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  1. #1

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    I’ve been playing guitar for 40 years and teaching guitar for 15 years and recently I have two student inquiries wanting to learn blues guitar. I have some time before they want to start so I wanted to try again to get to the reason why the basic 12 bar blues progression works and sounds good. So this would be a chord progression analysis. In college I had a professor say don’t analyze the blues, it sounds good because it sounds good. I think maybe it can be analyzed or the precise reasoning on why those chord changes work can be revealed and maybe he just didn’t want to get into it at that time. Here’s how far I have it. Key of G: The I chord is actually G major and changes to G7 to tonicize the C (IV chord). Then the C becomes C7 which in theory would want to resolve to F7 but it goes back to G. Why does that work? I have no issue with the D7 because it’s theV7 chord. But why does D7 to C7 work?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Because it's basically just a 3-chord trick - tonic, dominant, subdominant.

    The b7s are just ornamentation, as are the other blue notes. Playing, for instance, a Bb over the C doesn't make it a C7 (as in the V of F). It's still a C, the IV chord of G.

    Always think function, not just the name of the chord in isolation.

  4. #3

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    The standard jazz blues progression is still just the 3-chord trick with substitutions.

    G13 - C9 - G13 - Dm7/G13
    C9 - C#o - G13 - E7#9
    Am7 - D7 - G13/E7#9 - Am7/D7

    The E7 in bar 8 is only a sub for G (G = Em = E7). So what you play over G will still fit. (It's also the V of Am which is why it flows nicely. Clever, these Chinese :-))


  5. #4

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    Look for the "jazzduets" channel on YT - recently the guy who is running it has posted some clips on blues progressions including one where he has collected all or most of the possible substitutions in a comprehensive chart.

    Other than that: the genre itself follows its own rules regarding harmony etc. Basically all major chords are dom7 chords. Then you have the b3 in the melody against the 3 in the I chord plus other blue notes. It's kind of a tug of war between western harmony and melodic tradition of Africans - and don't forget the different concepts of rhythm (often overlooked).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  6. #5

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    Short answer: harmonic rhythm tension singularity!

    Long answer... Look at this 12 bar form:

    [1 1 1 1] [1 1 1 1] [1 1 1 1] [1 1 1 1] [4 4 4 4] [4 4 4 4] [1 1 1 1] [1 1 1 1] [5 5 5 5] [4 4 4 4] [1 1 4 4] [1 4 1 5]

    Then like this...

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 1 1 4 4 1 4 1 5

    Then like this...

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
    5 5 5 5
    4 4 4 4
    1 1
    4 4
    1
    4
    1
    5

    That last one may be analysed (constructed) as:

    4 sets of 4 = 16

    split the line above (4 sets of 4 = 16) in two

    2 sets of 4 = 8
    2 sets of 4 = 8

    split the line above (2 sets of 4 = 8) in two

    1 set of 4 = 4
    1 set of 4 = 4

    split the line above (1 set of 4 = 4) in two

    1 set of 2 = 2
    1 set of 2 = 2

    split the line above (1 set of 2 = 2) in two

    1 set of 1 = 1
    1 set of 1 = 1

    Since this is a geometric process it keeps going like Zeno's paradox, approaching the end of the 12th bar, but we have to set a cut-off (in this case at the "length" of 1 beat), so the outstanding remainder is capped by the last two beats whose resolution matches the previous level...

    1 set of 1 = 1
    1 set of 1 = 1

    What this all means is that the Blues form approximates a geometric progression of shorter by one half spans of distance between chord changes, which builds fundamental harmonic rhythm tension - you can hear the time between the chord changes coming faster and faster, so you hear, project, and anticipate a harmonic rhythm tension singularity as you approaching the end of the 12th bar... this is why the solos tend to repeat lines (like the vocals) and then both place their hooks (vocals) or focus their peaks (solos) through the turnaround.

