Play More Beautifully: Phrasing and Musicality

It’s still true: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.”

There is an art and science to playing beautifully.  Music is more than just the notes on page.

Develop habits that will allow every note you play to have purpose and direction, and everything you play will be more beautiful and meaningful.


Here are a few places to get you started:


Learn When to Swell or Fade Your Volume with 3 Simple Rules for “Dynamics”

This is one of the main tools in our musical toolbox – volume.  With these 3 “rules” (they work 90% of the time), you can build habits of getting louder and softer in ways that make your music beautiful.


Discover How to Practice Playing Expressively

In order to paint colorful pictures, stir deep feelings, and create symphonies on the guitar, you have to practice playing expressively.  Here you’ll get many practical suggestions to weave expressive playing into the very DNA of your music.


Find Out How to “Decipher” Classical Guitar Music

In classical guitar music, we get to play a melody, and bass line, and other accompaniment notes, all at the same time!  This article will help you make sense of the music on the page, and give you insights on how to make your music come out sounding sweeter.


Examine the Roles of Strong and Weak Beats in Music.

Not all notes are created equal.  Each note has it’s purpose and it’s role to play to move the music forward, create excitement, and communicate the idea of the music.  Discover how to think of the notes on the page and decide how to play them.


Explore How to Begin Your Pieces for Maximum Impact

The opening few seconds of any piece set the tone for the whole experience.  Gain insights on how to start pieces so that you create a mood, define an atmosphere, and tell a riveting story.


Peruse the Phrasing and Musicality Archives

Find many more lessons on how to play so that you and anyone listening will connect emotionally with the music you play, whether you’re a seasoned professional or you’re just starting out.




Allen Mathews

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers – one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.

Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully!

“The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”
Charles Poliquin

Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…1

  • Move your hands safely and fluidly
  • Enjoy fulfilling practices and meaningful work
  • Play beautifully with expression and flow

Click the button to take a step towards an
organized, effective guitar practice. >>>

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