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Basic Blues question -Turnarounds

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Tombolino, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Tombolino


    Dec 28, 2012

    Im a newbie learning blues on bass got the Ed Friendland blues book, its great.

    Wanted to know....some blues tunes end the progression by just staying on I, others have the V turnaround. In a jam situation...

    -What is the most eloquent way mid tune to walk over and ask another player about the ending part?

    -If I cannot ask, and need to decide on the spot and I am not familiar with the tune what should I play?

    Thank you!
  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Usually the BL will call it, if he doesn't keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to play it ether way when it comes around.

    Most of the time you can anticipate it by what the singer or GP is doing.
    If you muff it on the first go round be ready on the next.
    You may get the evil eye but the world will not end. :D
  3. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    IIRC, that book has a whole bunch of endings and turnarounds in it - some in a specific section at the end and others in the example songs that are throughout the book.

    I had a lot of "Aha!" moments listening to the song clips/examples on the CD and playing along with them. It's one thing to just read them in a book, but it's a whole lot better to hear them and play them. If you go through them you'll recognize those turnarounds/endings in many common jam songs so you'll be prepared when those songs get called. Also, you'll find you recognize them in songs that aren't in the book so that when you hear it you'll already be familiar with how the various endings sound and be able to go with the flow when they come up (if not the first time through, then hopefully the second ;) ).

    I really like that book. I put a lot of what I learned from it to very good use the first time I played in a jam and got through it MUCH better than I might have otherwise.
  4. Tombolino


    Dec 28, 2012
    Thank you. By the way, how often do 16 and 8 bar blues come up in jams and gigs?
  5. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    If it's a jam then jam. One convenient thing is that if they are playing the I chord then the V note is included in the chord. So if you hit the V and no one else does you are just being, uh, creative. Then next time around stay on the I. Now you're really being creative. Or do the V again and everyone will think you meant to do it.:)

    Another thing you will see/hear often is something along the lines of "what you don't play is just as (or more) important than what you play". You can use this to your advantage. A strategic rest while waiting to find out what chord is next may construed as "letting your bass line breathe". You may get compliments on your "use of space".

    For someone with questionable skills like me becoming practiced in the art of deception is vital.
  6. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    16 and 8 bar blues can come up often at jams. Get's kinda boring playing 12 bar all night and breaks up the monotony. Just practice all three and you will do fine. Usually only three different turnarounds. At least those are most common that I have experienced.
  7. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    Yeah, if you don't know, I'd go to the V anyway. Sounds fine in the bass.
  8. Already In Use

    Already In Use

    Jan 3, 2010
    In our band's music the endings are often led into by a solo of sorts. Guitar, piano, horn(if we're lucky) I wait and end on what is usually the 1 chord with all instruments in unison. That bit of bass silence is priceless on the right tune IMO. Walks from the 3 to the 5 also common for us.
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
  10. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    That's the one I have.
  11. straightblues


    Mar 5, 2013
    I just reviewed the on line preview. It looks like it covers most of the popular blues songs. I am in. I bought a copy.
  12. 57vintage


    Mar 24, 2013
    There's an easy way round the turnaround/no turnaround issue.

    If you hit the I chord, you can walk up chromatically from the III to the V and reach it just at the point the V turnaround would be needed.

    Example in A: A-C#-D-Eb-E (V).

    If the song had a turnaround you're there.

    You can continue the same run a string higher, in the same rhythm ie

    F#-G-Ab-A which takes you to the root but an octave above.

    I use it all the time in songs with and without turnarounds and it sounds great and adds a pumping melodic dynamic to the arrangement.
  13. Assume, in a 12 bar, the turn will be a V7, IV, I. From my experience, the next most common is a IV, V7, I, then a ii, V7, 1, then maybe a bVI, V7, I.

    8 bar blues are rare in a jam, but assume a simple V7 turn. I guess next would be a IV, V7, I.

    There are a lot of variations of 12 bar turns, as you have learned but as others have pointed out, use your ears.

    BTW, learn "Stormy Monday" if you're going to blues jams......
  14. Specifically the Allman Brothers Fillmore East cut. It's become the 'standard' cover version.

    That said, when I've been playing & it gets called, I always check whether it's the Allmans' or T-Bone Walker version (which is a straight I-IV-V). I've heard it once where the guitars were playing T-bone changes & the bassist played Allman Bros changes. Not something I ever wish to hear again.

    The same goes for 'Black Magic Woman' - the Santana take is the one that 99.9% of jammers know & call, but be prepared to cater for the 0.1% that play the Fleetwood Mac original.
  15. burnunit

    burnunit obsolete Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    The first time through, you can stay on the I in bar 11 and listen to what the guitar is using for a walkup/walkdown, if any. It's a little awkward but not a major violation. As soon as you feel where he is going, be ready to hit the V at the right time in bar 12. If he isn't going to the V, it will probably be apparent before bar 12 and you can stay at home. Now you're good for the rest of the song.
  16. Cycho


    Nov 30, 2010
    Don't overthink it, man. It's the blues.
  17. +1 That turnaround works very often.

    Try to familiarize yourself with a few turnarounds and that will
    help you recognize what the BL is doing. From my experience,
    in a 12-bar blues jam situation, you usually end up on the V
    at the end. It is very recognizable and it helps synchronize
    everybody for the next round.

    Other popular turnarounds are the:
    I - VI - II - V or I - IV - II - V (ice cream change)
    I - VIIb - VI - VIb - V - IV - Vb - V (what I call the
    Eric Clapton "Key to the Highway" turnaround -- maybe
    there is another name for it)
  18. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    What he^ said.
  19. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    I know this might come off weird but....

    You HAVE to hear what is going on... it's usually the pianist who "knows" what's going on.Example, If there is chromatic movement,it's likely you have diminished stuff going on.

    Common walk up turnaround.

    I,, bIII dim,,IV,,#IV dim,,I/5.

    Ask the piano,,,,, listen,,, listen,,,,
  20. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    You, the bass player, should drive the bus. Be firm in what you play and the rest will follow. Use your ears to hear what the other band members are playing, and adjust accordingly if necessary. From my experience, the more confident you are in what YOU play, the rest will be confident in following you. If someone else wants to take charge, they will let you know to follow them.