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11

That blues note is nebulous. It can be, and is, anywhere between a minor 3 and a major 3. Listen to blues players, and you'll hear it bent fully from min. to maj., or just hinted at with a tiny flick from minor upwards. The listener probably completes the bend in his mind's ear. It sometimes gets played as a straight major that gets wobbled down to minor and ...


9

Tim is correct that it's about the 3rd, 5th, and 7th, but I don't agree that in the blues they are flattened by exactly one semi-tone. That is an approximation when writing down the notes or when playing them on a piano, but on any instrument on which in-between notes can be played, these notes will be intonated differently. Especially the 3rd and the 7th ...


8

The archetypal bluesy sound comes from bending and inflecting the notes within certain ranges. When soloing, I personally play the blues scale on guitar as a pseudo-pentatonic something like this (C tonic): C a 'window' around Eb, covering the range down to D and up to E. F, bending up a little (maybe not as far as Gb) G Bb, with scope to bend up a little ...


8

What you probably mean by minor and major blues scales are the two following scales (with root C): C Eb F Gb G Bb (minor blues) C D Eb E G A (major blues) These are just the minor and major pentatonic scales with one note added. The minor pentatonic scale gets a b5 (Gb), and the major pentatonic scale gets a b3 (Eb), both to make those pentatonic scales ...


6

A look over the Blue Note article on Wikipedia that Shevliaskovic linked talks a bit about the tuning theory behind Blue Notes, so I'd like to expand on that, as you mentioned wanting a "Mathematical" definition of these notes. The article states that in order to overcome tuning hardships in keyboard creation in the 18th century, Equal Temperament was ...


6

Blues is a language, with grammar and vocabulary. The difference between learning to play the blues and learning to play a blues is the same as the difference between learning to speak a language and learning just some words or phrases in that language. In the vocabulary instead of words you are using scales and chords. In the grammar instead of order of ...


5

The so called 'blue note' has it's roots in the African immigrants in the States. Back in Africa, they didn't have the piano to tune their voices to, so they sung what they liked best. When they came to the Western World, they found out the piano (and other instruments of course) and they learned to play it. When they begun to sing the blues, songs based ...


5

I suspect the confusion might be in what "Blues" means: Blues is a comment on the feel of a piece of music, rather than necessarily its structure. It's very common of course for blues songs to use the 12-bar chord progression (which is thought to have arisen from slaves singing while working in America), but not exclusively. Exceptions: For eaxmple "Need ...


4

In addition to traditional Blues being simpler and less diverse than Jazz, historically Blues is played in smaller groups, or even solo, and more often by musicians who learn and play by ear. In that sense (and in others) it feels a lot closer to Rock 'n Roll than to Jazz. I would say Blues is more of an oral tradition, and Jazz is more composed in a similar ...


4

Blues songs, by definition, basically, follow the blues progression as found in 12 bar blues. Whilst there are lots of variants of the 12 bar blues, they are basically the same format. The fake (or real) book would be rather thin due to this. Yes, there are other songs which come under the auspices of 'blues', but in comparison to jazz standards, they are ...


3

While teachers and self-study are excellent ways to learn anything, when it comes to learning the blues, I believe you can profit greatly by finding someone who is just a little bit better than you, and just sit down and play together. While the form has evolved over time to embrace real sophistication, it started as a type of folk music. Playing three ...


3

I agree with Tim's answer, but I'd like to add that you shouldn't think of it as changing chords. What you're doing (i.e. playing this on two strings) is actually correct and it's not like 'getting away' with something, but that's all that's to it. It's a line imposed over a chord: the chord is a dominant seventh chord (i.e. in a basic blues either the I7, ...


3

Yes! While blues often deals in hardship, that’s not universal. Early blues were often comical or raunchy. Songs like Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” continue that tradition. And some blues are downright joyous like Stevie Ray Vaghan’s “Pride and Joy,” or pure fun like the old standard “Jump Jive and Wail.” The common thread in blues is that it’s very ...


3

This is not meant to be harsh in any way, I'm just examining possibilities… We start from not knowing what you actually do sound like. Presumably, as you can play an instrument, you can also hit roughly the right note when singing [though it's not a guarantee, it's a fair bet]. Trouble is, without hearing you, no-one can say whether it's because you just ...


3

Caleb already gave some great tips, but I have some more specific advice that might help. In my opinion the single best thing you can do to get better at translating what is in your head to what comes out of your guitar is playing along with records and learning songs by ear. This is a form of ear training in a way, but it is more about being able to hear ...


