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#294887 by Jon Nilsen
Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:30 am
I feel ya. The reason I stopped trying to join a Blues band is because finding 3-5 guys or gals who can really play the Blues is damn near impossible. Even finding a drummer can be hopeless. I would happily play Blues every night but it’s frustrating to deal with people with no real understanding. I can play other styles and make due with that. Wish you luck.
#294889 by toneguy86
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:49 pm
Ya. I see it a lot too. Blues is an lifetime artform. My wife and I dove deep in it for a long time. I can tell you (and some of the commentators here are examples) most people think they know blues, may even know a song or two and like to jam to a 12 bar...but really don't know. They may only discover if they are lucky enough to experience the real deal. The real deal.

Let's talk...Mark
#294891 by Jon Nilsen
Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:00 pm
Blues drummers for instance. If you listen to early Chicago Blues the drumming is very interesting and one of the first things to get homogenized. Many complex rhythms that totally make a song. If you can't find a real Blues drummer your next best bet is a jazz guy who at least understands some of the forms, then light a fire under him.
#294893 by toneguy86
Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:37 pm
Jazz guys don't hit with enough authority and they tend to get to splashy and messy on toms and cymbals. Theres a tight rocking feeling to shuffle grooves that requires authority on the 2 and 4. It's super hard to do right. In WI I know 4 drummers that do it well. They work a lot.

This isn't all I do musically. Partly for this reason. My stone blues band does 6 gigs or so a year...more by choice and not demand at all. Our shows have tended to be real events with people wanting more.

Are there real blues players here.
#294916 by Jon Nilsen
Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:36 pm
I agree with you. I'm just saying that if I can't find an actual blues drummer I'd rather start with a jazz guy because I've found them to be easier to coach into it.
#294925 by toneguy86
Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:31 pm
Maybe we need a thread on what the hell the blues even is and it's energy popularity, etc. It ain't on the bro country level, but blues festivals, cruises, etc. are a big, growing thing. Also, IF you know and play the music, doing (and or listening) to 4 hours of it is not a deal. My experience is that most people that say, "oh ya...I can play the blues," can't. In fact they can't at all, and being able to knock out a standard bar band version of a "lumptyish" shuffle ain't it. Happy to talk about this all, but I also don't want to try to do that with anyone dead set on not getting it and it appears there is a lot of that in this thread.

Funny thing is that I also find myself on the other side of the fence trying to explain the power and appeal of metal to blues cats. It can be the same thing with the same results.

Hit me up though if you want to talk serious like.

Mark
#294926 by Mordgeld
Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:09 pm
toneguy86 wrote:Maybe we need a thread on what the hell the blues even is and it's energy popularity, etc. It ain't on the bro country level, but blues festivals, cruises, etc. are a big, growing thing. Also, IF you know and play the music, doing (and or listening) to 4 hours of it is not a deal. My experience is that most people that say, "oh ya...I can play the blues," can't. In fact they can't at all, and being able to knock out a standard bar band version of a "lumptyish" shuffle ain't it. Happy to talk about this all, but I also don't want to try to do that with anyone dead set on not getting it and it appears there is a lot of that in this thread.

Funny thing is that I also find myself on the other side of the fence trying to explain the power and appeal of metal to blues cats. It can be the same thing with the same results.

Hit me up though if you want to talk serious like.

Mark


Well, they might be seeing it as a competition to their style when it's actually just about conveying a different feeling. I used to play a lot of metal. Lately, I've been learning to do Latin grooves. It isn't just notes on paper. There are subtleties to the articulation, tone, and delivery. I don't pretend to know too much outside my main styles. Me and the bassist/singer are planning to go to a blues jam at some point soon. I've got a nice flying V with SD Phat Cats in it that should sound nice for this. Hopefully, the real bluessmiths can either tell me I've got it or drop me some hints.
#294929 by toneguy86
Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:25 pm
Mordgeld wrote:
toneguy86 wrote:Maybe we need a thread on what the hell the blues even is and it's energy popularity, etc. It ain't on the bro country level, but blues festivals, cruises, etc. are a big, growing thing. Also, IF you know and play the music, doing (and or listening) to 4 hours of it is not a deal. My experience is that most people that say, "oh ya...I can play the blues," can't. In fact they can't at all, and being able to knock out a standard bar band version of a "lumptyish" shuffle ain't it. Happy to talk about this all, but I also don't want to try to do that with anyone dead set on not getting it and it appears there is a lot of that in this thread.

Funny thing is that I also find myself on the other side of the fence trying to explain the power and appeal of metal to blues cats. It can be the same thing with the same results.

Hit me up though if you want to talk serious like.

