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What Does one Play over Blues Chords?

Peter T. 16 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,primitive blues bodger 16 Nov 05 - 09:52 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Nov 05 - 09:57 PM
Amos 16 Nov 05 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark 17 Nov 05 - 01:20 AM
Peter T. 17 Nov 05 - 01:37 AM
Cluin 17 Nov 05 - 01:37 AM
GUEST 17 Nov 05 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark 17 Nov 05 - 02:45 AM
Amos 17 Nov 05 - 08:25 AM
Nick 17 Nov 05 - 08:47 AM
Peter T. 17 Nov 05 - 09:04 AM
Tweed 17 Nov 05 - 09:05 AM
Mooh 17 Nov 05 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Blue Floyd 17 Nov 05 - 10:57 AM
TheBigPinkLad 17 Nov 05 - 11:30 AM
Tweed 17 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,silent picker bob 17 Nov 05 - 12:43 PM
Peter T. 17 Nov 05 - 08:24 PM
M.Ted 17 Nov 05 - 10:22 PM
sharyn 17 Nov 05 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Nov 05 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Billy 17 Nov 05 - 11:23 PM
GUEST 17 Nov 05 - 11:44 PM
Rockhen 18 Nov 05 - 05:26 AM
Mooh 18 Nov 05 - 06:01 AM
Patrick-Costello 18 Nov 05 - 09:15 AM
Peter T. 18 Nov 05 - 09:32 AM
Mooh 18 Nov 05 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,I got the so bored with blues blues 18 Nov 05 - 11:58 AM
Mooh 18 Nov 05 - 12:12 PM
Peter T. 18 Nov 05 - 04:05 PM
s&r 18 Nov 05 - 04:50 PM
Bobert 18 Nov 05 - 08:52 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Nov 05 - 10:33 PM
Peter T. 18 Nov 05 - 10:50 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Nov 05 - 11:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Nov 05 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,jusplayin 19 Nov 05 - 12:22 AM
GUEST,ss blues 19 Nov 05 - 02:37 AM
Cluin 19 Nov 05 - 04:41 AM
Peter T. 19 Nov 05 - 06:39 AM
Peter T. 19 Nov 05 - 07:43 AM
Mooh 19 Nov 05 - 08:17 AM
Ron Davies 19 Nov 05 - 08:21 AM
Ron Davies 19 Nov 05 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,got the not quite grown up yet, too clever b 19 Nov 05 - 08:44 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 05 - 08:54 AM
Peter T. 19 Nov 05 - 10:38 AM
Mooh 19 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM
M.Ted 20 Nov 05 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Dr Bloozer. Phd 20 Nov 05 - 02:58 PM
Mooh 20 Nov 05 - 08:31 PM
M.Ted 20 Nov 05 - 08:59 PM
Peter T. 20 Nov 05 - 10:10 PM
Mooh 21 Nov 05 - 08:15 AM
M.Ted 21 Nov 05 - 11:33 AM
Mooh 21 Nov 05 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,learned somethin' new today 21 Nov 05 - 12:00 PM
Mooh 21 Nov 05 - 12:48 PM
M.Ted 21 Nov 05 - 03:01 PM
Mooh 21 Nov 05 - 05:37 PM
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Subject: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM

a musicology question:

If you are playing blues on a guitar or piano, the basic sequence is the familiar 12 bar blues, let us say, a I7 chord, a IV7 chord, and a V7 chord.   What scales can you play over them?

The standard idea is to (1) play a blues scale or the tonic (the I chord) minor pentatonic scale over all the chords; or (2) play a major pentatonic over the I chord, the minor pentatonic over the IV chord, and I guess back to the major pentatonic over the V chord. What other scales are possible in a normal way in the standard sequence, as opposed to sounding like way out jazz? One guess I would have is that you can play a Mixolydian scale over the V chord.

I am trying to sort this out in my mind just to tidy things up. Any assistance appreciated.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,primitive blues bodger
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 09:52 PM

if you need to ask..

then you may be too over-educated middle class to play it

its blues.. not friggin music college

just play it by feeling and ear


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 09:57 PM

Well, you probably shouldn't play brown notes, unless you are in a shitty mood too...


