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21

I think there's an element of pragmatism to this. Some people are out for what they can get, but they also have an eye on what they could lose. Let's say you wrote Stack Exchange Blues, you're collecting royalties from it, and you hear my song Downvotes Got Me Cryin', which you believe steals enough to perhaps warrant a law suit. Well, you're going to have ...


14

There seems to be a general confusion here. Everything you can play or imagine is possible. Theory is a means to describe music, but music is by no way bound to any theory whatsoever. Major scales are typically not a good way to describe (or play) Blues. Better suited are scales that are aptly named "blues scales" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


14

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 ...


13

You confusion is coming from mixing "common practice" harmony theory with pop music. Both of the songs you linked are in the key of D. We know this because the D chord and melody notes clearly have tonic function, meaning they are used as a harmonic "home base", and the other chords played are designed to create a tension that resolves to D. If this was a ...


12

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 ...


12

You could make chords out of blue notes, but why would you? In general the blues scale(s) is only applied in certain circumstances: unsurprisingly, in blues music. The best answer to this kind of question, in my opinion, is to observe blues music to determine blues' chords. You certainly could write blues music with chords like the ones you listed above, ...


11

As for your initial assumption, that "when playing a song in a certain scale, usually all chords will only contain notes in that scale": that's actually untrue! See Does playing in scale mean only using notes from that scale? You can (and eventually will) have pitches outside the scale, but often these are best done following particular stipulations that we ...


11

Blues and Jazz are overlapping genres, so it won't always be possible to characterise a song as 'jazz, but not blues' or 'blues, but not jazz'. It would be possible to write a very big book about the characteristics of blues, and probably an even bigger one about the characteristics of jazz, but very briefly, blues tends to... Make use of the blues scale ...


10

The three chords you have identified are known as the Tonic (I), Subdominant (IV), and Dominant chords of the traditional major scale. By in large for over 300 years the IV and V chords have been used extensively in western music to reinforce the tonality of the tonic. This is accomplished by the resolution of tension created by dissonance. The V to I ...


10

That notation (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7) is used to relate a scale to the major (ionian) scale. It shows which scale degrees should be flattened or sharpened (and by how much) relative to the major scale. So, you should start with E major scale, not E minor or E phrygian (natural notes from E to E: E F G A B C D). E major scale is of course 1=E 2=F# 3=G# 4=A 5=B 6=C# ...


10

I'm not sure of any stylistic implications, but my understanding has always been that "the changes" simply refer to the chords themselves---in other words, the chord "changes" that make up the progression. Thus "playing the changes" or "playing over the changes" simply means you're playing with an awareness of the harmonic environment. This is especially ...


10

Some players will tend to use, for example, the A pent min. scale notes all through a 12 bar in A. It sort of works, if they're careful (or lucky!) but when playing the changes, they will tend to use the Am pent notes while the tune is on A, change to using the Dm pent notes on D, and the Em pent notes on E. This then starts to sound like he knows where he ...


10

Blues is a musical form that enjoys a somewhat loose relationship with theory, and perhaps this should be taken as a lesson to all musicians that over-explaining music with theory should be, for the most part, avoided. That does not mean that you should take a pass on learning some music theory and applying it to your music and playing; knowledge of theory ...


9

The Hammond organ is what is called an analog additive synthesizer (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_synthesis) and it works by adding together sine waves that are multiples of the base frequency. A sine wave alone sounds like a whistle or a dull flute, but the more you add up the more interesting the sound can get. The Hammond organ features ...


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 ...


9

Minor pent works well over major chords, but not vice versa. Add the 'blue' note to both maj. and min. pents for a little spice. Try the full major scale notes on major songs. Try the full minor scales (3 of them!) on minor songs. Use the Mixolydian mode for major songs. Use the Dorian mode for minor songs. Use the Lydian mode for major songs. On major songs ...


9

In short: you can play an A min blues scale over the entire song if you want, but it certainly isn't wrong to stray from A min when playing over the minor blues. On the iv chord, some of the most common alternatives would be the D dorian minor scale or the D minor blues scale. You might also hear a D melodic minor scale used. On the v chord, some popular ...


9

jdjazz has got it covered. BUT - do not be under the misapprehension, as so many visitors to this site appear to be - that a set of notes is written in stone. As in 'I'm playing blues, so must only use the blues notes. That's not one, so I'd better not use it !' They're merely guidelines. Why not try out some of the 'taboo' notes? You'll be pleasantly ...


8

A lot of blues numbers are built around the 12-bar sequence. This is, in its simplest form, I I I I IV IV I I V IV I V. Put this in, say, C,and the chord sequence is four bars of C, two bars of F, two bars of C, one of G, one of F, one of C, and the turnaround chord of G. Each of these sounds more bluesy with the added b7. So the first C7 chord will contain ...


8

12 bar blue sequences - poffle.com shows at least a dozen. The blues sequence doesn't have to be 12 bars long, it's just that this is the commonest. 8 and 16 are other well used ones. Basically putting 7ths onto each chord will help to bluesify a sequence. Or 9ths, which sound more jazzy. A lot of varieties use 'passing' chords such as diminished to get from ...


8

The so called 'blue note' has its 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 ...


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

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 ...


8

As topo morto said, it won't always be possible to decide whether a given song is Jazz or Blues. However, there is one thing that's striking about blues and sets it apart from most genres, including in particular Jazz: in Blues, the accompaniment prefers to use the same chord-flavour on every functional degree, irrespective of whether this seems to fit in ...


8

First off, don't fret about such difficulties after only a few months of playing. It sounds like you are putting in a reasonable amount of practice time, so you will keep improving in the areas that you focus on in your practice. It is helpful to get with a good teacher for a while at the beginning; they should be able to help you use your practice time more ...


8

In a word yes! The whole point of the minor blues scale notes is that they produce a 'sweet and sour' effect against the major scale notes. So out of tune that they sound (sort of) right! What happens with good blues players is that sometimes they bend the m3 up to a M3; although they also bend it half-way, and the listener 'hears' it go to M3, which, of ...


7

Can one make an objective, quantifiable distinction between Rock-n-roll and Rhythm-n-Blues? Short answer: No. Long Answer: Alan Freed's use of the term rock-n-roll in the 1950s is often considered definitive. He used the term to refer to R&B combos, black vocal groups, saxophonists, black blues singers, and white artists playing in the authentic R&...


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