    All in all, this is about the most ingenious, amazing, and wonderful thing anyone has done to squeeze so much music out of three chords - Blues!
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  7. #6

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    Bottom line:

    Here’s how far I have it. Key of G: The I chord is actually G major and changes to G7 to tonicize the C (IV chord). Then the C becomes C7 which in theory would want to resolve to F7 but it goes back to G. Why does that work? I have no issue with the D7 because it’s theV7 chord.
    Wrong theory. It's not a C7, it's a C embellished with some soul-weary moans a la blues singers.

    But why does D7 to C7 work?
    Why shouldn't it? It's D7 to C in G. Found in a million songs. Playing IV to I (instead of V to I) is called a Plagal cadence.

    Plagal cadence | Definition of Plagal cadence at Dictionary.com


    And, if Paul's explanation doesn't satisfy, I guarantee nothing else on earth will :-)

  8. #7

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    Tommo -

    I had a chart once (photo-copied from a library). It was huge. It was all in C and the last example (of god knows how many, about 20 +) began with F#m7b5.

    Makes perfect sense, after all :-)

  9. #8

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    Here's a summary of jazz-variations on the blues progression from Jamey Aebersold's Jazz handbook. He got it from Dan Haerle's book on jazz/blues. Each of these can be pretty much explained by using secondary dominants, back-cycling, etc.

    Basic 12 bar blues-blues-progressions-jpg
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Bottom line:



    Wrong theory. It's not a C7, it's a C embellished with some soul-weary moans a la blues singers.



    Why shouldn't it? It's D7 to C in G. Found in a million songs. Playing IV to I (instead of V to I) is called a Plagal cadence.

    Plagal cadence | Definition of Plagal cadence at Dictionary.com


    And, if Paul's explanation doesn't satisfy, I guarantee nothing else on earth will :-)
    Isn’t that V to IV to I move also characteristic of boogie-woogie and early rock-n-roll?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  11. #10

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    Lawson -

    Thank you! I do believe that was the very chart. Well, it was 20 years ago so forgive slight memory twist. I forgot it was in F. Probably that's why starting with F#m stuck out as being very weird.

    As for boogie, rock n roll, etc, absolutely. It's all the same thing really. Folk music too and probably lots of classical. Not to say calypso and just about everything else. Nothing new under the sun :-)

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarboy View Post
    I’ve been playing guitar for 40 years and teaching guitar for 15 years and recently I have two student inquiries wanting to learn blues guitar. I have some time before they want to start so I wanted to try again to get to the reason why the basic 12 bar blues progression works and sounds good. So this would be a chord progression analysis. In college I had a professor say don’t analyze the blues, it sounds good because it sounds good. I think maybe it can be analyzed or the precise reasoning on why those chord changes work can be revealed and maybe he just didn’t want to get into it at that time. Here’s how far I have it. Key of G: The I chord is actually G major and changes to G7 to tonicize the C (IV chord). Then the C becomes C7 which in theory would want to resolve to F7 but it goes back to G. Why does that work? I have no issue with the D7 because it’s theV7 chord. But why does D7 to C7 work?
    But D7 to C7 works BECAUSE of what your professor was talking about. You can't completely disregard that statement. Blues isn't traditional, functional western music, harmonically or melodically.

    Melodically, G minor blues doesn't "work" at all over the progression either. You can talk about modal this and that, but it's its own form from the start and isn't clean, western music, evolved from European tradition.

    If anything, the Jazz subs for blues confuse it even more , because they borrow so much from traditional functional harmony. They also fill-in a lot more melodically, giving it a lot more options, and they use a lot of functional guidelines for chord of the moment. But the whole FORM is still blues and has to be understood as being different from traditional tin pan alley standards or from Western classical music.

    12 bar blues itself is a kind of "westernizing" of traditional blues. I wouldn't necessarily say that jazz blues is doing the same thing to a larger extent, but it definitely disguises it even more.

  13. #12

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    WHole great chapter of blues chord subs and explanations in Ted Greene's "Chord Chemistry" too.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  14. #13

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    Not content , just presentation

    |G13 |C9 |G13 |Dm7 G13|
    |C9 |C#o | G13 | E7#9. |
    |Am7 | D7 | G13 E7#9. |Am7 D7 |


    I hope not to offend you Rag
    I got rid of your - and / symbols ......

    don't that present better ?

