Learning Blues to learn Jazz?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my view, while a lot of jazz tunes use blues changes, jazz and blues have diverged to a considerable extent. For this reason, I suggest not putting off learning jazz if you're interested in it. Vitally, don't neglect reading.
  2. Shakin-Slim


    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I agree, but... Stevie Ray?!?! I thought we were talking about the BLUES


    His brother, on the other hand... :D
  3. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    The difficulty with the blues is teaching and explaining the non-diatonic chords. Otherwise, yes, it's easy to play and easy to learn, its just tough to teach and tough to understand as a first step.
  4. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    The thing with blues is
    a) you can learn to walk over a blues form and the beauty is the changes are known and predictable and don't roam around as much as a lot of jazz standards. A friend of mine recommended blues as a way to start any instrument because you can't get all that lost; the changes keep coming back around.
    b) that said once a simple blues form is learned there are jazzier and jazzier alternate blues forms and learning to play over those is a useful and fun progression into other forms of jazz. The basic I IV V and ii V I all get some coverage and if you can walk over those in a few different keys and backfilling cycle of 5ths, the mental/physical foundation is being set.
  5. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    I did learn some blues before getting deep into jazz and when they talk about blues ... it isn't like BB King ... not the blues rock ... the jazz blues with a lot more chords movement and also it doesn,t work with box pattern. It is a great introduction to walking bass.

  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Always good to start with basic ideas, as has been said Blues can be seen and understood as basic Jazz. You have similar uses of the I IV V, similar uses of 7ths with Dominant and minor use. Also the II as a turnaround or substitution for the V happens, the use of b5 or #5 gets used..etc in all the similarities are all there but at an easier pace.
    By easier pace, that means fewer changes per bar, never mind per song.

    It gives the student a chance to gain confidence in approaches to chords, coming from the 7th, 5th, or the 3rd are options to use rather than always a basic approach from root to root of each chord. Using chromatic approaches, using extentions, using Pentatonics etc. etc., are all in Blues because some of the great early Blues Bass players were all Jazz Players as Blues only players had not developed yet as the Genre had not developed yet.
    Even to this day if you check out some of the top Blues Players, their bassists are normally well versed in Jazz, that is no coincidence, that is a preference because such players can offer more to the music in subtle ways, ways that a grounding in jazz can provide.
    Check out the Stones, simple songs yet Daryll Jones plays bass for them, not a Blues player, Clapton Uses Nathan East, John Mayer uses Pino Paladino etc. etc. and all for good reason.

    Learning Blues teaches a good feeling, and that starts with a player when they develop more and more complex ideas, especially timing or rhymic ideas such as Latin or Afro beat.
    Again as has been said if you cannot play a simple Walking Blues then trying a basic Jazz idea will be beyond you as well......learn to walk, before learning to run, that is walking smooth and steady with grace, so you can run with elegance and ease, not plod along so you and gallop along.:)
  7. Randyt

    Randyt RAAPT Custom Wood Productions

    Jul 21, 2010
    Barrie, Canada