Book Review:48 Razor-sharp 12-bar Blues Riffs

AndyB

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Durham, NC, USA
Full Title: 48 Razor-sharp 12-bar Blues Riffs: Apply to thousands of songs for swing bands and blues bands (Bb instruments)

By Larry McCabe and Red Dog Music Books (Amazon.com)
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Just got this book in the mail and I've tried the first 10 patterns and taking a break to post this. If you're a beginner and hungry for blues material this book is wonderful and very accessible. He could have added another subtitle: Instant Material.

There is a variety of blues progressions (all in C) ranging from simple 3-chord blues to jazzy style blues (ii-V turnarounds). Mostly dominant-7 style blues. Some sounded like the backings for some Eddie Vinson and Earl Bostic songs so I'm assuming thats what the "swing" in the title means. Others sound like stuff you hear on Ray Charles records and players from the Texas tenor generation. Each progression is played once by the rhythm section and then once with the riff added on tenor sax. Everything on here sounds familiar; this is the real deal.

Pete could probably describe this better, but there are a wide variety of types of riffs included which is very interesting. Some work the same riff over the whole progression, some alter only the 3b over the IV chord, some work chord-specific sequences, some work fills in m3-4,7-8,11-12 and some work syncopated shots. Some do sound like they would fit in a swing band if the harmony parts were added.

The full 12-bar pattern is written out so you don't have to mentally transpose if you're a beginner like me. With every example in C, it is very easy to experiment and mix and match between different patterns.

CD included.
 
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AndyB

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210
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Durham, NC, USA
More praise for Pete's materials...

Pete's DVD includes an extra in the form of a Bb blues backing track in the style that I would call a medium tempo boogie blues.

Turns out that it is ideal for practicing nearly everything in this great book of blues riffs for tenor in Bb concert that I posted on above.

Also, I learned a lesson just by practicing with Pete's track which is a very basic blues. Many of the riffs in the book include substitute chords, however; they sound just fine over the basic blues comping. Now that I've experienced this, I know that I've heard it in recordings dozens of times for the build-up or final chorus of R&B or blues rock songs where the horns come in and "dress up" the chord progression. So the horns can play lines that suggest substitute harmony even though the basic blues style accompaniment doesn't change. You pros probably already knew this but this is very exciting for me.
 
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kevgermany

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Pete's DVD includes an extra in the form of a Bb blues backing track in the style that I would call a medium tempo boogie blues.

Turns out that it is ideal for practicing nearly everything in this great book of blues riffs for tenor in Bb concert that I posted on above.

Also, I learned a lesson just by practicing with Pete's track which is a very basic blues. Many of the riffs in the book include substitute chords, however; they sound just fine over the basic blues comping. Now that I've experienced this, I know that I've heard it in recordings dozens of times for the build-up or final chorus of R&B or blues rock songs where the horns come in and "dress up" the chord progression. So the horns can play lines that suggest substitute harmony even though the basic blues style accompaniment doesn't change. You pros probably already knew this but this is very exciting for me.
Which CD of Petes are you refering to? Mr Lucky, or the teach yourself - or another?
 
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