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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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 ...
18
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9answers
3k views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
868 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? ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

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.
10
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2answers
1k views

What makes african blues so distinctive?

When you listen to the music by Ali Farka Toure, Rokia Traore, Afel Bocoum and other african blues artists you can recognize it in a second. What is it what makes the african blues so distinctive? Is ...
9
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the Five Most Important Things to Learn?

I'm reading "Practice Perfect" and the author recommends using the 80/20 approach in planning one's practice. For example, if 20% of "techniques" yield 80% of the results, what would be the 20% of ...
7
votes
5answers
383 views

Resources for learning the Blues

Can anyone recommend any good resources (books or online) for learning the Blues on the guitar? Scales and theory is what I am looking for.
7
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a chromatic scale?

I notice that the blues scale usues notes that don't fit into the regular pentatonic scale, is there an entire scale that icorporates this method?
7
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5answers
2k views

Does Acoustic Blues Guitar Require Use of a Thumb Pick?

I've recently started going through some acoustic blues lessons at jamplay.com. The instructor plays with a thumb pick. I had gone through the first 8 lessons using a standard pick but the latest ...
7
votes
3answers
795 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
527 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
582 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

What is a standard order for learning/practicing scales when learning how to play the electric bass (esp. for jazz/blues music)?

I'd like to bring my theoretical knowledge and practical skill for playing jazz/blues scales on the electric bass up to snuff. What is the standard order for learning/practicing jazz/blues scales on ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Role of Dominant 7th chord in particular progressions

Examining this progression in F: | F | A7 | Dm7 | Bb, Bbm | | F, E7 | Gm7, C7 | F, D7 | Gm7, C7 | In the fifth measure I really don't understand what role has the E7 chord because I can't ...
4
votes
5answers
395 views

The intro to “Soul Man” - the verses in “It's Your Thing” (Isley Brothers) - What is that technique called?

Jeff Beck plays variations of this blues lick - 1:28 into "You Know What I Mean" - It's a basic blues riff (the beginning to Dust My Broom (Elmore James) played with variations up/down the fretboard ...
4
votes
6answers
1k 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, ...
4
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
412 views

Want to learn Blues Guitar

I want to learn guitar and I listen to the blues with just a little bit of folk and rock. When I talk to people at local businesses, they ask me whether I want to learn Classical or Rock guitar. ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
937 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
348 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
316 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
908 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Hendrix/John Lee Hooker style Blues trill technique?

Here is an example. He trills on the third string second fret to open a lot, but other stuff too. What I can't work out is if he's either: a) Hammering a specific number of times per beat. It's ...
3
votes
2answers
156 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
694 views

Learning blues piano from music score

I have been playing classical piano reading sheet music, and I want to begin blues by similarly learning some pieces from score. What would be some good books/sites I can use for this?
2
votes
2answers
278 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

is there a modulation in boogie-woogie?

Consider the standard boogie-woogie bass such as this one. The C, F and G phrases are each in its own mixolydian. Is that a modulation from C to F and G? If no, why?
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Which blues scale and 7th chord voicings match up?

Which blues scale goes with which chord voicing? For example, Dm7 (D,F,A,C) does not go with the D pentatonic minor blues scale. So what scales go with Dm7? And then accordingly, which go with DM7 (D ...
2
votes
3answers
393 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
152 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
808 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Why does “Alice's Restaurant” sound like Blind Boy Fuller?

Many Blind Boy Fuller songs have a similar riff, including What's That Smells Like Fish Rag, Mama, Rag Truckin' My Blues Away I Crave My Pig Meat Get Your Yas Yas Out Baby You Gotta' Change Your ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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 ...