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 10:19 PM

Peter:

There is no such thing as Mixylodian in the blues; they don't lend themselves to such frameworks, unless you try to force them.

Instead, try playing twelve-bar blues in E and throwing in blues riffs that including notes from the G scale, finding sequences that sound right to your ear. Or listen to blues as she is played and pluck out those sequences. When you move up to A, try sliding back to G for a beat before going back to A. Try sliding up to C before landing on B7, for example. Play with it to your heart's satisfaction. This patching together of riffs may not serve any academic standards, but it serves blues players from time immemorial because it gives them small segments they can call on in the flow of actually feeling the blues and getting them said.   

I would offer the thought that the blues is a primitive framework for exposing subtle feelings, not a subtle and sophisticated mechanism for formulating imitations of them.

Sorry if this is not helpful, but it is genuinely how I sees it, being a bear of little musicological brain.

A


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 01:20 AM

To the above guest who posted the first response:
If someone asks a question, they probably are trying to learn or understand something. It is not neccessary to be rude.

Peter, you might try thirds or fifths from the base note of the chord, and just keep adding other notes as you find the ones that sound right. It gets easier the more you just play notes and step out of their way.

Ingrid


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 01:37 AM

Thanks for the kind responses. I quite happily play by ear, and improvise, I am simply asking because I am curious about how what works works in theory.   A number of the guitar methods books talk about the use of modes over different chords, and about the uses of different pentatonic scales, but the discussions are scattered around. I was hoping someone might give me a reasonable summary.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Cluin
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 01:37 AM

Mixolydian mode is a BIG part of the Blues. It's one of the more commonly used modes for improvisation solos and lots of blues tunes use that flatted 7th in the scale. B.B. King uses it most of the time.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 01:41 AM

some people should simply be steered away from playing the blues..

upper midle class accademic musicians


have already done too much to destroy the soul, guts, and balls

of blue collar genuine folk and blues culture..


please dont encourage them


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,Ingrid Frances Stark
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 02:45 AM

Primitive Guest,

You sound like my first grade teacher who used to yell at me for reading ahead in the McGuffy Reader. It didn't stop me then, and it won't now.

Go be discouraging somewhere else.

I shall continue to encourage whomever I please.

Ingrid


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Amos
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 08:25 AM

Thanks for the correction on Mixolydian mode. I didn't mean it was not technically correct. I suppose that I use it often, all unknowing, and that Bobert does as well. But I can't define it. Nor Bobert, I imagine.

A


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Nick
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 08:47 AM

I think I once read someone describe the essence of blues as the creation of tension via dissonance and it's subsequent resolution (I think in Guitar Techniques magazine). It further encouraged players to think in those terms rather than in scale/mode/shapes/boxes terms.

For example, whereabouts in any scale are the slight bends that are not a full semitone but are somewhere in the cracks between the notes?

I reckon if you play a solo to 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out' that you can play every note of a chromatic scale at some point in the course of a verse and no doubt someone could analyse which scales and modes you are moving between but I don't think most people I've watched or listened to consciously work like that.

There is a post on Guitartabs.cc site which suggests the following that may be along the lines you were after. It might mean something to you - it doesn't to me!

Major Type Chords

CHORD TYPE - APPROPRIATE SCALE - CHORD FUNCTION

Major Triad - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major sus4 - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major 6th - Major (Ionian Mode), Major Pentatonic - Chord I
Major 6/9 - Major (Ionian Mode), Major Pentatonic - Chord I
Major 7th - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major 7th - Lydian Mode - Chord IV
Major 9th - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major 9th - Lydian Mode Chord IV
Major 9add11 - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major 9add13 - Major (Ionian Mode) - Chord I
Major 7b5 - Lydian Mode
Major 7#11 Lydian Mode

