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Traditional Blues question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by nicoli, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. So I've responded to an ad for a touring bassist position with a traditional blues band, and I've been asked to submit an audition tape with a number of things on it.

    One of the things I've been asked to record is a "shuffle - humpty dumpty thing - ascending, not descending pattern - Ab"

    Can anybody help me out on what exactly a 'humpty dumpty thing' might be? I'm a bit unsure of what is being asked of me here and I'd rather not ask the band leader if it's something I really should know.

    - Nick
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I think you already have the answer...
    To me "Humpty-Dumpty" is an approximation of a shuffle rhythm-
    l1..a2..a3..a4...al1..a2..a3..a4..al etc
    The downbeats = "Hum" or "Dum"
    The "a" = "ty"

    Dotted 1/4 note with a 1/16th note.

    Listen to Kenny Passarelli on Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way"...in my head 'cause the Classic Rock station played it this a.m. on my morning commute.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Some people I know also call "humpty dumpty" either an "uptown" (ascending) or "downtown" (descending) shuffle.

    Uptown (played as swing eighths): R R 5 5 b7 b7 R(oct) R(oct)
    Downtown: R R R(oct) R(oct) b7 b7 5 5

    This would be different than this other common ascending shuffle pattern:

    R R 3 3 5 5 6 6

    In playing blues I've found different people use different terms for certain generic patterns.
  4. Thanks for the replies guys... one of the other things I was asked to put on tape was a regular shuffle so I would think brianrost's answer is probably more likely to be what they want. Any examples of a song this is used in?
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...about a go-zillion tunes have either of those 2 patterns.
    Seriously. ;)

    How 'bout "Treat Her Right" by Roy Buchanan?
    ...there's a section in Steve Miller's "Living In The USA" with the-
    Root-Root_Root(octave)-Root(octave)_b7-b7_5-5 pattern.

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