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question about the blues

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by sgbass321, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. the king family..........i got it but not before i choked on my coffee,thinking of the other one

    most of what folks round here refer to as blues is the uptempo 3 chord shuffles that even the chicago guys prolly wouldn't recognize,and out on the plain herds of stevie ray wannabees are sighted often.....best to listen to the more solo acoustic stuff to get a feel for the blues before going to chicago......and dont forget the girls..rory block,susan tedechi,sue foley,billy holiday ,big mama thornton ,bessie smith ,janis,and the late koko taylor.............
  2. meta


    Mar 11, 2009
    aren't they? no, seriously though - it could just be that they "can" feel it, not that they always feel it.
  3. oldmanrock


    Apr 14, 2008
    Derby, UK
    Most blues begin "Woke up this morning."

    "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line. I got a good woman--with the meanest dog in town.

    Blues is simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Like........

    Got a good woman with the meanest dog in town.
    He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and he weighs 500 pounds.

    The blues are not about limitless choice.

    Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

    Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

    You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues. So Leeds, Rotherham and Wigan are out.

    The following colours do not belong in the blues: Violet, beige or mauve.

    You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping centre, the lighting's all wrong.

    Good places for the Blues are:

    a. The highway
    b. The jailhouse
    c. The empty bed

    Bad places are:

    a. Rackhams
    b. Gallery openings
    c. Weekend in the Hilton

    No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.

    Do you have the right to sing the blues?

    Yes, if:

    a. Your first name is Georgia
    b. You're blind
    c. You shot a man in Memphis.
    d. You can't be satisfied.

    No, if:

    a. You were once blind but can now see.
    b. You're deaf
    c. You have a trust fund.

    Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues.

    If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues.

    Blues beverages are: Beer, whiskey and muddy water. Blues beverages are NOT:

    a. White wine and soda
    b. Port and lemon
    c. Cherryade

    If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a blues death, if you die during liposuction treatment.

    Some Blues names for Women are: Sadie, Big Mama and Bessie

    Some Blues names for Men are: Joe, Willie, Little Willie and Lightning.

    Persons with names like Brenda or Julian will not be permitted to sing the blues, no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
  4. meta


    Mar 11, 2009
    maybe it's more like the existential musician = blues musician...
  5. I'd put your whole post in my sig if it were possible :D

    Traditional blues is like Country. You won't be playing many notes, but the ones you do are of utmost importance. You absolutely positively without exception every time must be there on the down beat.

    Learn to hear spaces, and learn which ones need to be left empty. Learn to enjoy the resonance of long, widely-spaced notes. No blues bassist ever got the stink eye for sticking to roots & 5ths, but plenty have for wanting to be the Jaco of Blues.
  6. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Well said!


  7. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    LOL now that's Blues
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Lot's of good advice, but one bit seems to be missing:

    Go hear LIVE blues. Not just once or thrice, but many many times. Listen and observe.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    +100. Wherever and whenever.

    Make set lists, learn the tunes, watch the turnarounds, listen for band dynamics, etc.

    From locals to the legends. It's all good.
  10. blues_bassist


    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Some of the best advice about blues that I go was from Honeyboy Edwards (he wrote Sweet Home Chicago) and he sad the biggest mistake made by blues guitarist and bassist is that they try to play too many notes.
  11. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I stole tons of stuff from Mr. Johnny B. Gayden. The guy is everywhere! Just check out some liner notes, he'll pop up.
  12. ^This. Gayden is on tons of Alligator Records stuff.
  13. LilRay

    LilRay Commercial User

    Dec 27, 2007
    Between my Roscoe and Leather
    Owner: Cockeyed Cow Custom Leathercraft

    What if you were witness to a shooting in Memphis does that count?

    God Bless, Ray
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Does it have to be on the corner of Beale and Main??
  15. The Blues is from a state of mind and is found in Folk and Jazz, In Soul and Funk, and RocknRoll. If it is a Slow Blues then groove along slowly, if medium tempo, well whatever is appropriate and fast groove along quicker. Musically, the quarter tone notes where thestring can be bent to make a note halfway between the A and the A#, in C and the Bflat /B makes the Blues guitar sound what it is. The 12 bars and the 12/8 time signature gives another clue but there are tricks like 16 bars long verses too.
    Like the guys say if your life is miserable then you are halfway there. Plenty of other ideas though.
  16. Honeyboy's advice to guitarists and bassists is spot on, but his claim to have written "Sweet Home Chicago" is certainly no greater than that of Robert Johnson.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  17. The blues, for bass and for other instruments, relies heavily on a group of licks, grooves and styles which are copied, tweaked and recycled from song-to-song. In addition, the blues has a set of classic tunes which are often marked by signature riffs, licks and other moves.

    For a bass player, I think these styles, grooves, riffs, etc. are covered well and comprehensively in Blues Bass (Hal Leonard) by TBer Ed Friedland. It is available from www.bassbooks.com and through Ed's website: www.edfriedland.com .

    There is no substitute for listening, but Ed's book will make you a better and more knowledgeable listener.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  18. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Go and get yourself the Willie Dixon Chess Box Set!
    It's very affordable and probably the best blues lesson I ever spent money on!
    Just listen to all the basslines in all of his tunes = incredible stuff! He wrote 'em all!
    Love this guy!!


    Also the Jamey Aebersold Play-Along series has some great teaching tools as well.
    Book + CD where the bass is in one channel, so you can either listen to the basslines or turn the bass off and run your own lines.
    Very affordable stuff! Easy reading style with lots of great tips!

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