Minor Type Chords

CHORD TYPE - APPROPRIATE SCALE - CHORD FUNCTION

Minor Triad - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 6th - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 7th - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 7sus4 - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 69 - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 9th - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 11th - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor 13th - Dorian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord ii
Minor Triad - Phrygian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord iii
Minor 7th - Phrygian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord iii
Minor 7b13 - Phrygian Mode - Chord iii
Minor Triad - Aeolian Mode, Natural Minor, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor - Chord I Minor Key
Minor Maj7th - Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor - Chord I Minor Key
Minor Triad - Aeolian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord VI
Minor 7th - Aeolian Mode, Blues, Minor Pentatonic - Chord VI
Minor 7b13 - Aeolian Mode - Chord vi
Minor 7b5 - Locrian Mode - Chord vii
Minor 7b5 - Mode 2 Harmonic Minor - Chord ii Minor Key
Minor 7b5 - Locrian #2
Minor 9b5 - Locrian #2

Dominant 7th Type Chords

CHORD TYPE - APPROPRIATE SCALE - CHORD FUNCTION

Dominant 7th - Mixolydian Mode, blues - Chord V
Dominant 7sus4 - Mixolydian Mode, Blues - Chord V
Dominant 7b5 - Whole Tone, Lydian b7
Dominant 7#5 - Whole Tone
Augmented 7th - Whole Tone,Augmented
Dominant 7#11 - Lydian b7
Dominant 7b9 - Diminished (1+2), Mode 5 Harmonic Minor
Dominant 7#9 - Diminished (1+2), Blues, Dorian Mode
Dominant 7#5#9 - Super Locrian
Dominant 7b5b9 - Super Locrian
Dominant 7#5b9 - Super Locrian
Dominant 7b5#9 - Super Locrian
9th - Mixolydian Mode, Blues
9b5 - Whole Tone, Lydian b7
11th - Mixolydian Mode, Blues
13th - Mixolydian Mode, Blues
13sus4 - Mixolydian Mode, Blues

Augmented Chords

CHORD TYPE - APPROPRIATE SCALE

Augmented - Lydian Augmented , Augmented, Mode3 Harmonic Minor
Augmented 7th - Whole Tone, Augmented
Major 7#5 - Lydian Augmented, Augmented, Mode3 Harmonic Minor

Diminished Chords

CHORD TYPE - APPROPRIATE SCALE

Diminished - Diminished (2+1), Mode 7 Harmonic Minor
Diminished 7th - Diminished (2+1), Mode 7 Harmonic Minor


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 09:04 AM

Well, that seems authoritative, but of what I don't know!!

Continuing thanks.

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Tweed
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 09:05 AM

Mixylodian? I always heard that it was called a pentatonic setup, but have no training in the theory of blues so couldn't say for sure.

To my cashew sized brain, it's more of a feelatonic or mebbe a bendamatic mode, whereas if you catch yourself on the wrong fret, just bend it til it sounds right. It's pretty easy once you just let yourself go with it. Blues is a style that should never be played using tabs or sheet music. There's just no way to accurately transcribe it. It's the music of human beings' spirits talking and comes from your insides and never shows up or sounds remotely convincing if played from a piece of paper. It's peculiar stuff, especially the real back country stuff.

Click this link and listen to Rule Burnside on Highway 61 radio and see can you transcribe what he and Ranie Burnette and Mr.Fred are playing in there. It may make you to lose your mind.


Tweed


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:53 AM

Blues doesn't fit with the sort of theory I learned at the piano, Bach harmony and conventional scales don't always make sense in the blues context. At the beginning (I'm guessing, I wasn't there) it wasn't a written music. There is a lot of chromaticism and expression by pitch in blues. Starting with the blues scale (like the minor pentatonic with the added flatted fifth) will work, but adding the chord sevenths, passing tones, grace notes, bends, slides and slurs, between notes gives it much of its blues character. The part of blues which stumped me when I first heard it was how it could mix up minor and major thirds so much and sound so cool...the choirmaster would never have accepted that kind of harmony! Flirting with the harmonic minor scale works too, especially in a minor blues.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,Blue Floyd
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:57 AM

hey music teacher! leave the blues alone !!!


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 11:30 AM

(Thread drift, sorry)

Tweed, thanks for that link; I have listened to RL Burnside's poem "Money in the Poolroom" a couple of times. Quite extraordinary, such a musical voice, such rhythm.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Tweed
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM

You're welcome BigPink, I'm glad somebody checked it out. Monkey in the Poolroom is a great story ain't it? He reels it off like he'd told it a ton of times.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,silent picker bob
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 12:43 PM

great blues technique is more about knowing
when NOT to play any notes..


