe Kev's. Listen to so many versions that you will eventually catch the essence of the tune.
My favourite musician in playing a personalised melody is Miles Davis.
Here is a good example (please note the peculiar arrangement of the intro, with that maj6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u37RF5xKNq8

Of course there was a book of some American (I seem to remember a big name, like Nestico or Niehaus) about it. It gives you many possible variations to practise, so you can be absolutely original, like everybody else.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,912
Locality
Just north of Munich
Of course there was a book of some American (I seem to remember a big name, like Nestico or Niehaus) about it. It gives you many possible variations to practise, so you can be absolutely original, like everybody else.

:)))
Best laugh I've had on the forum in ages. I needed it, especially after the last couple of days, thanks!
 

Chris

Well Known
Café Supporter
Messages
3,826
Locality
Manchester,England
Of course there was a book of some American (I seem to remember a big name, like Nestico or Niehaus) about it. It gives you many possible variations to practise, so you can be absolutely original, like everybody else.

Priceless:))):))):))):))):))):welldone

Chris..
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
605
Locality
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Thanks everyone for advice and ideas, now to put into practice. Thanks. Bumnote.
 

Popular Discussions

London
Paris
New York
Los Angeles
Sydney
Moscow
New Delhi
Top Bottom