Questions tagged [blues]

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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How to get started learning blues guitar? [duplicate]

I am totally new to blues guitar and I am keen to learn blues guitar and form my own blues band. However, I am confused where to start. I look up youtubes and the lessons are all over the place. Not ...
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Can the voice be trained to sound tremulous when singing?

I was inspired to ask this after I've listened to some KALEO, whose lead singer's voice has an interesting tremor that compliments the blues-inspired style. I'd like to give this live performance as ...
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Which type of harmonica is the best suit for country music?

I want to play harmonica but I am not sure which type of harmonica is the correct choice for country music ? Everyone talks about blues but is same type of harmonica fits for both blues and country ?
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3 votes
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How is an "eight-bar blues" different from just eight normal measures of music?

Just about everyone knows the twelve-bar blues, a common example of which would be something like: I | I | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V | IV | I | I || I completely understand how this can be ...
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Questions on Chord progression in "Cocaine Blues"

In the song "Cocaine Blues" (in the style of Townes Van Zandt) the opening chord progression (transposed to C) is C - E7 - F. That is a I - III7 - IV or a V - VII7 - I, depending on what ...
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Why Does Blues Have the first 4 Bars on the I chord?

Why is it so common to hold the I Chord for 4 bars? See other variations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-bar_blues
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6 votes
3 answers
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Piano parallel chord jump technique?

Trying to learn blues piano, there are lots of times both left and right hands make the same jump, say from I to V. Besides "keep practicing", are there any helpful tricks to landing in the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to determine whether song is 16 bar blues or 32 bar form?

I'm analyzing blues in the Mississippi Delta tradition and the hardest/most subjective aspect I am running into has to do with songs with measure numbers divisible by 8. For example, we can use "...
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Keeping fourth finger up when playing thirds

Help please. When playing thirds (blues riff), using the third and fifth fingers, the fourth one sometimes goes down as well, particularly when I speed up. Are there any exercises I can use to correct ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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How do I learn to improvise outside of the jazz realm?

I'm a classically trained pianist and I've spent a lot of time in the last year or two really learning the blues. I've worked through some of my favorite pieces and it's safe to say I can now rip a 12 ...
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Harmonic sense of an Eb7 in a blues in E

In this image a blues ends with the tonic chord (E7) preceded by Eb7. Beyond the chromatic effect that can be perceived, is there any way to harmonically define such an Eb7? In other words, what is ...
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Blues progression: are those changes of key?

Suppose we have a simple blues in E with the following chord progression E7 A7 B7 E7 and that we have to play Over E7: Em penta scale Over A7: mix of A major and A minor penta scale Over B7: B ...
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Learning path advices

I played guitar for a while 10 years ago, but I never learned music. I was only playing the songs that I wanted to play by following YouTube videos. I know I have to learn music to be able to ...
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What is the name of that widespread blues lick and how to play it? [closed]

I would like to improve my guitar solos and to add a lick to them. The one I'm thinking off is used in many blues songs, but also rock'n'roll, punk rock, etc. One example that I can find is the whole ...
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Critique on Composition I made [closed]

I was hoping someone with a solid background in jazz music theory to give me a solid critique on a jazz blues composition I made last month. Here's the link: https://musescore.com/user/6040626/scores/...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Different scales for chords and melody

I haven't had any real education in MT so I might ask the wrong questions or my confusion might be based on lack of fundaments so please bare with me and I will try to explain. Starting to learn MT ...
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What harmonic resources underlie on Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" song which make it so beautiful?

Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" is in the key of DMaj (I) , but the second arpegio chord (and perhaps the one that gives to the song his special sound) is G7 (IV7), whose 7th is a note that ...
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1 vote
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Chords to Ry Cooder's "Jesus on the Mainline"? [closed]

Ry Cooder is one of the musicians core to modern blues and roots music, and while I have known of him for quite some time, I haven't spent much time with it. Recently I pulled out his version of the ...
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Beginner Confusion Over Guitar Scales

New guitar player here trying to learn music theory and guitar from the ground up. I have somewhat of a two part question. Trying to wrap my head around the first part. So far I have learned the basic ...
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2 answers
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extended chords to use for 12-bar blues [closed]

I'm wondering if the following two variations of 12 bar blues I'm using work for an arrangement for Mr. PC: | Cm9 | Cm9 | Cm9 | Cm9 | | Fm11 | Fm11 | Fm11 | Fm11 | |Ab13(#11)| G9(#5) | Cm9 | Cm9 | | ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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How do you notate a blues scale?

I understand the concept of a blues scales and its structure. For example, the one I've been trying to write on sheet music is D Major blues. The scale contains the following: D E F F# A B Now ...
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Why do people play notes outside of the scale when playing the blues

I am watching a tutorial and he is playing C Blues and he is playing in the bass C and G and C and A. Now the C blues scale is C Eb F Gb G Bb. So how is he playing that A in the bass and it sounds ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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How bluesy is Ravel's Blues actually?

The second movement of Maurice Ravel's second Violin Sonata (1922-1927) is titled Blues (example performance). Wikipedia claims it is inspired by jazz and blues music, and that Ravel had first-hand ...
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Piano recomended fingering for blues scale [duplicate]

Is there an 'official' or best practice fingering for blues scales for the piano? Fingering for the C major scale as described by the exam boards (for at least the one I did) is: RH 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 -...
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What is going on in this left hand comping by McCoy Tyner (Bb minor blues)?