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 08:24 PM

It appears that piano blues players have a lot more theory (there seems to be some ii-V-i substitutions going on (V7sus4 and things that I ran across today) which can be woven into the basic blues chord patterns. Perhaps if the keepers of blues purity will let me I will keep trying to figure this out.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:22 PM

Don't let the bastards get you down, Peter--they know nothing--Mooh is more or less on the money--

Blues can go anywhere from very simple to very complex--and even in the fairly simple stuff, you will hear more notes than are in the key scale--

I get annoyed when people claim that blues is somehow or other pentatonic--it isn't right, because you've got the three chords in a key, which means that all seven of the scale notes are there--

Let's say we are working in C-you've got C,D, E,F,G, A,B, C, in the regular chords, plus Bb which is in the C7, plus an Eb(flatted or minor third) plus, often, an Ab, which is a flatted third over the F chord--Some blues guys, especially the Delta guys, us a flatted fifth, so that gives you the Gb/F#--eleven notes already--meaning there is only one note that you don't use--

But this doesn't really tell you what to play--so I'll tell you here--

What you are doing, when you play the blues, is, you play a syncopated rhythmic/melodic lead figure(you can call it off-beat, if you want) against a steady rhythmic line(more or less on-beat)-often a walking bass line, but can also be a drone--

You can simply move the lead figure up a to the appropriate place when the chord changes, or
additional tension can be created by keeping the lead in the same position when the chord changes.

In jazz, you can keep the lead in the same position over circle of fourths chord progression, seemingly going farther and farther out there with each chord change.

The simple trick for improvising is to do drum solo like rhythmic improvisation using the same notes that are in the lead figure--you can also simple use the notes in the   Tonic sixth chord, with the seventh and minor third tastefully added--

When you play, basically, you do the "Call" for four counts or eight counts, then the "response" for the next four or eight, back and forth till your used up all twelve measures, and then go on again--

The twelve bar blues structure gives you all sorts of possibilities for alternating and combining lead and bass phrases, even if you only know or like to use a couple of them--


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: sharyn
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:23 PM

What I would do if I were you, Peter, is get transcriptions or tabs of blues artists you like and analyze them to see what they do.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 10:44 PM

NICK - Thank you.....your grade is A-minus....while hitting most... you missed three.

AMOS - Your explanation is precisely the the "un-precise" method I use....it works and it is fun.

If it ain't "play" you ain't playin' de blues.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 11:23 PM

A whole lot of reverse snobbery going on here ---- but it's fun.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 05 - 11:44 PM

Dearest Billy, for someone whose closest claim to fame is found within the "irritating phrases thread" BUTT-OUT!!


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Rockhen
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 05:26 AM

Er...probably not the real subject of this thread...but...if you play by ear and 'feel' the blues, and then learn a few more techniques from books etc (rather than just by listening to others, then trying it yourself,) it doesn't seem any less valuable to me. I sometimes play with a classically trained cellist (blues and folk music) and have learnt loads from her AND I would like to think she has learnt a little from the way I approach music, more by going with what feels right and busking from the heart. Playing music is amazing and if you stop trying to experiment with it and get stuck doing the same old things, it is a shame cos you can always learn more. Like a guitarist who only plays 3 chords then suddenly learns another one...
It takes all sorts thank goodness, we all approach music in different ways and I will now go back and see if I can understand any of the technical talk above and nick some ideas!


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 06:01 AM

Chord substitutions in the 12 bar blues is common. Dominant 7th chords everywhere naturally, but changing the first bar to Imaj7, the second bar to IV7, the sixth bar to IVm7, and the eleventh/twelfth "turnaround" bars to IIIm7, VI7, IIm7, V7, can provide more movement. Using such substitutions for finding accidental notes for improvising or composing a melody can be fruitful.

There are few accidentals in blues melodies as almost any note will work sometime, but lots of "tonal centres", that is, root notes we return to, especially in the bass. No matter how many chord substitutions we use (somewhere I've got a chart with variations from 3 to over 20 chords), those roots keep us grounded and provide the flow of the progression.

Fun eh!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 09:15 AM

I think looking for a specific formula may only confuse things. The trick with the blues is that it's a fairly simple approach to music with a lot of hype surrounding it.

