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I've got the blues, er...I wish I did.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Guss, Oct 26, 2002.

  1. All fans of blues out there, I need some songs. I'm starting to get into blues. Could you guys give me your favorite blues songs? I've been playing a kind of half-assed blues freestyle on the bass lately, and I thought: hmmm...for not having any experiance with playing or listening to it, this sounds alright. The real stuff must be amazing!
    I'm looking for all kinds, old and new. It's not mainstream so I don't expect any new to be bad. Thank you.:cool:

    P.S. I just realized that this should be in misc. Not sure how to move it.....
  2. Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle" is always a lot of fun to play.
  3. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    If I was to give you a crash corse in the blues I would advise

    Think of blues tunes in there Genre of grooves and less by the lyrics

    Most Blues tunes are Shuffles so spend alot of time on them

    1)get a basic shuffle patern 4 notes ie 1,flat7, 6 ,5

    2) learn to play this patern on each chord of a basic blues progression
    3) on a "quick change" blues pogression ie goes to the 4 chord on the secound bar

    4) Play 12 keys ,and a WIDE verity of tempos and dYnamics .Try accenting diferen notes of the patern
    try to learn to make it SWING
    5) repete with as many 4 note patern as you can and some 8 note paterns

    b) 1,3,4,5
    c) 1,5,6,5
    d 1,3,6,5,


    Listen to songs for these and more Paterns

    Ok that will get you through about 60 persent of every blues Gig youl play

    Then there the Blues that have very distinct form or a "line/Lick /riff" that gets played over the blues form or mabye over just one chord ie kokos wang dang either version youl get great bass playing either Willy Dixon the guy who wrote it or Johnny B gadden one of the great new school guys.

    Learn as many of these as you can
    Learn to Pick the appropriate paterns and repeat and embellish those patterns.

    Most of all


    TWISTED Guest

    Sep 8, 2002
    Perth, Australia
    I recommend going to www.visionmusic.com they have alot of blues riffs and lessons that are fun to play. You'll probably have to do a search (eg. blues bass) because there's heaps of information on there.
  5. Learn the 12 bar blues and go from there

  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    All good advice above. Andrew Jones gave especailly helpful to any newbie in blues. I will mention that there are many blues standards that should be a part of a blues bassist's repertoire.
    Here's a partial list:

    Sweet Home Chicago
    Stormy Monday
    See See Rider
    The Thrill is Gone
    Red House
    Little Red Rooster
    Boom Boom Boom
    I'm a Man
    Movin' to the Outskirts of Town
    Hoochie Coochie Man
    Further On Up the Road
    Cherry Red
    Every Day I Have the Blues
    St Louis Blues
    Come On in My Kitchen
    The Sky is Crying
    Dust My Broom
    Bright Lights Big city
    Born Under a Bad Sign
    Crosscut Saw
    DownHome Blues
    Every Night and Every Day

    There are CDs that feature many blues standards. Or pick up any Blues Brothers Cd, any Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy or BB King.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Thanks, Jazz, I was hoping you would notice that.
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Herm - YOU DA MAN!!! I met Koko once while the band was on break....she and Ruth Brown are two of my faves.

    bassman - Here's a great label that specializes in blues and who will send you a fine catalog - http://www.alligator.com/index.cfm

    Bop gave you a ton of great stuff already, so here's some advice on playing the blues;

    - Develop a substance abuse problem; then lick it

    - Go financially broke and get by somehow while never selling your instrument (the car goes before that)

    - Fall head-over-heels in love with someone who will dump you flat on your ass and don't ever get over it