3

There really are no major limits for playing anything in any key on piano. Certain players are more familiar and comfortable with certain keys, but it is possible for a pianist to play in any key. It's all just a matter of practice. The only minor stumbling block is the fingering of a piece may change with the key.


3

Instead of learning the "best" or "correct" fingering for every different scale, I think it's better to learn some general principles, and then work out the details for yourself. The repeated pattern of fingers is 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 - but not necessarily starting on 1, because .... Don't use your thumb on the black keys. With the right hand, use your thumb on ...


3

I thought that the flattened notes in Blues were the 3rd, 5th and 7th. However, they're traditionally taken to the next semitone down, as in C, E to Eb, G to Gb and B to Bb. That puts them squarely on the notes mentioned, rather than 'just a bit flat', which may be what's mentioned here. The same three notes are sometimes hinted at, particularly on ...


3

I don't have a scientific answer, but I guess you could say that blues isn't exactly an adrenaline-filled music. Punk,rock, metal etc are kinds of music that makes you feel hyped and alive. They are the kind of music that makes you want to be standing and jump or run or whatever. Blues (and Jazz) although, is the kind of laid back enjoyment. You sit on the ...


2

One part of the distinctive Hammond organ sound in rock/jazz is the use of a Leslie speaker cabinet. In my opinion, it is also the reason that Hammond organs were becoming less popular for mainstream music requiring big PAs and selling and broadcasting recordings. Because a Leslie speaker cannot be faithfully reproduced or simulated with reasonable effort. ...


2

So an F blues refers to the song form over which you'll need to improvise. The good news is, if you know how to improvise on a blues scale, your work is largely done for you. There are infinite ways to improvise over a blues form, but one of the simplest ways that's also very effective is to use the blues scale. So in this case you would use the F minor ...


2

There are plenty of upbeat 12 bar blues songs, e.g.: Many of the songs Little Richard wrote (although they may not be suitable in a church context either ;-), e.g. ...


2

The problem with a question like this is that "Blues" is just a word, and when you use a word, it means whatever you want it to mean. In some fields, some words have very well-defined formal meanings, but the field of giving names to styles of music is generally vauge and informal. One person might have the firm belief that if you take a loping slide guitar ...


2

It's still a type of I-IV-V progression, you're just in a minor key (D minor) instead of a major key (F major). The VI-II-III in actuality is a i(Dm)-iv(Gm)-V(A7). There's more then one flavor of blues progressions and this one is derived from typical minor blues progression patternes.


2

The problem with answering the question "what notes are in the blues scale" is that the archetypal bluesy sound comes from bending and inflecting the notes within certain ranges, so any attempt at defining a blues scale in terms of the 12-note scale is only going to be an approximation. When soloing, I personally play the blues scale on the guitar as a ...


2

What people usually mean by "blues scale" is the scale that you already knew, i.e. a minor pentatonic scale with an added b5 ("blue note"). What the author of that book refers to as blues scale is actually more like a collection of notes, all of which can be used over a blues progression. The difference with the standard blues scale is that not all of those ...


2

Two blues scales exist generally. Minor blues as in C, Eb, F, Gb, G, Bb. Major blues as in C, D, Eb, E, G, A. Often players will mix the sets of notes in their playing. The minor blues is probably used more in guitar playing, due to the pattern of notes easily found because of the way guitars are tuned. The whole solo in Stevie Wonder's Sir Duke is major ...


2

What should I be able to do before I start learning anything blues or jazz related? You should be able to play the chords smoothly through the traditional I-IV-V blues progression in E,A,D,and G with a drum track. Then turn on your iPod and start playing along with simple blues music - Muddy Waters is a great blues artist to start with. His music is ...


2

Short answer: C/F-G Long answer: In the key of G-major he's playing IV-I in the right hand (which sounds like a plagal cadence, though it's not strictly cadential) with b7-1 scale degree motion in the left hand. He's also ornamented these chords with an appogiatura consisting of D-E leading into the F of the first chord, and similarly with #2-3 for the ...


2

There seem to be crossed wires here, with respect. Blues progressions basically use 3 chords, I, IV and V. True, often dominant 7ths, but that needn't muddy the water for now. There is a recognized order to the sequence. Actually, almost any notes can be (and are) used to create solos over these sequences. It's just that lots of the time, guitarists in ...



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