As an acoustic blues guitar player I don't work from pre-memorized arrangements. Before a song kicks off (and this is the same if I'm playing solo or if I'm playing in a group) the only information I want or need is the key and the time signature. The time signature gives me a hint about the rhythm and the key gives me a general outline of what the chord progression "might" be. For example, if the song is in E I know that I might be working with some combination of E, A and B.

I don't look at songs in terms of twelve or six bars. The song is what it is at the given moment. If I'm in the rhythm all I have to do is feel out the basic flow of the chord progression and go with it.

Once that happens that fancy-freaky chord stuff is just a side effect of whatever is happening in the song.

I'll Take the E chord: 0-2-2-1-0-0 and the E7: 0-2-2-1-3-0 and mess around with the melody line by changing the chord in some way.

In other words, in any E chord I might be playing variations like: 0-2-2-1-0-4, 0-2-2-1-3-4, 0-2-2-1-0-2, 4-2-2-1-0-0 or a bunch of others - but in my head it's still just an E chord. There might be some highfalutin theory to explain why the variation I'm using at a given moment works, but I could care less about that stuff. Knowing theory isn't the same as knowing the craft.

My advice would be to take some basic blues stuff and start playing. Get comfortable with the music. Feel the flow of it and then start messing around to see what you can and can't get away with.

-Patrick
www.howandtao.com


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 09:32 AM

Some of the things I have been reading (and doing) talk about doing different modes over the I - IV - V progressions, e.g. Mixolydian. But it seems to me that Mixolydian is just your average scale with a flat seventh, so it is just the dominant 7 chord. Why is this supposed to be some big deal? Is it because once you get into the Mixolydian mode you can smuggle all the major key notes back in?

Just wondering what the modes have to do with all this. I have the pentatonic stuff more or less working.

Continuing thanks for the increasingly valuable comments!!

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 10:21 AM

For these purposes, think of mixolydian as either a major scale with a flattened 7th, or the notes of the original key signature but using the 5th as its root. Either way, they're the same notes. The I major contains the notes of V mixolydian. (Ie: mixolydian mode is created from the notes of a major scale but starting and resolving on the fifth note.)

I don't find it helpful to change one's "key" thinking with every chord change, but instead stay within the original key and work with and around the roots of the chord changes, accidentals notwithstanding.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,I got the so bored with blues blues
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 11:58 AM

much of this this probably explains why so much blues of the last 30 or 40 years
is so over-formulaic, cliched, sucked out of all spirit and inventive vitality, tedious, trite, self indulgent... etc, etc, etc..

ad lib to chorus

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

thats the first verse..

need some ideas for chord structure and improvising..

I'm happy to go with this chorus:

"I got the so bored with blues blues"

anyone want to help out with extra verses..?????


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 12:12 PM

What, and call it "Guest Blues" or "Wearing Out The Welcome"? Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 04:05 PM

Yes, well, he persists, just to get the ghosts of electricity out of his head.

So would l be right in assuming that you could ---

over a I7 chord (say C7) do a C Mixolydian Scale;
over the IV7 chord (F7) do an F Mixolydian
over the V7 (G7) do a G Mixolydian?

or does one do a C Major (Ionian) over the I7 and a Lydian scale over the IV7 chord?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: s&r
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 04:50 PM

If you play a scale over a chord, some of the notes will be discordant, some will be concordant. Discords are chords of tension or unrest ie the music wants to move to a concord. It doesn't matter much how you arrive at a discord, it's how you get out of it that needs work.

Just relying on a scale to provide a solo misses the inventiveness of the blues.

Stu


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Bobert
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 08:52 PM

What Tweed said...


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 10:33 PM

Man, I think of the blues I really love.. Mississippi John, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and other less well known country blues singers and what I like about them and blues is that to me it seems everything but intellectualized.