Mark


Well, they might be seeing it as a competition to their style when it's actually just about conveying a different feeling. I used to play a lot of metal. Lately, I've been learning to do Latin grooves. It isn't just notes on paper. There are subtleties to the articulation, tone, and delivery. I don't pretend to know too much outside my main styles. Me and the bassist/singer are planning to go to a blues jam at some point soon. I've got a nice flying V with SD Phat Cats in it that should sound nice for this. Hopefully, the real bluessmiths can either tell me I've got it or drop me some hints.


Thanks for that. I am a huge metal and heavy rock fan. It probably has influenced me certainly like anything else, but I am not a metal player. I know that. That said, one of the things I'm doing is reaching out to people that are rock and metal guitarists to get some of the same kind of mentoring that I got when I dove into the blues world. I honestly don't know what I'm doing and anything I do similarly is just a pale imitation of the real thing really. I just want to learn. to me that's the reasonable thing to do.

Often when it comes to genres we don't know or don't understand people assume things...and predictably make asses out of themselves when put on the spot (or on the stage as the case may be). I think it's worse with blues, since for many players, the first things they learn when they pick up an ax is reasonable facsimile of a 12 bar blues progression (and I mean that literally) and a minor pentatonic scale. They noodle on that, learn to jam a bit with other people...and then move on to other things, often assuming that, well...that's the blues. Got that. Assuming that is as silly as learning a major 7 chord for that one song you are always jonesing on and thinking you're a jazz master now. Right?
#294930 by Mordgeld
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:17 pm
Well there is a lot of blues phrasing that has made its way into metal and (mostly) hard rock. The difference is the disambiguation of the scale. There are no "blue" notes in (a lot of) metal because it consists of full classical scales that rule certain notes out of key. Classical blues is essentially a major progression with a minor scale, but the roots of the I IV V live in several different minor pentatonic scales. The different 3 5 and 7 across these gives your selected flavor relative to the current chord. Hopefully I am understanding this correctly.

Some metal players have the same problem with learning stuff by rote and then can't operate when you give them something outside of the scales or songs they know. You know, learn 3 or 4 power chords and you are a metal master, right?

I took some theory lessons for a year or so as a refresher not too long ago. You are correct, it isn't about learning the 7 chords or whatnot, it's about understanding where these notes live in your chords and scales so you can arrange them in various triads, groups, or inversions on the fly. If you learn to build chords and scales, then you already almost know most of them as needed.
#294931 by Gulag McStradinsky
Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:49 am
Howlin Wolf describes what the blues is in 1966
https://youtu.be/OpKB6OZ_B4c

Some blues drummers who started it all ...
Clifton James
https://youtu.be/HTDjD_UdJYs
Fred Below
https://youtu.be/Uy2tEP3I3DM

And these guys listened carefully .. though Fleetwood's bass drum sort of plods compared to the guys from Chicago.
https://youtu.be/NBKegPqU5iI
#294932 by toneguy86
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Gulag McStradinsky wrote:Howlin Wolf describes what the blues is in 1966
https://youtu.be/OpKB6OZ_B4c

Some blues drummers who started it all ...
Clifton James
https://youtu.be/HTDjD_UdJYs
Fred Below
https://youtu.be/Uy2tEP3I3DM

And these guys listened carefully .. though Fleetwood's bass drum sort of plods compared to the guys from Chicago.
https://youtu.be/NBKegPqU5iI


Nice. I like it. Those guys wrote the book.
#294933 by toneguy86
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:41 pm
Mordgeld wrote:Well there is a lot of blues phrasing that has made its way into metal and (mostly) hard rock. The difference is the disambiguation of the scale. There are no "blue" notes in (a lot of) metal because it consists of full classical scales that rule certain notes out of key. Classical blues is essentially a major progression with a minor scale, but the roots of the I IV V live in several different minor pentatonic scales. The different 3 5 and 7 across these gives your selected flavor relative to the current chord. Hopefully I am understanding this correctly.

Some metal players have the same problem with learning stuff by rote and then can't operate when you give them something outside of the scales or songs they know. You know, learn 3 or 4 power chords and you are a metal master, right?

I took some theory lessons for a year or so as a refresher not too long ago. You are correct, it isn't about learning the 7 chords or whatnot, it's about understanding where these notes live in your chords and scales so you can arrange them in various triads, groups, or inversions on the fly. If you learn to build chords and scales, then you already almost know most of them as needed.


We could go a number of places with this. Talking about history, feel, different vibes and grooves, variations on standard progressions, etc. etc. As far as threory I don't entirely disagree, although every metal player I know had a place they started and was usually messing with a rudimentary facsimile of the blues. Many guys are still riffing pretty hard on pentatonic, mixolydian or dorian modes, unless the underlying progression is based out of some other mode. As far as the theory, true that metal guys work off of modes that may be a bit different than a blues guy would use, but not always. This is especially true because blues is actually built off of modal theory. Here's why and how.