    P.s. i thought we'd (nearly all) agreed this already

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Blues isn't traditional, functional western music, harmonically or melodically.

    Melodically, G minor blues doesn't "work" at all over the progression either. You can talk about modal this and that, but it's its own form from the start and isn't clean, western music, evolved from European tradition.

    the whole FORM is still blues and has to be understood as being different from traditional tin pan alley standards or from Western classical music.

    12 bar blues itself is a kind of "westernizing" of traditional blues. I wouldn't necessarily say that jazz blues is doing the same thing to a larger extent, but it definitely disguises it even more.

    That's the truth in a nutshell.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  16. #15

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    Blues isn't traditional, functional western music, harmonically or melodically.
    But the blues we play is, because it's been put into that format. Therefore it conforms to the 'rules' of that format. In fact, it only works properly if it does conform.

    A sentence in another language conforms to its own rules - like German often places its verbs at the end of the phrase, not the middle. When that sentence is translated into English the verb goes in the middle.

    It's one or the other. It's no use saying 'Shall I this mountain walk up?' just because it was originally said in German like that!

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    But the blues we play is, because it's been put into that format. Therefore it conforms to the 'rules' of that format. In fact, it only works properly if it does conform.
    Right. So, you're saying the answer for this...
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarboy View Post
    The I chord is actually G major and changes to G7 to tonicize the C (IV chord). Then the C becomes C7 which in theory would want to resolve to F7 but it goes back to G. Why does that work? I have no issue with the D7 because it’s theV7 chord. But why does D7 to C7 work?
    .... is "because Beethoven and Bach"?
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 11-25-2019 at 08:39 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Right. So, you're saying the answer for this...

    .... is "because Beethoven and Bach"?
    No, obviously not, they weren't aware of the blues as a genre. But I bet if Bach and Beethoven had known about it they'd have very likely adopted it in some way. They did it with the folk song of the time, so why not that? Gershwin did.

  19. #18

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    'As I walked out one morning
    I spied a maiden fair...'

    'Well, I woke up this mornin'
    Looked around for my shoes...'

    What's the difference?

  20. #19

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    Canonical theory does not account for bend notes... maybe a look at them would clarify the Blues?

    For the type occurrence of major, seventh, or minor as the one, four, or five chord, the bending of both the fourth and the dominant seventh (those degrees with respect to the key tonic chord) is unrestricted within the full span of a whole interval (all micro bend stations are included).

    A Blues harmonic theory must explain the restrictions bending the minor third of the one chord through the various types of one, four and five chords - in only two cases is the bend unrestricted, in all others the interior of the interval span must be avoided, except only a very slight sharpening of the A# - the minor third bend is unrestricted only on the one chord when not minor.

    Minor third bends (all examples are A# in G)

    Unrestricted
    G major chord as the one: bends full span to C (all micro bend stations)
    G7 chord as the one: bends full span to C (all micro bend stations)

    Restricted
    Gm chord as the one: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    C major chord as the four: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    C7 chord as the four: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    Cm chord as the four: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    D major chord as the five: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    D7 chord as the five: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)
    Dm chord as the five: bends only to C (only micro bend station is just slightly sharp of A#)

    There is already a clue within all this about the Blues... I'll watch to see if anyone discovers it.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  21. #20

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    There's no clue. Bending notes is merely a vocal style to project emotion. It's irrelevant to the basic 1-4-5 form and its variations.


  22. #21

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    The irony is how the US army adopted the call/response field song idea.


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    The irony is how the US army adopted the call/response field song idea.


    Why is it ironic? Seems to me that it would be stranger if the Brits did it.

  24. #23

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    You're missing the point. The very people that they enslaved became their inspiration. As for the Brits, they have their own songs but not derived from another culture. And they also had slaves at one point.

    This isn't one-upmanship, it's just so. What's fascinating is the influence American music has had - 'rhythm and soul' and 'rock n roll' alongside 'Erl-aye in the morning'. Hilarious. You can congratulate yourself on that!