Maybe it's my own lack of musical training, but I seem to respond to the simple, gut stuff most.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 10:50 PM

Yees, yes, I know, but could you give the criticism a rest, you have made the point -- my favourite blues player is Son House.   I am interested in the various scales and modes and how they intersect with the blues in more modern blues playing -- is this some sort of crime?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 11:10 PM

It is something you "just have to do." (Sort of like losing you virginity.) Just find a friend of a kindred mins....and explore togehter. They are lots of differents ways....but some "just feel right" for the two of you.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Nov 05 - 11:16 PM

Hey, Peter:

I only expressed my personal taste. And just once... I have no problem with people trying to understand how people create music, or being musically sophisticated. One valid answer to the question you pose in your thread title is: "whatever they feel in their gut." That is not a criticism of you.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,jusplayin
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 12:22 AM

As in so many other forms or styles of music, there are endless variations on any given central idea or theme. Generally speaking, each variation gains merit in the eyes, ears and/or hearts of some and seems to spawn it's own group of followers. Not every variation seems able to gain acceptance by all. Thank goodness for that, because this old world would be a dull place indeed if that were the case. Interpretations within our musical pursuits are as varied as the individuals who attempt to unlock the secrets of this endeavor.

As outrageous, improper, annoying, blasphemous, illegal, or cacophonic as they may be to some, I, for one, applaud the attempts of any and all who stride beyond the norm to reach for what lies outside the view of the many. I appreciate the pioneers.

just keep playin'


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,ss blues
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 02:37 AM

"No crime committed here folks, move along....nothing to see. Only another one trying to play Son House from tabs and getting upset if someone suggests to play from the heart. Seen it before,.....fairly common phenomenon as you all know. Move along,....last call, last call."


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Cluin
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 04:41 AM

Brains, heart, fingers, and ears.

Not in that order.

And mostly you have to tell the brains to get out of the way. During the "playing" part anyway.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 06:39 AM

I get the idea for the hundredth time. Now can someone answer my very specific questions, if not, go away and play the blues on your beat up porch with heart.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 07:43 AM

And furthermore,ssblues --

(1) NEWSFLASH: Son House is dead, stone dead, bereft of life he rests in peace, he has gone to join the blues choir eternal, he is no more;
(2) For some reason, I learned to play in his style by (a) watching a video of him playing Death Letter Blues about a million times; (b) getting lessons from a guy who could play the ass off practically all the people on this site; (c) Acoustic Guitar, bless their hearts, once tabbed My Black Mama.

I admit my guilt, I throw myself on the mercy of the blues purity court, I donÕt know what came over me that I resorted to TABs ( !! it was bad companions, your honour), or these other substitutes for how you learned, which included your early years as a poor black man in the Mississippi Delta in a hot iron cage of prejudice, a stint as a Baptist minister, a possible murder,    walking the world with Charlie Patton from juke joint to street corner, and spending endless years picking cotton under sweltering heat and graduating to a tractor as the peak of your working life.   Unlike you, I grew up far from that world. What I was thinking, I donÕt know, but I am so guilty, and I bow to your superior bluesosity.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:17 AM

Peter...I'll try to answer your 4:05 pm question, but the brain's not working real good as I'm recovering from the flu and doing this sans instrument.

The mixolydian modes over the changes you suggest will work some of the time. It'll sound much more like jazz than blues to many blues fans, though I don't think the distinction is important. Whether jazz or blues or some hybrid, some notes will fit all the time, some only some of the time.

Or look at it this way. The 3 modes you ask about using only differ by a couple of notes. In this context you've got CDEFGABb over I7, FGABbCDEb over IV7, GABCDEF over V7. The C minor pentatonic is CEbFGBb. Add the "blue note" Gb/F# for the C blues scale. The beauty and therefor appeal of the blues scale is it works over the I IV V chord changes. The downside is that it gets a little repetitive to some ears and hands. Add those other mixolydian mode notes where they sound good and it gets more interesting.

But...I've always thought that the guiding force here isn't so much the scales as the dominant seven chords which give us (in this case) the notes Bb, Eb, F, which with the tonic and dominant major intervals C and G (common to the 3 modes you're using) make up the pentatonic. (The raised 4th blue note can act as a passing note between its neighbours or a note of "suspense".) At any rate, notice that the notes Bb, Eb, F, are the 7ths which define the switch to each mode over each chord change in your example. They're easy to find, two frets (whole step) lower than the chord root.

