I'm trying to write/arrange songs in the style of the Blues Brothers. It seems that some of the arrangements were very simple. In the case of "everybody needs somebody to love" for example, they just increase the beat and added a rap dialog at the beginning. In other cases, like the song "Funky Broadway", are more complex and it looks almost like a new song, and it's merged with "Soul finger". Also it seems they were always avoiding 12-bar blues songs, with some exceptions like "Sweet Home Chicago" I think. could someone enlighten me more on the type of arrangements they were doing, so that this can help me in my attempt to create something new with similar style and vibe?

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    if it helps, Duck Dunn's bass lines in BB were quite strongly rooted in certain favoured moves. If you buy "Soul FIngers" Nick Roscacci mkaes a good job of explaining the bass sounds. (not sayng he wasnt a genius btw) Nov 6, 2019 at 13:51
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    The Blues Brothers were a direct descendent/homage to the Stax/Volt Records house band(s), consisting of Booker T and the MGs members among others. It's "soul" music, albeit very period-specific. Start with any thorough compilation of Stax Records and then put on your "not stealing but inspired-by" hat. Nov 6, 2019 at 19:53
  • I second what mistercoffee said. Everything from Aretha, Sam and Dave, Otis (especially "Otis Blue") and so on. It's all about everything having its place in this stuff. Bass and drums have to be solid, then guitar and horn parts woven around the vocal line. Very worthy of study. If you want to go deeper listen to the older blues recordings of people like T Bone Walker, Ray Charles and so on, this will give you some sense of where it all came from.
    – danmcb
    Apr 4, 2020 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


Hi I think I would start with the 12 bar format and maybe 8 bar . Most blue are played that way, and just stick to the keys of A and E using the 1 4 5 method . Then try and work out a bit of a solo around them .Just Acoustic .

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    The Blues Brothers don't actually play 'blues', they play Stax-style R&B, soul & gospel.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 6, 2019 at 14:06
  • I think you find more then just blues are played in a 12 bar for mat and the 1 4 5 method, a song as to start and end some were . Anyway good look . JA Nov 7, 2019 at 14:39

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