  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO View Post
    It's kind of a tug of war between western harmony and melodic tradition of Africans - and don't forget the different concepts of rhythm (often overlooked).
    I don't want to seem contrarian, but the melodic & harmonic parts of Blues are not at all in a style that most africans like to hear or sing (I was born there and we moved around). Several natives lived with us and usually started rolling their eyes when my mother walked to the recordplayer (CD players too fragile), because she liked Jazz & Blues.

    Traditional chants rarely have any sort of "sad"-sounding elements, and resemble western mediæval melodies to my ears. You're right re. rhythm, though. That nice dragging of the backbeat is very african. It creates tension through anticipation. And repetition is important too.

  26. #25

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    There is a whole African blues thing. You can see how certain sounds originated. Otoh, the American blues sound has drifted back again and become an influence.

    african blues - YouTube

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    There's no clue. Bending notes is merely a vocal style to project emotion. It's irrelevant to the basic 1-4-5 form and its variations.
    If you think it's irrelevant to the basic form, you must explain why at no point during your 3 minute example song does the singer step outside the little bending "rules" I mentioned.

    Hint: the clue is something interesting about how those little rules are applied within the Blues form...
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    at no point during your 3 minute example song does the singer step outside the little bending "rules" I mentioned.
    That's completely debatable. Are you saying every note was strictly diatonic and on pitch? I think not!

    And 'rules' according to who? There aren't any rules, they sing how they feel.

  29. #28

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    Back in the old days they had to pass a blues theory exam before they were allowed to go out and sing a field holler.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    That's completely debatable. Are you saying every note was strictly diatonic and on pitch? I think not!

    And 'rules' according to who? There aren't any rules, they sing how they feel.
    Looks like you did not read or understand what I wrote, which is OK.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    back in the old days they had to pass a blues theory exam before they were allowed to go out and sing a field holler.
    lol!!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    That's completely debatable. Are you saying every note was strictly diatonic and on pitch? I think not!

    And 'rules' according to who? There aren't any rules, they sing how they feel.
    By "rules" he does not mean regulations, but rather generalizations based on his observations of the functions of various "bends." If you find say 25 occurrences of a phenomenon and they are all explained by, say, 3 or 4 discrete principles, and these turn out to be reasonably good predictors, and if no "bends" happen outside these, then you have another sense of "rule" as "general rule" or general observation/prediction.

    And people don't just "sing how they feel" and get many folks listening to them. I sing how I feel in the shower and empty the house. People who gain a large audience find a way to match how they feel to sounds and intervals that communicate and evoke answering feelings in others.

    You have to care about what others think of your performance. Otherwise it's just narcissism.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    You're missing the point. The very people that they enslaved became their inspiration. As for the Brits, they have their own songs but not derived from another culture. And they also had slaves at one point.

    This isn't one-upmanship, it's just so. What's fascinating is the influence American music has had - 'rhythm and soul' and 'rock n roll' alongside 'Erl-aye in the morning'. Hilarious. You can congratulate yourself on that!


    The American Army enslaved Africans?

    No, rather, and in brief:
    1. Africans captured and enslaved Africans
    2. Some of these African slaves were kept by their African slave owners.
    3. Islamic Northern Africa had a monopoly on African slaves.
    4. Some were sacrificed in religious rituals.
    5. The Portugese started a slave trade - buying the slaves from their enslaving fellow Africans - but avoided the Northern African Muslims, again, who had a monopoly on the slave trade.
    6. This European slave trade shipped slaves to Europe for the first 100 years of that new trade.
    7. They of course were transported by Europeans ships.
    8. Later the English and Dutch got into the game as well as other Western European nations.
    9. African slaves who were not kept in Africa by their African owners were sent to Europe, Mexico, India, the Middle East, etc.
    10. Americans, mostly Americans in the south, bought a lot of them too.
    11. Later, the south - mostly Democrat - formed a confederacy and wanted to secede. There was a Civil War.
    12. They lost to the north (Yankees), led by Republican President Abraham Lincoln.


    So, that means that today's American Army is descended from the Republican led north (the Union, or Yankees) - the ones who made it possible for the slaves to be freed.

