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I want to learn some blues...

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Anonymous
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I am not sure if you've heard the new song by Gretchen Wilson (yea I know she's contry!) called "All Jacked Up" but I just love the rhythm in that song. Now I am not sure but I believe that is the 12 Bar Blues, correct? If so I would love to learn something like that. I have read the lesson on GuitarNoise but I am not sure if that is more advaced than what my ability allows at the momment. I am trying to learn music theory but it just seems so far over my head right now.

Any suggestions for learning this?

Thanks


   
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Snarfy
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Mike,

You may also want to give a listen to a song by Jack Johnson called "Symbol in My Driveway". It uses what I believe to be a very simple 12-bar blues pattern, and is prettty fun to play.


   
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Ignar Hillström
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Your best bet is learning the 12-bar blues shuffle and the pentatonic scales for solos. for rhythm. Check the link in my sig for a very basic introduction to blues lead guitar.


   
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Anonymous
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Thanks Ajen that will help a lot. However, I am actually looking for something the the backing tracks you have at the end of your lesson. I want to work on the rhythm part first and then do more "soloing".

I am not sure if you have ever heard the song by Gretchen Wilson but it almost has a Hank Williams Jr sound to it. The old bluesy/country style that Hank does so well.

You backing track will give me a start, but I guess if I want to add the chords to it I need to learn the theory behind it huh?

Thanks


   
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Ignar Hillström
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The theory by my backing is covered pretty much by one of David's articles here, once you know those basics you can play that kind of stuff in any key with everyone you'll meet.

Or do you mean what to do with the chords besides just straightly strumming them?


   
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Anonymous
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Or do you mean what to do with the chords besides just straightly strumming them?

I am assuming the strumming is straight down strumming unless I am mistaken?

I have David's lesson but I just don't understand the I III IV stuff? It seems way over my head now.

Thanks


   
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Ignar Hillström
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Oh, that is explained somewhere else as well, and is very basic.

In every key you have seven 'important' chords that only use notes from the scale. In C they are, in a basic way:

C Dm Em F G Am Bm

C=I
Dm=ii
Em=iii
F=IV
G=V
Am=vi
Bm=viii

Capital roman numbers mean it is major instead of minor.

Blues uses a typical I-IV-V progression, which means, if you look at the table above, C-F-G. Now the basic 12-bar blues has these twelve bars:

I-I-I-I (basic start)
IV-IV-I-I (some excitement with the IV)
V-IV-I-V (major stuff happening with the V coming into play)

So in C, using the C-F-G chords, it is this:

C-C-C-C
F-F-C-C
G-F-C-G

And once you've finished the last bar you start all over again. The ending is called a turn-around and there are many variations. The one above is the most basic and 'standard' one.

Now if you would be playing in G, you'd get:
G-Am-Bm-C-D-Em-F#m

So a bluesbar in G would be:

G-G-G-G
C-C-G-G
D-C-G-D

As to strumming: it is possible and happens in many songs, but there are many ways to fancy up a little using appergio-based riffs, different chord voicings, using different strummig patterns with a few short and tight strums, etc. But starting with just stumming is better I guess.

Cheers, hope this helps. It's easier then it looks, thrust me.

GuitarNoise: Your place for immediate helpdesk requests.


   
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Anonymous
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Thanks Arjen! That was an Excelent explanation. I just wanted to start doing some other stuff besides tabs and the blues rhythm has always interested me. Like you said..learn the blues and you can play with almost any other musician.

I'll have to try this wehn I practice today. Do you know of any good starting points as to songs I might know (this is usually a motivating factor for me) that use this? Anything popular to get me started then I can break off from there.

Thnaks


   
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Snarfy
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Sorry to butt in again...

Try "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. It's a quite slow-paced, 12-bar blues song. The tabs I've seen seem to disagree as to what key it's in. I play it starting at F# and I use dominant 7 chords to give it a more "blues-y" feel.


   
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Anonymous
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OH...a couple more questions about what you wrote: With the 12 bar how many beats are usually in a measure? Is it 4/4 timing or does it change up?

Also do I follow your parrern of
I-I-I-I (basic start)
IV-IV-I-I (some excitement with the IV)
V-IV-I-V (major stuff happening with the V coming into play)

Or does that change as well? For instance can it go:
I-I-I-I
I-I-IV-I
IV-IV-V-V

I just made this up

Thanks


   
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Anonymous
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Sorry to butt in again...

Try "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. It's a quite slow-paced, 12-bar blues song. The tabs I've seen seem to disagree as to what key it's in. I play it starting at F# and I use dominant 7 chords to give it a more "blues-y" feel.

Thanks Snarfy..I'll check it out


   
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Ignar Hillström
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Wow, a few examples, performed by many including Eric Clipton, BB King, Bo Diddley:

Before you accuse me
Early in the morning
Worried Life Blues
Further up on the road
The thrill is gone (simplified 8 bar IIRC)
Johny Be Goode

And many, many others. :D

Blues is most often in either 6/8 or 4/4. Both will do fine. Yes, there are many variations in the 12-bar blues, but most are small changes in the scheme. For example playing the IV instead of the I during the second bar.


   
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mushin
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Just had to comment on your explanation Arjen.

Even I understood it :)

I even had a light bulb moment. Using the chord structures of the various Keys, the 12 bar style can be applied to such a wide range. I knew it was common, but had no idea how to apply it.

Thanks again.

What a great place.

Mick


   
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kingpatzer
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Blues is most often in either 6/8 or 4/4. Both will do fine. Yes, there are many variations in the 12-bar blues, but most are small changes in the scheme. For example playing the IV instead of the I during the second bar.

Unless you're playing jazz blues . . . in which case the chord substitutions and changes can be quite complex and still technically be a 12-bar blues. But it doesn't sound like you're interested in the jazz application here. Just pointing that out for completeness sake.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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Anonymous
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Unless you're playing jazz blues . . . in which case the chord substitutions and changes can be quite complex and still technically be a 12-bar blues. But it doesn't sound like you're interested in the jazz application here. Just pointing that out for completeness sake.

Thanks King for the extra help.

I found Before You Acuse Me lesson by David Hodge and I think this is what I was looking for in regards to the Rhythm:

However I keep hitting other strings when trying to get the "beat" down. Any secrets to avoiding this (I know! I know! PRACTICE!)...

Also, does the beat go da-da da-da da-da da-da ?

Thanks


   
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