Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States around the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads.

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Blues improvisation building blocks

I was taking jazz piano lessons but had to stop. My teacher's approach to teach jazz improv was to break it down into a series of "building blocks" which are small motifs found frequently in the ...
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Why do the notes of a blues scale sound good with the I, IV, and V chords?

If you are playing the blues in the key of C, any note in the blues key of C should sound good in the melody with either of the C, F or G (I, IV or V) major chords in the bass. Why is this and how do ...
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4answers
102 views

Solo's on the 12 bar blues in A

When i'm slo'ing over the 12 bar blues in A (A7 D9 E9) i only use notes from the minor pentatonic scale in A. I know it should be possible to use the major pentatonic and even other scales. But have ...
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474 views

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible?

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible? Cmaj scale doesn't really have a C7 - F7 - G7. Is it done by borrowing chords from other modes? There seems to be a C7 in C mixolydian, F7 in C dorian and G7 ...
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58 views

Is this an 8 bar blues chord progression? How to know if it is or isn't?

I just read sheet music from a book on country piano with this chord progression: C-C-F-F-G-G-C-G. This is 8 bars long. Would you call this an 8 bar blues chord progression? All the examples I found ...
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1answer
76 views

What are the chords used to end blues songs like “One Way Out”?

The ending to "One Way Out" as done by the Allman Brothers Band has an ending that is common to lots of blues songs. It follows what sounds like a descending run like a normal turnaround with the ...
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1answer
21 views

Which key Harmonica to use in conjunction with Distorted Electric Guitar in C#/D half step down

I'm in a melodic metalcore band, and we're looking to include some harmonica riffs/solos in some songs. We're currently writing in C# or D half step down and would like some help in this subject. ...
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3k views

How are blues chords constructed from the scale

I know that progressions based on the chords E7,A7 and B7 form the basic rhythm guitar section of a blues song. These chords dont seem to strictly lie on the blues scale. Why do these chords harmonize ...
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3answers
152 views

Two kinds of blues scales?

I sometimes read about the major and minor blues scales. Now, this makes me a bit confused. Are there really two kinds of blues scales? I was told that in a 12 bar blues you play the I chord for 4 ...
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1answer
58 views

Why and when to use 12-bar blues?

Why and when do I use 12-bar blues? I know it's used with pentatonic and blues scales, but people like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, and many others use pentatonic and blues scales with other chord ...
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94 views

Why do blues musicians perform sitting?

I noted that many blues performers (singers/guitar players) sit during their performances. It seems to me that this is much more common in blues than in any other genre. Is there a reason for this?
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64 views

Structure of the song “Bring me my shotgun” by Lightnin' Hopkins

Bring me my shotgun by Lightnin' Hopkins is a blues song but is it really a 12 bar blues? If you want to write a blue song like this one should you really look at the 12 bar blues and its chord ...
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572 views

Which Blues notes are deliberately flattened?

@slim mentioned in this answer that: In Blues music for example, some notes are deliberately flattened -- but others are not, and a listener with experience of the Blues would still spot badly ...
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1answer
170 views

What exactly is *the* blues and how do you learn it (as opposed to: learn *a* blues)?

I realize this may sound like a stupid question, but I sense there is more to it than "play random blues scales over a 12-bar blues progression" to the blues tradition. What techniques, resources and ...
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2answers
103 views

How common is the little finger to fret strings in (blues) electric guitar? Why does SRV never use his little finger?

I was watching this (mindblowingly awesome) SRV video and I noticed that the guy never uses his little finger: I wonder if it's his habit or it is a legit technique ...
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1answer
163 views

Boogie Woogie in another keys what are the limits?

I'm a pianist and I play boogie woogie very well in C and G. Everyone knows that these are the easiest to play on, but guitarists like E and A and maybe D. I started to learn some riffs in A and E but ...
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1answer
364 views

Fingerings for minor and major blues scales

It's my understanding that for the diatonic scales, there's a consensus of which fingerings are optimal for most people. They are not a hard rule, some pianists use other fingerings, but they are ...
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2answers
142 views

Why aren't there “fake books” for blues?

