This is a project I am working on for my students.... it is a compliatin of things i have learned from different teachers... credit goes to will strieder, joe dixon, steve warkentin, randy adams, matthew mcinturf, michael sachs etc.... let me hear your suggestions... i hope to have a finished product in a week Musical Guidelines for Practice and Performance Steve Gulledge Rules of Musicianship A musical phrase is best described as a complete musical thought; or sentence. A phrase can either independently stand on itâ€™s own or it can create sustained interest over time. A performerâ€™s job is to acquire the technical skills on the instrument to effectively communicate the musical idea while not allowing the technique to overshadow the musical result (the music should always sound easily performed). Follow the meter Identify strong/weak beats within the meter: o 4/4 = strong beats 1&3, weak beats 2&4 o 3/4 = strong beats 1, weak beats 2&3 o 3/8 = strong beats 1, weak beats 2&3 o 6/8 = strong beats 1&4 (In 6), 1&2 (In 2) Multi-Meter: Organization of the rhythmic pulse will determine strength relationships. Follow the shape of the line General architecture of phrase construction is ascending or descending lines: o Ascending lines: Is the line leading to a particular note within the phrase? Is the line relaxing away from previous tension? o Descending lines: Is the line leading to a particular note within the phrase? Is the line relaxing away from previous tension? Use this architecture to guide you through the notes, either moving forward or away from each other. Rhythmic Direction Functions of consecutive notes: o 2 note patterns: 1st note strong, 2nd note weak (unless otherwise noted). o 3 note patterns: 1st note strong, 2nd note weak, 3rd note moves to 1st of next group. o 4 note patterns: 1st note strong, 2nd note weak, 3rd note strong, 4th moves to 1st of next group. Play what is on the page Does it say accented? Staccato? Forte? Piano? Crescendo? Diminuendo? Rit? Accel? These are some of the â€˜absolutes of musicianshipâ€™. Use the printed instruction as a point of departure for how to construct your own ideas. Stay as close to the â€˜printed road mapâ€™ of the piece as you can. If the things you add do not ADD to the music, then it is taking AWAY from it. Key Signature/Accidentals/Cadences o Allow the function of individual notes to guide you through your construction of a phrase o Identify important cadences (measures of resolution (often every 4 bars) depending on tempo of piece). o Identify the â€˜color notesâ€™ (notes marked with accidentals). o Color notes â€“ can create tension or resolution, depending on what happens before or after them. o Music will function one of two ways: Either moves towards the next note or comes away from the note previous note. Identify the function and exaggerate it. Levels of Listening o Perspective from the audience: Is your audience musicians and colleagues or friends and family? o Friends and family listen with their hearts, musicians and colleagues listen with their brains. Your audience will listen on the following levels: As you practice work to allow your audience to listen at level five. Level 1: Aesthetic Quality: Sound. Does the sound you produce invite someone to listen to it? Is it clear? Resonant and ringing? Is it free and â€˜easy to listen toâ€™? If your audience enjoys the first thing they hear (your tone) then they will proceed to listen at the next level. Level 2: Notes: Rhythms Is your performance free from â€˜crunchesâ€™? Can you play every note and rhythm with your best sound? Your audience will be able to discern what an â€˜ouchâ€™ note is, or what a wrong rhythm might be. These are major distractions that cause your audience to become â€˜uncomfortableâ€™, thus taking away from the enjoyment performance. Accomplish these goals in your practice; your audience will thank you. Level 3: Dynamics: Style Does your performance create interest through contrast? Ex: This was a loud note, this was a soft note, this was a long note, this was a short accented note. If there is a specific musical notation (instructions) the audience should be able to visualize the notation on the page based on your performance. Level 4: Phrase Construction: Architecture Can you hold your audiencesâ€™ attention from one phrase to the next? Is it obvious where the beginning of your musical sentence starts and where it ends? The structure and performance of your phrasing should organize the musical ideas to allow your listener to â€˜follow alongâ€™. Can the audience understand where the â€˜peakâ€™ or climax of the piece is? Is there logic to your musical decisions? Ex: not getting too loud too soon, or getting too soft too soon. Can your audience follow the progression of the piece? Does the beginning feel like the beginning and the end feel like the end? Level 5: Emotional: Artistic Can your audience sit back and enjoy the performance? Can your audience listen comfortably and relaxed? Does your audience fall in love with the PERSON as well as the music? Levels of Performance o You are your most critical listener o Play to satisfy yourself o Most invested physically and mentally o Canâ€™t be an audience member AND performer at same time o Representing yourself as a person and performer Level 1: Aesthetic Quality: Sound Do you make your best sound? Level 2: Notes: Rhythms Do you play every right note and rhythm with that sound? Level 3: Dynamics: Style Do you play what is on the page? Dynamics, Style, Articulations, Tempo Changes Level 4: Phrase Construction: Architecture Do you have complete musical thoughts? Is there a connection between musical ideas? Do you convey the musical idea (exciting, mysterious, happy, sad)? Do you lead to the most important note and then come away from it? Musical interest is created by â€œtension â€“ and â€“ releaseâ€. Notes are not casual â€˜soundsâ€™, they have independent functions and those functions are to create tension â€“ and â€“ release within the structure of a phrase. Level 5: Emotional: Artistic Are you convinced in what you are trying to convey musically? Are you convinced â€œthis is how the iece should be performedâ€? Are you offering your personality through the instrument? Do you tell your story?