    Further:
    You may be aware that call and response came from the slaves working in America's fields.
    You may be aware that American blues - and jazz - have their roots in that.
    This is about call and response, or blues hollerin', but you may also be aware that American military branches have jazz bands.

    So, why shouldn't the contemporary American Army play some blues and jazz? It's not ironic, it's American history.
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 11-26-2019 at 07:19 PM.

  34. #33

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    I think I'll do this lot at one go :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    Looks like you did not read or understand what I wrote, which is OK.
    I didn't, too long and beside the point. I was responding to your post about 'rules'. There are no rules, by whatever name. Maybe the only one is that the rendering be acceptable to the ear and even that's debatable.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    By "rules" he does not mean regulations, but rather generalizations based on his observations of the functions of various "bends." If you find say 25 occurrences of a phenomenon and they are all explained by, say, 3 or 4 discrete principles, and these turn out to be reasonably good predictors, and if no "bends" happen outside these, then you have another sense of "rule" as "general rule" or general observation/prediction.
    Sorry, same answer. These sorts of observations are made by analysts wanting to copy the style. So, to be safe, they become 'I must copy this' principles. They become 'rules' for the copyists, not the players.

    people don't just "sing how they feel"
    I do, which doesn't mean it's haphazard and without structure or meaning. It's a creative expression at the time and, like all good creative expression, is not bound by conformity to any rule, academic analysis, or anything else. I've heard black singers literally scream in a song because they wished to convey centuries of anguish.

    You have to care about what others think of your performance. Otherwise it's just narcissism
    Why? Who are we talking about? Some old black guy on a porch or a professional at Carnegie Hall? The professional is far more likely to suffer from narcissism!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post

    So, why shouldn't the contemporary American Army play some blues and jazz? .
    Did I say that?

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    'As I walked out one morning
    I spied a maiden fair...'

    'Well, I woke up this mornin'
    Looked around for my shoes...'

    What's the difference?
    Did the maiden fair have an Elgin movement from her head down to her toes? If not, I call bullshit.

    John

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by john a. View Post
    did the maiden fair have an elgin movement from her head down to her toes? If not, i call bullshit.

    John
    lol!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina View Post
    I don't want to seem contrarian, but the melodic & harmonic parts of Blues are not at all in a style that most africans like to hear or sing (I was born there and we moved around). Several natives lived with us and usually started rolling their eyes when my mother walked to the recordplayer (CD players too fragile), because she liked Jazz & Blues.

    Traditional chants rarely have any sort of "sad"-sounding elements, and resemble western mediæval melodies to my ears. You're right re. rhythm, though. That nice dragging of the backbeat is very african. It creates tension through anticipation. And repetition is important too.
    In what part of Africa? Slaves came from a few specific regions, and Africa is a very big, very diverse place. I'm far from expert on African music and its connections to African American folk forms, but there is quite a bit of scholarship (I've skimmed a little of it) establishing connections between pre-blues forms (e.g., field hollers), and West African music. Also, people don't always realize that blues is actually relatively modern -- most scholars say it arose in the 1870s. By that time, the people who were making this music were the product of more than 200 years of cultural exchange, slavery, emancipation, and the onset of Jim Crow. It would not surprise me at all to learn that a modern African (possibly a from different region from the ancestral regions of American blues musicians) does not relate to a blues record. Still, there is some modern modern African music that does seem connected to American blues and its descendents. Some of this is ALSO a product of centuries of cultural interaction (e.g., Fela, Salif Keita), and it's hard to say whether its bluesiness is a root or a branch. Still, check out something like Taj Mahal's collaborations with West African musicians. To me, those reveal a deep connection.

    John

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Did the maiden fair have an Elgin movement from her head down to her toes?
    Couldn't tell you, never met the lady

  39. #38
    Your perspective on the blues chord changes sounds right on to me. You mentioned always think function and when I see a dominant seventh chord I think of that chord as going back to I, as that being its function. So a dominant seventh chord does not always have to have a resolving function but can be ornamental as you say, with the b7’s just being color tones. Fascinating! I so enjoy the study of jazz guitar, even though this was a blues guitar concept, lol. Thanks, John

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    'As I walked out one morning
    I spied a maiden fair...'