A lot of jazz is heavily improvised, and I know that many musicians typically rely on fake books and their progressions to build improvisation on top of. My question is, why aren't there fake books ...
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2answers
125 views

Improv on F blues

I'm trying out for a high school jazz band, and on the audition paper it says I need to improvise on an F blues. Can someone explain to me what exactly that is? I know how to improvise on a blues ...
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1answer
59 views

What technique is being used by this pianist at 0:40? [closed]

I've heard this pattern (or riff or progression, not sure what to call it) all over blues music, and I can't seem to transcribe it by ear. He stops playing right at 0:37, then the following two ...
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5answers
2k views

I-IV-V blues progression

I'm currently learning a 12 bar blues rhythm and am getting confused by it. The solo is played over the A minor pentatonic scale. And the underlying chord progression is A - D - E. But isn't this ...
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4answers
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How to use diminished scale over I IV V changes in blues

I want to spice up my solos over a Blues progression. I already can play a variety of scales but the Diminished scale is something I would like to add because of the particular sounds it creates. In ...
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4answers
820 views

Exact pitch of blues scale notes

Wikipedia gives multiple candidate definitions for the blues scale. A musician showed me how to play blues e.g. in C by smudging say Eb and E. The actual note lies somewhere between. But where? ...
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1answer
40 views

Bill Frisell's Blues Dream

So I'm trying to learn this song and I was hoping you guys could help me "understand" it if that makes sense. Here is the version of the song I'm going off of on youtube. And here's a transcription ...
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5answers
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Major Blues Scale over I-IV-V progression

In the C major blues scale, there's no F note. The I-IV-V progression is C-F-G Without resorting to the C minor blues scale, how do I improvise over a I-IV-V progression using the C Major blues ...
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3answers
210 views

Blues Scale Notes - major 6th?

I've typically always played a blues scale in C as: C Eb F Gb G Bb However, in a book I'm reading, the author lists the blues scale for C as: C D Eb E F Gb G A Bb Improvising over this new scale ...
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What distinguishes Rock-n-roll from Rhythm-n-Blues?

Rock changes are basically Blues changes. Rock instrumentation (Guitar, Bass, Drums[, Keyboard, Horns]) is basically the same as Blues instrumentation (Guitar, Bass, Drums[, Keyboard, Horns]). Can one ...
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2answers
93 views

In a classic 12-bar-blues pattern, what are the changes for a “chunka-chunka” rhythm?

The basic 12bb pattern I know, but it's very typically played with a "chunka-chunka" rhythm where it alternates back and forth between two chord variants each beat (Is this also known as a shuffle or ...
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6answers
6k views

Can a song in one key contain major chords that are not in the key? Or does that change the key?

As an intro to piano, I want to learn basic chords from 2 White Stripes songs. They are as basic as piano gets, yet very catchy and powerful. They are very major sounding. I have never been able ...
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3answers
261 views

What approach should I take to learn Jazz/blues guitar?

I played a bit of piano when I was younger, and a little guitar, but I lost most of it. I can still read sheet music, and taught myself the pentatonic scale, and I'm working on learning to recognize ...
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6answers
903 views

Can blues be upbeat and cheerful?

Maybe this is a stupid question, but I quite like the sound of common blues patterns - however I find it hard to see how one might use them in a church context where one is expressing praise, worship, ...
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1answer
139 views

I don't like my voice

I’m a 51 year old pro bass player – I play mainly blues and jazz – well that is where my passion is at. I got sick and tired of hiring guitar players that can sing and play really well but were ...
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3answers
951 views

soloing over I-IV-V blues progression (E-A-B)

First of all I would like to say that I have absolutely no musical education whatsoever, I have been studying alone and in the past with a guitar teacher. However, I am really into blues, watching lot ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there any other blues chord progression?

