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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54
votes
4answers
37k views

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 ...
21
votes
8answers
3k 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. ...
20
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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.
13
votes
2answers
469 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
7k 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
4answers
2k 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? ...
12
votes
4answers
972 views

Ear training for 12 bar blues chord changes

I am relatively new to guitar, having started some three months ago, with daily practice of about two to three hours. Having advanced past the nitty-gritty of the early beginner stages (at least ...
11
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

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.
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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5answers
3k views

What exactly does it mean to “play over the changes”

I've been watching a podcast lately which features a country guitarist and a blues guitarist discussing various aspects of guitar-craft. When comparing stylistic differences, the blues guitarist ...
10
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

How can you recognize whether a song is blues or jazz?

Guys I'm in the midst of studying jazz. And I'm so confused whether jazz is the same as blues, especially the rhythm parts If blues is using shuffle, then jazz is using swing? Then why sometimes blues ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

What is a chromatic scale?

I notice that the blues scale uses notes that don't fit into the regular pentatonic scale, is there an entire scale that incorporates this method?
8
votes
1answer
4k 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

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 /...
7
votes
5answers
10k views

Confusion about blues scale and chords

I have no real knowledge about music theory, so my question may be nonsensical. Before my question I need to state an assumption which may be wrong and gets me confused: when playing a song in a ...
7
votes
5answers
578 views

Resources for learning the Blues [closed]

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
2answers
29k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
783 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
808 views

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# ...
7
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
4k 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
1answer
795 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
5k 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
900 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
3answers
1k 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
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
335 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'...
6
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
924 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
463 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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
7answers
2k views

What is it about the blues chord progression that makes the blues feel?

I was reading a book and I saw that in a common 12 bar blue chord progression which is I7 , I7 , I7 , I7 IV7 , IV7 , I7 , I7 V7 , IV7 , I7 , I7 You're allowed to change other chord except the 5th ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

What scales to play over A minor blues?

When I am playing an Am blues with a i-iv-V progression, at the time of the Dm7 chord, which note/scale should I use? On the Dm7 chord, can I change from the Am blues scale to a Dm scale? Or can I ...
5
votes
5answers
594 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
20k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Soloing on Scales

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years now. When I improvise solos, I tend to do it only in major and minor pentatonic scales. Therefore, my solos are quite restricted. Could someone enlighten me ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

What fingerings are used for the 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
611 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
262 views

How do accidental notes work in a blues song? [duplicate]

In the notes prior to the sheet music, it is said that an accidental note only lasts for one bar. Here in bar 3 an accidental note has been applied to the C in bar 3. In such a case why has the sharp ...
5
votes
2answers
429 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
258 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

Can the blues scale be used over iim7 V7 Imaj7?

In typical blues using V7 IV7 I7 the blues scale can be used - and as I understand - without concern for avoid tones. Can I do something similar over jazz iim7 V7 Imaj7? I made this chart of chord ...
5
votes
3answers
150 views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
7k views

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-...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there “rules” for improvising with the minor pentatonic scale over 12-bar shuffle?

I'm learning Justin Guitar's beginner's course and just reached the blues improvisation lesson. I know the notes in the A minor pentatonic scale. To improvise with someone playing A minor 12-bar blues ...
4
votes
2answers
615 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. ...