    'Well, I woke up this mornin'
    Looked around for my shoes...'

    What's the difference?
    The same as the difference between a locker-room joke and a John Donne love sonnet.

    But I doubt you see any difference there either.

    I used to think of you as slightly annoying but worth listening to. The second half of that is pretty much dead now.

    Ragman, you have a knack for pretty much ruining any thread you enter with your bull-headed refusal to see anyone else's viewpoint but your own. I'm done with this thread, not that I think you care.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  41. #40

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    guitarboy -

    The dominant chord in, say, C major is a G major triad. Extending that triad with the note F makes it a G7. Strictly speaking, the colour tones are the notes beyond the 7, which are the 9, 11, and 13. That would also include the altered variations, like G7b9 or G13b9#11, and so on.

    As for resolution, it depends. In the progression Em-A7-Dm-G7-C, the A7 doesn't resolve to C but it does resolve to Dm which is its 1 chord, if you like to put it that way. Dm is also the ii chord of C, so the A7 is called the V of ii. But usually we just say the G7 resolves to the 1 chord and the A7 is a secondary dominant.

    There are many tunes in which dominant chords don't resolve to the 1 chord, either of the tune as a whole or their 'own' 1 chord if considered as a V. For example, in the tune 'Sunny Side Of The Street' it goes C-E7-F-G7. The E7 doesn't resolve either to an Am chord or to C, the 1 chord.

    I know you said you'd been playing for 40 years but it might be of use to you if you revised some basic music theory since you may have forgotten it by now!

    I don't mean to be impertinent, of course. This stuff can be pretty confusing even for skilful players.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    The same as the difference between a locker-room joke and a John Donne love sonnet.

    But I doubt you see any difference there either.

    I used to think of you as slightly annoying but worth listening to. The second half of that is pretty much dead now.

    Ragman, you have a knack for pretty much ruining any thread you enter with your bull-headed refusal to see anyone else's viewpoint but your own. I'm done with this thread, not that I think you care.
    I've no idea what you're on about, Lawson, I've always been very pleasant to you. You must be in a bad mood, or not well, or something.

    Of course I see a similarity in those two rhymes (and that's all they are, just rhymes). To my mind they're both representative of ordinary folk talking about their lives, either the country workers of England or the exploited Southern black people.

    It's not true that English folk songs were composed by sophisticated poets in London drawing rooms, they were largely written by the ordinary working people and kept alive by word of mouth, passed down. And they too were exploited, of course.

    I know there's a difference between folk music as such and the blues. That's not my point. My point is simply what I said, that it's just people talking/singing about their lives.

    No one else put that view before I said it so I wasn't being contrary or argumentative. Also, what is wrong with that view? Especially that it should produce this bile from you whom, as far as I know, I have never offended?

    Buck up, old son, life's too short, really it is. What's the problem?

  43. #42
    Well you have now opened me up to the option thinking of the b7’s in dominant seventh chords as color tones which is definitely how I’m going to think of them in blues from now on but I am also aware of the upper extensions and altered 5th’s and 9’s being normally thought of as the more legitimate color tones. The E7 in Sunnyside of the street I think of as actually originally being E minor with the E7 being played as a substitute. The b7 of E7 now being a color tone plus the major 3rd (G#) playing a part as well. Yes my thinking on music theory definitely drifts off into misconceptions at times but it’s people like you ragman1 that I need to check in with to get on the right track. Thanks again very much ragman1. My one blues student is starting tomorrow so I’ll have a more confident perspective thanks to you. Have a happy Thanksgiving!?

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    In what part of Africa?
    The Namibian hinterland, but we were also in Rwanda, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Togo. Lived with people from Congo, Moçambique, Zambia, Angola too. I put an arrow to point at the spot where we last lived in my profile pic - a strip in Namibia's north that stretches east (which confuses some people when given geographical indications).

    I may have misinterpreted the original remark, and only compared Blues to traditional african music. There are interesting recordings (really old) in the french national archives; tribal chants and rhythms from Bénin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Burundi, etc. Very engaging. You can't keep from dancing to those medium-tempo sagging beats.

