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Blues again.

old git

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Pete and Kev,
Not sure if this is the correct place for this but felt uncomfortable extending the other thread.

A lot of thoughts and information in the other thread but this is the thoughts of someone who was playing blues on a tenor recorder over 54 years ago and shortly after trombone with a trad band. One of the phrases used by Morgan was "more sophisticated" and that triggered this response. It seems that a Bird solo would fit nicely over the "Matchbox" real R & B backing track with Jerry Lee Lewis rattling the joanna. That takes some backing up but something that happened when I was talking about keyboard backing to a classical violinist. Mentioned that playing a four note C, C E G C and changing to a C F A C gave a rocking beat when the violinist said, "That is an FMaj inversion." I am sure that Pete can describe it as a C4 something or other but it does suggest that the same chord can be named as having differing names according to what you choose to be the root note.

Got out Band in a Box this morning and sorted out C Jam Blues from a previous CaSLM Nosh 'n' Blow and you can't get simpler than that. My vibes lead on it would have made Bags jealous but you need a melody to be able to use BiaB's Re-harmonize (Canadian spelling) facility. Used the original very simple 7th structure and re-harmonised twice.
Here are the first four bars with the reharmonised versions underneath:-

Original C7 / / / , C7 / / / , C7 / / / , C7 / / /

First C2 / / / , Am7/ / / , C2 / / / , C2 / / /

Second CMaj7/Am7 / , Gm7/ C7 / , FMaj7/Fm6 / , C2 /C7sus/

In the remaining eight bars, Dm7, Em7, G7sus, CMaj9 and G13 appear.

This raises the question that if a machine, Apple Mac and BiaB can do this, is it sophisticated? More important, does it matter? Just as Parker could solo over an R & B backing, Jerry would have been just as happy rattling the ivories over any bebop rhythm section. And that reminds me of a discussion taking place on an Irish Traditional Music forum (don't ask):) regarding blues. The Australian contingent were convinced that you cannot play "Blue Monk" against a simple blues tonic, sub dominant, dominant chord sequence and that if you did, you did not understand. As Sir John Whitmore has been a personal hero since his tyre shredding performance as a works Cooper Mini driver and his subsequent career as a coach, "did not understand" really means that the teacher does not have the ability to explain convincingly, which is what coaching is about.

Over to you experts, can a chord have many different names depending on which you nominate as a root note? If so, what defines a sophisticated blues chord sequence and has BiaB this capability? Only ask as one of those 'partly-trained-on-theory-musicians-who-seems-to-be-a-jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none'.
 

Pete Thomas

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Firts of all I didn't understand those two alternatives for:

C7 / / / , C7 / / / , C7 / / / , C7 / / /

Neither made sense to me.

But yes, C F A C is interesting

If you start with C E G and raise the E to F you get C F G, that is called a suspension (the F can sound like it wants to go back down to E) Commonly this is called a C sus4.

But, you can also have a suspension (A) onto the G, so C F A is your chord and by this time it bears more resemblance to a simple F chord with the C shoved into the root. In classical theory this is a second inversion of an F chord.

Simples.

But there are also many chords that can be described differently (and often are)

It's common for Am7 b5 (= A C Eb G) be written in sheet music as Cm6 (C Eb G A).

This is easier for some people (many of whom play the guitar or banjo) and it's easier to get their head round adding a 6th to a good old bog standard Cm than it is to contemplate a chord with a flattened 5th.
 

old git

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Thanks Pete. I'll repeat the experiment and print out the full score to see what happens.
Still feel that when playing, well messing around really, on keyboard it is interesting to add the odd notes to the chords. For me it is based on a 'does it sound good' basis rather than sophisticated.
 

Chris

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Hi Bill, while being a fan of BiaB, in this case it seems to have missed the point ?? While its re harm of the chords may sound good. I have just tried it out and it sounds ok. From what little theory I know, if a basic blues is just l,lV,V all Dom 7th chords.
Then I believe the basic "jazz blues" would look like this C7|F7|C7|C#m7 F#7| F7| Fm7 Bb7| Em7 Am7| Ebm7 Ab7|Dm7|G7|C7A7|Dm7G7||
Try playing this on keys and I think you will notice it works better as a blues. For the theorists out there , it uses a tritone sub bar 4. descending ii,V's through bars 6-10, ii,V,l root motion 9 to 11, l,Vl,ii,V turnaround bars 11,12.
This is what makes jazz blues stand out from Blues, one Key to solo over these chords wouldn't work well, the Dom7th's with its ii in front of it imply a key change therefore giving the soloist more material to work with and be creative.
Apart from this there are also minor blues, blues waltzes, blues with a bridge to think about all of which come from basic l,lV,V blues.
At the end of the day is it sounds good it is good, but there are certain basic rules to follow so everyone around you knows what is going on.

Chris
 

old git

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Thanks Chris, not enough theory to follow your argument. For all I know, might be playing your sequence already as Pete has already explained that second inversion Fmaj is also Csus4. There is a possibility that with my experimental note additions, might even be playing your chord sequence. Reminds me of the 'Clue' game where a song like 'Bye, bye blackbird' has to be sung without repetition.:)

My thoughts are that there are twelve recognised notes in an octave plus, as an ex slide trombonist, keyless flute and fret player, all those in between and they are available for solos. Experiment, otherwise we risk going back to the bad old days when guys like Ken Colyer would probably kill you, exaggeration, sack you if you did not comply or play what had gone before. Suffered this when the trad band wanted only Kid Ory trombone, yet Kid was almost certainly sick of playing the idiot glissando parts of 'Clarinet Marmalade'. Guess it is one of the odder needs of fixed note instrumentalists to bend notes whilst theremin, musical saw, Swanee whistle and slide brass players wish to sound as though it has fixed intervals.

Will try the experiment with BiaB again tomorrow, re-harmonise twice, print out one chorus of each, scan and will email a copy of each to anyone who will pm their email address. Please note, Croydon is not in Nigeria and I'm to thick to run a scam.;}

Pete,
The preference of guitarists to use Cm6 rather than Am7 b5 is that they'll never get their fingers untied for the next chord. Must admit it would never defeat Diz Disley.>:)
 
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old git

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5,545
Completely lost the plot this morning and just sent Chris the original and six BiaB re-harms.

Have asked him to post his opinion but amazed at how clever BiaB is as it does not repeat, well not if you stick to six but have no desire to find out when.
 

Chris

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Hi Bill had a quick look at the 7 sheets you sent and the first thing that struck me was BiaB aways used a chord the contained the G melody note, yes BaiB will use C2 instead of C9 but you can set that in the options menu. when it uses the Em7A7 it could be seen as a ii V in D but in this case I think BiaB is just using the Em7 as the 3rd of C and it a common sub, also A7 instead of Am7. So if memory serves me right the progression would be really l,vi,ii,V in C at that point. Another thing you have to think about when using BiaB to reharm chords is the fact it does it based on the melody also in a certain style.So the repeat G would create a simple chord progression. It still uses the ii,V in C in all the usual places.the places where BiaB uses / chords looks at first glance it is just developing a maj7th sound. In this case it has just used everyday subs rather than an all out reharm of the first score.
My point about jazz blues being built around certain set methods is that on the fly good jazz musicians can know what to expect next if people play by the same rules. If people just went off at a tangent then no one would have a clue as to what is happening, more like "free jazz" (come on Taz this is your big intro here)
Take away the improv side of what we are talking about and BiaB has done what it set out to do, if you went on to print it out and hand around the band then yes its the next tune they can play, also give them the 6 new versions and it would be the next 6 choruses.

just my opinion

Chris
 
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