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Quick country blues question!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by improvpwnd, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,
    when playing straight country blues changes using I V on 1 & 3, how you you play a change when the V of the 1st chord is the I of the one you are approaching?

    For instance, Am to E

    Am (I=A, V=E) E (I=E, V=B) and we get 2 E's next to each other... do we just double E's on beats 3 and 1? Change octaves?

    Sorry for the scatter brain post, but I got a bunch of songs to learn and no experience playing this stuff! I know it is simple, but this question is haunting me!
  2. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch.

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I would probably walk up (or down) to the E on beat 4. Something like

    1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4
    A E A C / E B E B


    1 2 3 4 & / 1 2 3 4
    A E A C D / E B E B

    or you can play the E twice, but the walk is probably going to work better.
  3. I agree with Zach, if you are in fact in A minor,

    Off course double bouncing the E will work, just depends on the song. Usually the walk is used going into a new verse or chorus where the double "bounce" is used throught the passages, of course this not an absolute. Good luck....
  4. 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
    Listen to some classic country and bluegrass.
  5. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    If the walk-up doesn't fit the song (i.e. the feel or the rhythm needs to be locked into the root-five thing), the just repeat the root. So, instead of playing R 5 for that measure, play R R.

  6. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I agree. Try the walk, but if it doesn't fit, hit the root before the change. Done a lot in country and bluegrass.

    Good luck.
  7. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    For a song where you're doing a simple root-5 on the first and third beats, I don't think it changes the groove as much if you add the root on the fourth beat:

    ... A E | A EA | E B | E B | A ....

    or another tone that leads into the V might work:

    ... A E | A ED | E B | E B | A ....

    (depending on what the other instruments are doing with that I chord, that D could be a G, an F#, .... Might add some color.
  8. Something like this would probably work the best.
    Thanks guys!
  9. kingbee


    Apr 18, 2006
    Don't discount an entirely chromatic walk up or down to the E.

    A B C D | E...

    A G F# F| E...
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Its all in the timing of the song. i'm afraid Country Blues is not enough i mean is it a 2 step, swing blues and is Bob Wills, 4/4 6/4 8/4 etc.
    These all make a difference as does it play on, in front, or behind the beat. That simple fact alone will give you space between two notes pitched the same.
    For example if the first E is in front of the beat and the second E after the beat you gain a bit more time between the two, which does not sound so regimented in a 2 step, so the relation between the two has a little more feeling to it.
    Add in the fact that the bass drum is just a fraction after you and just a fraction before you at that point also add to the effect that you might be playing more than you actually are.

    Check out the link and see and hear how the master does it with implied changes and rhythm that don't quiet seem what they are on first listen. If you find more Johnny Cash and Muddy Waters you will find the very changes you seek and hear how they are dealt with them. On the Muddy side find his album Folk Singer, its on Chess and has Willie Dixon on bass.
  11. In the specific case you're asking about (I-V bass line) it's no sin to just play the same note twice in a row.

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