  45. #44

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    guitarboy -

    It's a pleasure. Have a good time!

  46. #45
    Actually I’m drifting already or just had too much coffee. The b7 of E7 is true to the key, the major 3rd (G#) is the color tone. Lol

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zina View Post
    The Namibian hinterland, but we were also in Rwanda, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Togo. Lived with people from Congo, Moçambique, Zambia, Angola too. I put an arrow to point at the spot where we last lived in my profile pic - a strip in Namibia's north that stretches east (which confuses some people when given geographical indications).

    I may have misinterpreted the original remark, and only compared Blues to traditional african music. There are interesting recordings (really old) in the french national archives; tribal chants and rhythms from Bénin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Burundi, etc. Very engaging. You can't keep from dancing to those medium-tempo sagging beats.
    My experience is pretty superficial -- I went through a phase of being into African pop music, mostly west African, plus some southern, and briefly played in in an African group in the US, but have never been to Africa. Mainly the usual suspects, King Sunny Ade, Fela, Toure Kunda, Salif Keita, Les Amazones de Guinees, Ladysmith Black Mombazo, etc. I agree that there is generally more of a "happy" sound to this kind of music, and I think the more obvious connection between African and New World music is in Caribbean and Latin American music. But some of the Francophone African music really sounds bluesy to me, especially the kora-based music.




    John

  48. #47

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    Ali Farka Toure (from Mali) made a great record with Ry Cooder, very bluesy atmospheric sounds.


  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarboy View Post
    Actually I’m drifting already or just had too much coffee. The b7 of E7 is true to the key, the major 3rd (G#) is the color tone. Lol
    Ah, well, actually...

    Chord names and intervals aren't determined by the key of the tunes they happen to be in. That E7 in the key of C in 'Sunny Side' has the notes E G# B D, as we know. If the note names were determined by the key of C then the D wouldn't be a flat 7 - because it's natural in the key of C. Likewise, the G# - if it were determined by the key of C - would have to be a #3.

    Fortunately, this isn't the case otherwise the chord names would have to be changed every time the key changed. Which is a bit silly.

    Chord names/ intervals are determined by their relation to the major scale of the root of the chord. So E7 = E major. In relation to the E major scale, the D of E7 must be flat because in E the D is sharp. Likewise the 3rd of the chord, the G#, is unaltered because it's diatonic to the E major scale.

    So it's actually the other way round from what you've said in the quote. It's the G# which is true to the key (of E) and the D natural which is the 'colour tone', if you want to call it that. It's the other way round.

    Earlier, we said take the function of a chord in its particular context. That will tell you the relation of the chord to the key of the tune. But the note names of the chord are determined as above. So that E7 in 'Sunny Side' is a III7 in the context of the tune but the natural D note is a b7 in the context of the chord. Does that make sense?

    Theory is a pain in the butt, but that's life. In fact, it's so ungripping that it's only a matter of time before I make some obvious mistake and get corrected by someone here.

    Do what I do, leave theory to the theorists, just play some nice music. It's what it's for

  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Do what I do, leave theory to the theorists, just play some nice music. It's what it's for
    After multiple paragraphs of theoretical mumbo jumbo, (honestly overcomplicating his original statement)? Really?

    "Leave it to someone else" ...."like you do"....?

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    ..., and I think the more obvious connection between African and New World music is in Caribbean and Latin American music.
    You're probably right. Latin music is popular, and so is (old) Brazilian.

    But some of the Francophone African music really sounds bluesy to me, especially the kora-based music.

    {Sona Jobarteh & Band - Kora Music from West Africa - YouTube}
    Ah yes, that fits. I suppose there's diversification in the cities. Re. happy/sad: my father was born there too, and grew up with later kraal drummers; they told him that sad stuff has no place in music..!

    John: this was the only sad thing anyone liked back home, but then they liked it v e r y much (I do, too):

    .

    That's with Toquinho.
    Last edited by Zina; 11-29-2019 at 01:07 PM. Reason: added YT link