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T Bone Walker's, (They Call It) Stormy Monday

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, May 25, 2005.


  1. Listened to The Allman Brothers' version the other day. I simply couldn't figure out the time signature...not that I'm anything hot on that sort of thing, anyway.

    Apart from the main structure of the song played fairly slowly, there's a much faster middle section with a walking bassline...

    Wondered whether anyone could help?

    Thanks.

    John
     
  2. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Stormy Monday is in 12/8

    As far as the interlude, I think it goes into 4/4, but I don't have the recording in front of me so I'm not sure.
     
  3. Hmm. Err, 12/8....what's that? I'll have to get me book out again... :eek:

    Thanks.

    John
     
  4. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I used to play The Allmans' version of this...I counted/felt the tune in "6"(6/8).

    The 'swing' part played by Berry Oakley during the solos is also in "6".
     
  5. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I have many arguments with friends over if a certain song is in 12/8 versus 6/8. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's not to me.
     
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I don't have the sheet music, but I swear it's in 12/8

    When I listen to the tune, I count - I count 1 and uh, 2 and uh, 3 and uh, 4 and uh. The I chord is played in the first 4 beats, and then it goes to the IV for 4 counts. It follows the a standard Blues progression with a quick change to the IV after one measure.
     
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I do have the Allman Brothers sheet music for "Stormy Monday" in front of me. It is in Vol. One of a three volume set published by Hal Leonard and titled "The Allman Brothers Band: The Definitive Collection for Guitar."

    The transcription notates the song as 4/4. The pulse is called "Moderate Country Rock". The organ solo switches its designation to "Jazz Waltz Feel", but has no time change.
     
  8. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I have my Bass Sheet in front of me and it says:
    12/8 time and 62 bpm (Slow Blues).

    During Organ Solo: Double Time Feel
     
  9. My suggestion is to work with the song from a recording that you like. Whether it is standard notation or tab, sheet music for pop songs is most frequently the opinion of someone who neither wrote the song nor made the hit recording. I grew up thinking sheet music was the standard until the spring of my freshman year in college (40 years ago) when I finally figured out that the reason I was having a hard time learning "Nobody Knows You" was because the sheet music was WRONG. That was one of the two most important discoveries I made in playing music. I figured out the melody and chord changes from a recording I liked, with some help from the sheet music, and made my own arrangement. Since then I have figured that the sheet music can be a guide, but it does not rule. The song exists as vibrations in the air, not as ink on paper.
     
  10. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I'm hip, man.
     
  11. Yes. OK folks. Thanks.

    It's not me being pedantic. As someone with no formal musical knowledge I regularly stumble across written musical terms, etc, that mean next to nothing to me. Or I hear something that I know must be possible to write on paper but have no clue as to how (as per this case).

    My original question was a means of learning more, not being "picky" about time sigs.

    Frinstance, I have absolutely no idea how the feel of 12/8 differs from 6/8 (+ 1001 other similar 'no ideas')

    Ta.

    John
     
  12. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You asked for a time signature, and we provided it. If a time signature means nothing to you, then why ask for one?
    When you ask for a time signature, we assume that you know what one is. Otherwise, if you want to learn what it means there are many here who would be more than happy to help.

    A time signature is two numbers. The top number is the number of notes per measure, and the bottom number is the type of notes. For example, 4/4 means 4 quarter notes per measure. 12/8 means 12 eighth notes per measure.

    We're not trying to be trivial or scholastic, we're just trying to give you the answer to your question.
     
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Mike Hiland explains 12/8 time this way in "Mel Bay's Complete Blues Bass Book."

    "One of the more common SHUFFLE rhythms is written in 12/8 time. This means there are twelve beats per measure (yes, you have to count to twelve!) and the eighth note receives one full beat instead of its usual one-half beat value.
    The end result is that you have a rhythm that feels like four groups of three notes. This feels virtually like a TRIPLET FEEL.

    "In fact, rather than count to twelve in each measure, you may find it easier to count in groups of three (one-two-three, two-two-three-three-two-three, four-two-three). How you count is your own personal choice as long as you understand what you are counting.

    "For those of us who have a hard time counting to twelve over and over again....this same type of shuffle feel can also be written in a 4/4 time signature. When the music is written in 4/4, the rhythm figures are actually four gropus of eighth note triplets. These would be counted as follows: one-trip-let, two-trip-let, three-trip-let, four-trip-let."

    These triplets are notated as a rhythm figure of tied eighth notes in a special way which I cannot upload for you and they are difficult to describe. It is one of the most common rhythm figures in blues music, so check out sheet music with the 12/8 time sig and you will notice them.

    One thing I do suggest is that you learn to identify a shuffle feel when you hear one and try to develop a feel for it yourself, so that you can play it when you are called upon to do so.

    Two great bassists I admire for their shuffles are Tommy Shannon who played for Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King's current bass player who can do both shuffles and wonderful blues walking bass lines.
     
  14. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I always thought that the solo was played in 3/4. It's strange for it to say it's a "waltz feel" but not be in 3/4 time when 3/4 is standard waltz time.
     
  15. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Cool article Bop. It's also worth mentioned that many shuffles are played in 6/8 (SRV's The Sky is Crying comes to mind). I always can tell 6/8 by its "pulse", which is an accent on the 4th beat (that isn't as strong as the accent on the 1, so it doesn't get confused with 3/4). I always likened 6/8 with a "swaying" feel, much like being on a boat out in the water.
     
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    That's why it's a Waltz feel ;). You can only go so far off of sheet music before you need to bust out the original recording and see what the musicians are saying this should be played like, rather than a transcription by some random publisher.
     
  17. Jive1

    I'm really not sure how helpful your post is. Forgive me if I'm wrong but you seem to be nettled by the fact that I admit to being musically naive. This is supposed to be a forum for learning?

    As you will now see, very high calibre and respected bassists (like Boplicity, Jazzbo, Jim, etc) feel able to make sensible contributions.

    Jive1, I respectfully commend you to the principle that says, "Never assume". Both in life generally, and on TB, it is a useful maxim. (BTW when you said, "We assume" you actually meant that you'd assumed.)

    Rant over

    ***************************

    Boplicity, thanks VERY much for your trouble. There is much useful information there.

    ***************************

    I will return to this thread later when I feel calmer :(

    John
     
  18. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'm not bothered at all by anyone's musical naivity, as this is a forum for learning and discussion. But, when someone asks for something without understanding what it is and then calling the discussion trivial or meaningless, it is bothersome to me. But, as with many online communications it's easy to misunderstand. So if I misunderstood, my deepest apologies.

    This is a music forum that has many knowledgeable musicians on it, so when a common musical term like "time signature" is asked for then I assume the person using it knows what it means. When someone says "time signature" how else should one take it? If I ask for a sandwich, is it wrong for someone to assume that it is two pieces of bread with filler in between? (even when one has been respectfully commended not to assume). If I were the only one to assume you knew what a time signature was then no-one else would reply with stuff like 12/8, 6/8, 4/4 and the subsequent discussion thereof.

    Anyway, my apologies if my last post was seen as overly acrimonious and for any misunderstanding on my part.
     
  19.  
  20. Jive, I think there are misunderstandings here. I think I may have misunderstood early in the thread.

    I believe the best thing to do is try to put that behind us. Normally blokes might shake hands or something at this point. But we can't do that so I offer my hand to you via TB...if you see what I mean.

    I, too, humbly apologise if I caused you any offence.

    John