Hope this helps.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:21 AM

I thought what you did over blues chords was sing.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:22 AM

The blues.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,got the not quite grown up yet, too clever b
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:44 AM

E
you're acting up now like a spoilt college boy brat

   A7                                       E
Oh Peter.. you're acting like a college boy brat

             B7
and if you're too supercillious you couldn't care less

A7                                     E    B7
well we can't help you.. and so thats's that

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#####


hey Pete pal you did ask "What Does one Play over Blues Chords?"


now if you'd been more specific and asked


"What Does one cleverly over-play over Blues Chords?"


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 08:54 AM

Chorus:

got the not quite grown up yet, too clever blues


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 10:38 AM

Thanks, Mooh. That was helpful.


I've got those didn't grow up like you in the delta blues,

I've got those didn't grow up like you in the delta blues,

I'll meet you down in Parchman, you can tell me all about yo true purity, shotgun shacking, blacker than blacking, knife attacking, down home in your asslicking nose sniffing down home bluesiosity blues.   (somewhat outside the standard 12 bar blues format, formulated by music scholars, hope you don't mind).

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 19 Nov 05 - 11:43 AM

Peter...Look for a PM. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 02:43 PM

It probably is less useful to think about what scales are being played, and more useful to think about what blue notes are being added, and where-- simply because you don't play a lot of those extra blue notes in a scalar fashion--they tend to be used as punctuation, to emphasize the rhythm--as has come up before, the names of modes/scales are used just because you need to call things something if you are discussing them. Jazz players do play the scales as scales, and, to add to the confusion, they play blues too--


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,Dr Bloozer. Phd
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 02:58 PM

think more about the value of non-rational emotive performance
& communication

rather than

theoretical and logical structure and formula..


m'be sum folks just aint learnt right to play th' blues


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 08:31 PM

Well, there are a couple of benefits to actually knowing SOME theory around blues.
(1) Knowing where not to put your fingers, especially when you get lost.
(2) When you can't quickly enough hear the next minimum interval (full or half tone) you at least can find a "safe" note to go home to.
(3) Quick key changes are smoother and easier to get to.
(4) Just knowing theory doesn't mean you can't play by feel, but it does mean you can feel your way around more, maybe even better.
(5) Instant jams with new people, sitting in with a live band on unfamiliar material is a lot easier when there's some theory.
(6) Distractions like foxes on the dance floor, drunks falling over your gear, airborne beer bottles, are easier to play through when you don't have to think about every note. Saves you from collapse, and lets you get back on track faster.

Tons of blues players know all the theory without all the technical names. Names and definitions are only for communication anyway.

Your milage may vary.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 08:59 PM

It probably is less useful to think about what scales are being played, and more useful to think about what blue notes are being added, and where-- simply because you don't play a lot of those blue notes in a scalar fashion--they tend to be used as punctuation, to emphasize the rhythm--as has come up before, the names of modes/scales are used just because you need to call things something if you are discussing them. Jazz players *do* play the scales as scales, and, to add to the confusion, they play blues too--


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Nov 05 - 10:10 PM

Thanks again to the helpful ones. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 08:15 AM

M.Ted...Didn't mean to repeat your point about communication. Sorry about that.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 11:33 AM

A true point speaks afresh whensoever it be given voice. And my mind doth marvel at each devise contrived by those, of false advise, who know not what that do, and want not to know it, too.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 11:50 AM

LOL...

My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason happily more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown,
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak...

Or something like that. Always liked that lances/straws line.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: GUEST,learned somethin' new today
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 12:00 PM

errrrr.. does that go....

E
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
A                                    E
My heart as great, my reason happily more,
   B7             A7                E
To bandy word for word and frown for frown,
B7                A7             E
But now I see our lances are but straws,
    B7
Our strength as weak...

man.. I never knew them English Shakespear dudes
invented the blues all them years ago !!!???????


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 12:48 PM

A little older actually, and further east...wasn't it the psalmists?

Sing to the Lord a new song
Sing to the Lord all the whole earth
Declare his glory among the nations
And his wonder among all peoples

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 03:01 PM

At last, though long, our jarring notes agree... God give you good night!


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Subject: RE: What Does one Play over Blues Chords?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Nov 05 - 05:37 PM

Good night, good night, parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night till it be morrow. Shakespeare, not Mooh.

Peace, Mooh.


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