Really, when you play many blues songs (the major ones), the standard dominant 7ths (or the 9th, 13th, etc. subsitutions) are APPEAR to be departures from standard harmonic progressions. This is because in most classic major key progressions, the only major b7 chord would be your V chord. Never the I or IV. Now...I always wondered why you could play a minor pentatonic or even a Dorian mode over chords that had major 3rds. That makes no logical sense UNTIL you start thinking like a jazz guy. For jazz guys they are always referencing the key they are in and what modes to use based on what one jazzer buddy referred to your "II, Vs." In other words you look for where your minor II (2 chord in Nashville numbering) and your V7 (5b7 in Nashville numbering) are. This will tell you the key you are in. With that in mind, blues functions in the same way. Really, when you play a standard, major 12 bar blues using major dominant seventh chords you are playing in 3 seperate keys. This is the only logical way to think about it. IF you take the V or mixolydian mode for each of those keys and look at your common passing tones between those modes...you will have a minor pentatonic scale.

Now in reality, no blues players think that way. Depending on the song, the tune, the progression, etc. they will play their own passing tones, but probably won't think about it that way that much. It may shift in and out of major and minor pentatonics, even adding in aspects of dorian or mixolydian modes, hit bends that find that middle space, etc. If you go back though and listen to some of the older players like T Bone Walker and others, you will hear the jazz influence. I doubt though that any of the much older originators had people sitting around figuring out the theory above. But it does work out that way and does fit into how things do work in classical theory and isn't any kind of an anomalously or departure.

Then we can go into the art form itself...
#294937 by Mordgeld
Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:59 pm
toneguy86 wrote:...As far as threory I don't entirely disagree, although every metal player I know had a place they started and was usually messing with a rudimentary facsimile of the blues. Many guys are still riffing pretty hard on pentatonic, mixolydian or dorian modes, unless the underlying progression is based out of some other mode. As far as the theory, true that metal guys work off of modes that may be a bit different than a blues guy would use, but not always. This is especially true because blues is actually built off of modal theory....


No argument here. I've also met a lot of folks that think that just turning up the distortion makes you metal. Used to drive me crazy playing with ppl that would play minor pentatonic and shift the root for every single chord in the progression rather than pick a scale that fit with the entire progression. But you have hit on it with what you say about the underlying progression. I've had some success mixing pentatonic and melodic/natural minor where the underlying progression contains the #7, but it doesn't sound very blues. I get it tho, blues is a feeling, not a theory even if it can be described with theory tools. I think the parts I need to learn a little better is the usage of demi-chords to flavor the sound and some additional blues licks.
#294938 by toneguy86
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:15 am
Mordgeld wrote:
toneguy86 wrote:...As far as threory I don't entirely disagree, although every metal player I know had a place they started and was usually messing with a rudimentary facsimile of the blues. Many guys are still riffing pretty hard on pentatonic, mixolydian or dorian modes, unless the underlying progression is based out of some other mode. As far as the theory, true that metal guys work off of modes that may be a bit different than a blues guy would use, but not always. This is especially true because blues is actually built off of modal theory....


No argument here. I've also met a lot of folks that think that just turning up the distortion makes you metal. Used to drive me crazy playing with ppl that would play minor pentatonic and shift the root for every single chord in the progression rather than pick a scale that fit with the entire progression. But you have hit on it with what you say about the underlying progression. I've had some success mixing pentatonic and melodic/natural minor where the underlying progression contains the #7, but it doesn't sound very blues. I get it tho, blues is a feeling, not a theory even if it can be described with theory tools. I think the parts I need to learn a little better is the usage of demi-chords to flavor the sound and some additional blues licks.


Ya. It's kind of what ever works with what is happening in the tune and progression, but those sort of altered (sort of what they are) minor sounds are fair game even in blues. I don't think a major 7th harmonic minor sound would work in most instances, but that b5 and even the b6 Aeolean sound is cool. Players like Robin Ford do that all the time. The b5 sounds sort of outside and wants to resolve but there is nothing that it clashes with and technically a b5 is in a blues scale which is a minor pentatonic with a b5. Good blues guys are catching passing tones adding chord notes like 9ths and 6ths to follow chords and substitutions, and doing way more than just wanking on a minor pentatonic. The first thing I teach people when they come to me and want to get out of "the box" is the beauty of major sounds and scales that add in 9ths, etc. It's especially cool to roll in a real major sound against your IV chord in a major 12 bar progression and then drop back minor on the I.

Anyway...thinking like a jazz guy is good for metal and blues players. I mean the harmonic structure is there to make it all work and sound cool most of the time. It can be overdone like anything but it works artistically.

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