    - Whenever it's time to party, act like "tomorrow" is never "guaranteed"
  10. You have received some pretty good advice so far, but one thing no one mentioned yet probably because none of them really PLAY the Blues is...That the Blues is a feeling. When playing it you have to feel it. I have seen many technically proficient bassists and guitarist who claimed to play the Blues. Oh yeah they knew all the right notes all up and down the fretboard but without the feeling they weren't doing squat. I don't recognize your city. I am from Chicago and if you are within driving distance I suggest you go spend a weekend there. My brother produces some of the top Blues artists in Chicago and I am sure I could help get you a guided tour of some of the smokingest (is that a word???) Blues Clubs in Chicago. You have the world famous Kingston Mines on North Halsted St, You have Buddy Guy's Legends on I believe Michigan Ave, You have Artes's Place on 79th St, Rooster Blues, Sweet Geargia Brown's and I could go on and on. Some of the places are not in exactly the best parts of town but Whites , Asians and all other non whites can usually go to the smaller "hole in the wall" joints and not worry about their safety. If my brother is available I am sure we could coordinate something to show you the real deal in Blues. My band "The Blues People" is based in Virginia Beach VA so if you ever get this way email me. While you are there I will make sure you are introduced to Shun Kikuta, a Japanese guitarist who plays the Blues like nobodies business and Nellie "Tiger" Travis, who was voted the number one female Blues singer in Chicago.
    The list of songs given by Boplicity is a great starting point...listen, listen and then listen some more. You too can become a Blues Brother!!!
    Keep on Thumpin!
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    ...and your assumption is definitely foolhardy.

    I'll pick a name - Does Henry Townsend work???.......(both onstage and in his living room with his wife Vernell singing after some 4th of July barbeque).

    Not to name drop. I just don't like people assuming they know the roads all of us have been down.
  12. I stand by my observation...in general. Not to name drop either but I hung out with Koko, her daughter and son-in-law in their tent at the Chicago Blues Festival back in June. I played at her club back before she sold it. And my brother produces one of the top Blues artist in Chicago and I have played for her several times. Gee Whiz dude...Playing the Blues requires a feeling and that is not the same as having the Blues. If you don't know You better ask somebody!!!
  13. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    Ive played about 500 blues gigs in my life 350 in the last 5 years about 30 of those was as a sub with that band for the first time(then ussually again later).

    Yah its true but so is EVERY OTHER STYLE OF MUSIC! I dont care what it is If you cant hear it and feel it its gonna ound that way.

    Besides when I say "Make it Swing" that not saying Play swing Eighths it meant Feel it

    My post (while not exactly on topic) was trying to say


    " Shuffle in G,quick change,on the five ,watch the stops ."

    Got me alot further than learning Kansas City.

  14. AMEN! Andrew
    It is only my opinion that playing The Blues requires a feeling not needed in many other types of music. I have played rock, C&W and others styles that are not exactly my forte. And it just seemed to me that just playing the notes sufficed. Hell I have only been playing 30 years maybe I just don't know. I was only offering the newbie some advice from someone who has been doing this a long time and watching others do it and perpetrate. I commented on a subject that I happen to know. I can play rock, but I don't know rock or death metal or punk or C&W. I do know Blues.
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    - "Hanging out" in someone's club, (hell, Eminem can "hang out" at B.B.'s in Memphis or LA),

    - "Playing at their club",

    - What your brother does, (not YOU)

    ...all that doesn't amount to squat. But if you have played with Koko, that is most cool and much respect from me.

    I won't get into a pissing contest about who is a "legit" blues musician, because ...........the fine blues artists don't think in those terms and have little respect for those who do. (plus, I don't consider myself any fine "blues bassist" because it's not all I play). But, even a young blues artist I've shared the stage with, Deborah Coleman, won't go near there.

    ...and that "feeling" business - that's just a cliche' some of the stars use to explain it for stuff like PBS documentaries and tourists. They hear your heart and soul from your instrument, not your mouth. They don't set themselves up as a "judge," as you seem fond of doing.

    That's all, "dude" :)
  16. I am real sorry you just don't get it...Hung out in their tent at the Chicago Blues festival , not at her club. Hung out as in socialized with, went by her house to visit kind of socializing. MnM couldn't have hung out in her tent nor could 99% of the people at the festival. No big deal really. Cool out dude. Sorry you aren't feeling well today. I was addressing the newbee and your comments were not warranted. Have a nice day in spite of your problems. Gee Whiz!!!!
  17. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The last five years I lived in Nashville. While I definitely agree that the best blues musicians have great feel, I would have to also say most definitely that the best country musicians have feel, too. Of course, it is a different feel than blues, but just considering the lyrics of many country songs, the music is all about life's heartaches, challenges and disappointments...just like blues...only stated differently. Of course I am not referring to "Achey Breaky Heart" or "That Don't Impress Me Much." But then, blues musicians have produced some clunkers as bad as those songs, too.

    While I am really not a country music fan, I still give the musicians every credit for the emotion they put into their music. They take as much pride in their work as any other musicians and I developed great respect for them when I lived in Nashville.

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