I've seen many blues songs, with progression: I / / / | I / / / | I / / / | I / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | V / / / | V / / / | I / / / | I / / / | or I / / / | I ...
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4answers
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What is distinctive about the Hammond B3 organ?

Reading the credits of a jazz or blues album you might come across a musician who played using a Hammond organ (not just any organ, but a Hammond). I know that the Hammond has a long and storied ...
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1answer
1k views

How did “Mary had a little lamb” become popular blues?

"Mary had a little lamb" had long been a popular choice for blues musicians to jam and solo on stage. Ever since watching the rendition by Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan, it also had been one of my ...
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3answers
575 views

Learning to play what you're thinking on the guitar

I'm a beginner guitar player with a passion for the blues, jazz and funk. When I say beginner I mean that I just know a few chords, have some basic technique on how to handle the guitar (I had classes ...
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264 views

How to play the bridges in a standard blues progression

I know how the typical I-IV-V progression works, and I know the scales (well not by heart but more or less), there's one thing that always gets me, though. How is the bridge constructed? I mean the ...
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What are the differences between blues and jazz walking bass?

Both blues and jazz (especially swing) feature walking bass lines. Do they differ? If they differ, how does one differentiate them by just listening to the bass line, disregarding other instruments.
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What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
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1answer
181 views

Blues E scale on guitar

I am currently learning the guitar, particularly solo-ing, and teaching myself by figuring out the Blues scale in various keys. At the moment I'm looking at the key of E. The way I understand it (may ...
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1answer
314 views

Can a walking bass line be sufficient percussion for a (guitar) bass-brass-brass trio when playing blues?

We're experimenting as a Brass-Brass-Bass combo, and wondering what we can do to make the bass's job more interesting (besides throwing in more solos). Is it fairly easy to replace substantial ...
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2answers
154 views

Does playing 12 bar blues require two players and two instruments?

I am trying to play the 12 bar blues. From the manual I use, the idea seems to play the chord progression (CCCCFFCCFGCC) and at the same time it is possible to improvise or use some existing patterns ...
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3answers
812 views

How long I need to practice piano in general before trying to learn playing blues?

Is playing blues understood as advanced skill or something that it is possible to start learning without significant background? I basically know which notes are which on the keyboard and can play ...
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In blues, country blues, why don't songwriters get sued for aping the same progressions/tempos/scales as other established blues songs?

Thought: As a guitar player, you can play the blues in pretty much any scale, A for instance with stock rhythms and endings. Example: You write a song in that scale you may even use the same solo ...
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0answers
75 views

Which is a better Bass? [closed]

I'm looking into getting 1 of these 3 B.C Rich Basses: First - B.C Rich WMD 5 string Widow Second - B.C Rich Virgin 4 Bass Third - B.C Rich Virgo 5 string Bass They all have a sound I really like, ...
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2answers
787 views

How can I play that crazy sound in Koko Taylor's “Wang Dang Doodle”?

In Koko Taylor's Wang Dang Doodle, there's some kind of ringing arpeggio lead that almost makes you forget that the whole song has only one chord. How do you play that crazy lead? Edit: This isn't ...
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172 views

Understanding V/ii♭9 Chord

I found this on Wikipedia. The Bebop blues(Spitzer 2001, 62): I7 IV7 I7 v7 I7 IV7 ♯IVo7 I7 V/ii♭9 ii7 V7 I7 V/ii♭9 ii7 V7 I can't parse the V/ii♭9 chord symbol. What notes is ...
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536 views

Is it possible to play “Juke - little Walter” on a diatonic harmonica key of C?

My harmonica is a marine band key of C, and i have another cheap Chinese key of D. Little Walter played Juke on a key of A harmonica and i can't find the tabs for a key of C harmonica, so is it ...
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261 views

Guitar Phrasing instruction

Are there any good resources on the web for learning guitar phrasing , especially as it pertains to blues guitar. i have been listening to the blues for a really long time, but have just recently ...