I understand the basics of fourth-voicings and mccoy's style, moving fourth voicings diatonically through a scale, and occasionally using chromaticism to shift and play out. I find this though very ...
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12 bar blues notation

I'm trying to put a 12 bar blues to paper but the notes don't add up. It will be C/F/G and I have the rhythm like so (just the C here): but something isn't right (and what's more, my baby done left ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Blues harmony: readings to learn more [closed]

Reading from similar posts in this site I understood that the standard harmony tools can't explain the typical blues sound made by dominant 7 -chords progressions. But it's clear that these ...
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What is the proper way to fret (R-3-m7-9-5) chords (on the fifth string)?

I'm sorry about the somewhat vague title, but my knowledge of chord notation is somewhat limited. I've always had some issues when it comes to fretting this type of chord. If I leave the fifth out ...
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22 votes
10 answers
4k views

Making Sense of Blues Soloing; differentiating major/minor pentatonics

Quarantine has allowed ample time for musical exploration. I'm a classically trained pianist studying music in college, and I'm using this extra time to be immersed in and learn how to play the blues. ...
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I don't recognize the symbol on top of this note. What is it, and how does it affect the note?

This is a picture of the note and the symbol. It's part of a blues trombone solo. I would like to know what the symbol is and how I should play it.
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3 votes
6 answers
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Why does the modal system approach to jazz sometimes fail?

When I first dived into studying jazz guitar, I learnt that the modal system and harmonized scale were the ultimate key to jazz improvisation and mastery. This method worked for me in most cases but ...
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6 votes
3 answers
352 views

Is there such a thing as a minor blues scale?

I have learned the Blues scale as 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7. I'm looking at a chart "Stolen Moments" (in the RealBook) and it says to solo on C Minor Blues. Is the minor blues the same as the Blues as I'...
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difference between b10 and #9? [duplicate]

What is the difference between b10 and #9? In answer to the question Why does E7 sharp 9 have a G? Matt L. writes: I think the real question is whether that chord should be called E7(#9) - as is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the music theory behind substituting the IV chord in a I-IV-V progession in A for a G7 instead of D?

The other day I was playing guitar and messing around with adding various embellishments to a blues I-IV-V progression in the key of A. One I particularly enjoyed was substituting the D (IV) chord for ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Can i solo with C blue minor scale in a C major Chord progression backing track?

i am confusing about the minor/major thing, can i solo with C minor scale in C major backing track or not??
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3 votes
2 answers
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Harmonica on blues should be same Key as guitar?

I love blues and everytime I listen to harp (harmonica) on some Sonny Terry with Brownie McGhee for example, I really want to play Harp, the problem is how to know which Key, should I be based on the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Voice leading options for 12 bar blues

Here is a rootless voicing, 12 bar blues from Jerr Coker, Jazz Keyboard... ...it presents the typical A/B voicings. In this case 7/3/13 and 3/7/9. In a roots by descending fifth progress the A and B ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Do descending drop chord voicings in the blues work?

Here are two well known descending chord patterns: Diatonic seventh chords. Sequence of dominant seventh chords. The voice leading is smooth in both and basically each voice just steps down to the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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The Blues Face: Origins

I'm sure plenty of you guys know this situation well: Someone's playing some blues guitar lick, and right as things get real stanky, they make a weird face, seemingly in reaction to the lick they're ...
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What is the blues term for the note between the minor third and the major third?

I thought it was the blue note but this is not it. For some reason, "perfect third" comes to mind, but google returns nothing. Anyone know?
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How is rock founded from blues if they have different scales?

I heard that rock was created from blues. But most of the scales in rock are either major or minor. But blues scales are created from adding chromatic notes to a pentatonic scale. Isn't rock more ...
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4 votes
3 answers
366 views

Why this fingering is written for Ab minor blues scale?

Can somebody explain why Ab minor scale starts with 412? I would start with 414. Then the whole scale would be faster because of less space to shift fingers. Am I wrong?
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7 votes
2 answers
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Diatonic chords of a pentatonic vs blues scale?

In the blues scale, when I form the diatonic chords of this scale is the blue note (D# in the case of C major blues) also taken into account when forming the chords? so in C major blues scale: C D D# ...
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0 votes
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Why when playing 12 bar blues why does the min7th note seem to set up the change to the 4th chord

When playing a 12 bar blues progression, playing a min7th note over the I chord seems to naturally set up the change to the IV chord. Why is this? For example: in the key of A, it sounds good to ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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How to write a 12-bar blues melody

I'm learning to write a 12-bar blues for a music theory class, and I'm a little confused about one point. I understand that the harmony is made of certain typical chord progressions (e.g. I-I-I-I, IV-...
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Chromatic note between fourth and fifth degree of the minor scale?

In the first 5 notes of the natural minor scale: C D Eb F G I often see people add a chromatic note (Gb/F#) between the 4 and 5 degrees of the scale: so C D Eb F Gb G. Here's one example at 0:22 but ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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How to play with a blues backing track in A

I found this backing track here: https://www.learningguitarnow.com/free-blues-backing-tracks/free-blues-backing-track-slow-blues-in-a/ Now I try playing it with this scale: Will this work out? ...
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Is there a more specific term for this blues sound? (5 and ♯4)

I like the crunchy, janky texture of playing a note with the note a semitone under it in a melodic voice, usually on the dominant scale degree. For example, in the original Thomas the Tank Engine TV ...
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5 votes
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What other modes/scales can i play over a song in the Key of Eb Minor

I'm wanting to have two pieces of music flow from one to another, first one will be completely original and performed by me the other one is a song that already exists. I've already discovered that ...
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Analysis of blues chords

I have doubts about some chords in this sequence: ||: Eb7 | Ab7 | Eb7 | Eb7 | | Ab7 | Ab7/A6 | Eb7 | C7 | | F7 | Bb7 | Eb7/C7 | F7/Bb7 ...
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