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Why aren't there any degree programs for the Blues?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by OogieWaWa, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. OogieWaWa


    Mar 17, 2013
    Oak Harbor, OH
    So I'm interested in a post-graduate course, being retired I've finally got time. I really love playing the Blues and all the history and background and theory and everything. You'd figure someone would offer a program somewhere.

    Ha, it appears everyone has a jazz program, but I don't see anything specifically for Blues. What the heck?

    I really don't like much jazz, and I have zero interest in getting into something that only has Blues as a sidelight. Yeah, maybe the common roots are there, but come on.

    The whole thing could cover a huge area just by itself, it's not that narrow of a focus or anything. You could spend a lifetime learning about it. Arguably it may be shy on the technical side, but still. What, maybe we're not "good enough" for the university types?

    Anyway, just my rant. I'm not knocking the jazz crowd by any means, I really admire you folks, but it's just not my thing.
  2. Son, if you want to go to one o' them fancy universities to learn about the blues, you lookin' in the wrong place.

    You got to live in a run-down shack on the wrong side of the tracks in St. Louis, on the run from the law, after runnin' off on your woman. Then you can learn about the blues.
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Music related posts go in Miscellaneous. Moved.
    OogieWaWa likes this.
  4. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey

    Now that you have time, why not just play them? And dive into the history on the infowebs?
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Purely as a study of the music, there just isn't enough there to warrant it. It's simple music when it comes to theory. Hate to say it, but I-IV-V-I pentatonic covers the majority of it. Blues is about what you do with those simple ingredients.

    There are courses that talk about it and it's impact on society as part of the curriculum.
    rufus.K, MrLenny1, Wisebass and 15 others like this.
  6. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    You can always find literature on your own that works as " course " material . I would start with looking for books by Peter Guralnick as he is one of the best chroniclers of blues music and it's players . I know there are other books but they aren't getting past my flu addled mind at the moment . There are also documentaries on styles and players like R.L. Burnside and Jr Kimbrough like " Deep Blues " amongst others that will serve you well . I'm sure too there are books and films on Alan Lomax's work that contain blues info . Reading up on Stax records and the Muscle Shoals musicians will also have great info and pertinent anecdotes . " Living Blues " magazine which may no longer be around [ I'm not sure ] was a prime source of interviews for many years - published by Jim and Amy Oneal originally - you can likely find copies online . The U of Miss in Oxford took over the publishing in later years and they may have an archive you can access . Good luck - let us know when you have your "course " put together ! Kelly
  7. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    Actually if all that comes true you'll "have " the blues - to ' learn ' about them - try reading ..... Kelly
  8. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Ain't no blues in them fancy booklearnin'!
    Aweiss96, D.M.N., MrLenny1 and 7 others like this.
  9. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    This subject is best studied by listening and learning, come to think of it all subjects music related are. If your not into jazz the rabbit hole is not to deep in terms of harmony. History can be researched for a lot less $$ on your own, and you get to write the syllabus for the courses.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    You can walk them like Tommy Shannon, or you can mixolydian scale them like other guys.
  11. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    Blues is folk music, is jazz, is pop. Blues is music.
    juancaminos likes this.
  12. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Listen to some Charlie Musselwhite, Paul Butterfield, The Blues Breakers, & Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

    Oh yah, don’t forget Robert Johnson
    barrenelly and dan1952 like this.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I'll bet you could find a program in ethnomusicology and/or music history that deals primarily with blues. There's plenty of content there. But if you're talking theory....you can't make a degree out of a 15 minute lesson.
    JMacBass65, design, Wisebass and 9 others like this.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Because you are the only person in the history of mankind who ever showed even the slightest interest in a masters degree in blues.

    Take the money you would have spent on a degree and TRAVEL to Memphis, Chicago, Lousiana, and any number of destinations up and down the Mississippi River. That will be equally as educational and a LOT more fun. Write a book about your journey (that includes a TON of pics of food...ala @BassCliff gig reports). I'll buy the first copy!
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Bullets. There's gotta be bullets. You either gotta shoot somebody or be shot by somebody. At the VERY least you gotta witness the shooting. But there's gotta be bullets.
  16. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    The Gene Deer Band
    Try The School of Hard Knocks. Most graduate, but nobody gets an A+.
    Novarocker, And I, BassManKK and 5 others like this.
  17. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Have to burst into the room to catch your lover a cheat’n too.

    But no pickup trucks. Those are reserved for country
  18. design, Auspuff and SactoBass like this.
  19. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i guess that's why they call it the blues. :D

    also: the best teachers for blues = cats who'd insist that you play with them to learn...
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    EatS1stBassist and ElMon like this.
  20. A degree in the blues seems like an oxymoron if one assumes that one must be "oppressed by the man" to truly feel and understand the blues. Knowledge and education are the opposite of oppression. Of course, there's always knowledge acquired from the school of hard knocks as mentioned above.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019

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