1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Here I Go...Putting Blues Band Together

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassman2020, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. bassman2020


    Dec 8, 2010
    I'm still learning and evolving as a bass player but can hold it down. I'm ready to go for my dream of putting together my own Blues Band doing covers at first. What are some key things I need to remember and do as I start this journey. Thanks.
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Have you ever played in a blues band?
  3. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
  4. Astreaux


    Aug 31, 2012
    +1 Gotta have the basics...
  5. But don't make every song like that! There are so many good blues songs with more interesting bass lines, especially in the up tempo stuff.
  6. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    So very true. I was semi joking with my reply. Many, many other cool progressions.. Not to mention the many ways to mix up a I-IV-V.
  7. "Them pains, when blues pains grab you, you'll sing the blues right." - Otis Rush
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I-V-I-IV-I-V is kinda fun.

    I'm looking into a blues thing myself at the moment.
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Just this:

    Ya gotta suffer if ya wanna sing the blues...
  10. JumboJack


    Dec 31, 2007
    by Lame Mango Washington (attributed to Memphis Earlene Gray with help from Uncle Plunky, revisions by Little Blind Patti D., Dr. Stevie Franklin and Kansas City Big Deaf Jimi Lincoln with special thanks to aNaLoG.MaN)

    Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."

    "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something nasty in the next line, like " I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."

    The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes ... sort of: "Got a good woman - with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher - and she weigh 500 pound."

    The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch; ain't no way out.

    Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

    Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, " adulthood" means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

    Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don't get rain.

    A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cuz you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg cuz an alligator be chomping on it is.

    You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.

    Good places for the Blues: highway, jailhouse,empty bed, bottom of a whiskey glass

    Bad places: Ashrams, gallery openings, Ivy League institutions, golf courses

    No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it.

    Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: you're older than dirt, you're blind, you shot a man in Memphis,you can't be satisfied

    No, if: you have all your teeth, you were once blind but now can see, the man in Memphis lived. you have a retirement plan or trust fund.

    Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

    If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's the Blues.

    Other acceptable Blues beverages are: wine, whiskey or bourbon, muddy water,black coffee

    The following are NOT Blues beverages: mixed drinks, kosher wine, Snapple, sparkling water

    If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

    Some Blues names for women: Sadie, Big Mama, Bessie, Fat River Dumpling

    Some Blues names for men: Joe, Willie, Little Willie, Big Willie

    Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Auburn, and Rainbow can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

    Make your own Blues name (starter kit): name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc., first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi,etc.), last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)- - For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc...(Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

    I don't care how tragic your life: you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it. Fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun. I don't care... This goes double for modeling amps!
  11. Dis man speak de truth, bruddah!
  12. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    you can have all the tools you need to play the Blues,but for it to be real you have to actually have lived the blues and felt the blues for it to be Real otherwise its gonna sound like another band playing whats suppose to be Blues...
  13. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

  14. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    If you have a good Blues jam in town, I suggest stopping by.

    For Blues, don't be afraid to improvise. Part of that is being able to communicate on stage things such as stops, break-downs, etc. One of the things that helps is to know the terminology, and how to count in a tune. It's a thing of beauty when someone says "Shuffle in E, with a fast 4 and stops on the 1 on my cue. 1, 2, 3, 4...." and then the band jams away.

    Here's a link to some Blues terminology:

    Here's a link that I used to help guys who would be on a Blues gig with me what I called certain grooves. If anything, it's a nice sample of the different grooves available in the Blues.
  15. bassman2020


    Dec 8, 2010
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Try different blues styles such a Texas, Piedmont, delta and Chicago. One of the best Blues bands I have ever seen is run by a friend of mine and they mix these styles of blues and blow you away.

    Adding a good harp player is a huge plus as is wearing cool hats!
  17. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I ain't killed nobody in Memphis, but I sho nuff have had da real Blues. Ain't no lie about that. And I'm in the host band for a blues jam twice a month. Although, I play a Markbass rig. But, hey, it's seen da Blues alongside me, so it fits in. It gets the sound right with my Jazz or Jazz bass Special, both with flats.

    I IV V is fine, but after about three songs it gets to all sounding alike, so you gotta mix it up somehow. You can jazz it a bit by adding ii and vi where needed (or II and VI), or you can do a whole different progression, and a different beat and tempo. Also, I've noticed that it's common for songs to go on and on too long, until the audience gets numb from listening to the same thing over and over. Pass it around once and then end it. Don't get stuck passing it around too many times. And don't play way too loud. That drives people away.

    And play like ya mean it.
  18. banyaksuka


    Jan 25, 2013
    Yeah, you got to jazz it up, that's true. You can play 12 bar, 12 bar w/ a quick change, 16 bars, and of course you have to do songs in different keys (audiences do notice). So like the man said, jazz it up a bit, listen to some of the classic blues albums to get some ideas. Clapton's "Layla" album should be your first stop. That album is all blues, but the variety of songs is quite amazing. I'm sure others here can suggest records to listen to. Ones that will help with variety.
  19. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Try some modern stuff, too, like maybe some Gary Moore, for instance.
  20. banyaksuka


    Jan 25, 2013
    I know this post was meant in humour, but anyone can sing the blues. Doesn't matter if you're 16 or 116, if you play it with feeling, all that other stuff doesn't matter. The blues is just a form of music. You either play it well or badly, just like country, jazz, or any other form of music. (there's some good modelling amps around BTW).