If you were composing a blues progression.

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Stratafied, Sep 23, 2021.

  1. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    How do you go about doing it , I know the standard 1,4, 5. But I’ve seen some great songs with major and minor chords in the song.
     
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  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton Vivamus libero Vivamus duris Silver Member

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    first, you live it.
    then, you play it.
    play it however you feel like doing it.
    it doesnt need to be the same way every time. or ever really.
    use major, use minor, use dominant.
    or dont use anything.
    break the rules.
     
  3. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    I wonder how many of the famous and not so famous blues guitarists of the last 80 years or so had no clue what they were doing technically but still hit the emotional nail on the head.
     
  4. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    I’ve often wondered the same thing Ant. Especially the ones who had no formal training, like Hendrix and many more.
     
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  5. Agtronic

    Agtronic Senior Stratmaster

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    Gary Moore's "Still got the blues for you" comes to mind ... Super bluesy without using the 1-4-5 progression. I can't write for **** so I can't comment.
     
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  6. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Really, just play something, and try different chords until it sounds the way you want it to.
     
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  7. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    Most of them know exactly what they're doing, but they often don't have the "formal" language that classically trained musicians have. They'll talk about hitting that "blue" note, instead of the flatted 7. If you ask 'em to play a Bb they know right where that is.

    Even the Beatles didn't have much of that formal language. George Harrison talked about "naughty" chords. But you can tell from their compositions they knew what they were doing.
     
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  8. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    That's pretty much what I said. Not technically trained but knew how to get the sounds from their innards and make the guitar speak for them.
     
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  9. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    THIS.

    Use the Circle of 5ths as a reference to see what chords are available in the key you want. Then fool a bit with substituting other chords to see if they create tension that you can resolve.
     
  10. elduderinoTF

    elduderinoTF Sweatin' Bullets

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    This is the best answer to any song writing question ever asked.
    I'm serious.
    I'm also on the blacktooth grin.
     
  11. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Senior Stratmaster

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    A lot of it is substituted chords over a standard I IV V. Here is a chord chart for a version of Stormy Monday.

    http://bluesguitarunleashed.com/pdf/stormy-monday-chord-chart.pdf

    Count the bars. There are twelve. You could play the song as a standard twelve bar if you want. Another good progression is Saint James Infirmary which uses i V7 and VI chords. Find a blues song that sounds different and then lookup the chords. Check out all the variations of 8, 12, and 16 bar blues. In minor blues progressions the VI is often used for added colour.
     
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  12. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    If you harmonize the major scale, that will tell you what chords should be major and what minor if you’re playing in a particular key.
     
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  13. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Strat-Talker

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    The thing is, these guys had good ears developed from learning from records and the radio instead of videos. They could hear what was going on and follow the feel, the notes, the chords. Those old records are the best teachers in the world. The emotion comes from living life and putting that into your music.
     
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  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

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    Also, don't be afraid to "borrow" ideas. That is not to say you should practice outright plagiarism, but there is inspiration to be had from others ideas, and you can take a piece of something, and change it to make it your own.

    Every musician is a thief and a magpie.
    -Elvis Costello

    If you aren't stealing from anybody, you should be.
    -Hayden (Beethoven's mentor)
     
  15. T Bone Slort

    T Bone Slort "Was you ever bit by a dead bee?" Silver Member

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    Call me crazy, but when playing minor blues (which is always), I work in all the chords in any given key
    except the 2 chord because my old brain & fingers won't allow it.
     
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  16. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks.
     
  17. Antstrat

    Antstrat Most Honored Senior Member

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    Great post, makes a lot of sense :thumb:
     
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  18. rolandson

    rolandson Dr. Stratster

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    I lean toward jazz and swing, lots of ii-v and vi-ii-v stuff...my compatriots came to refer to me as High Brow Blues / Low Brow Jazz.

    A fresh canvas has no limitations. It can go anywhere.
    Live. Listen. Play. It doesn't work the other way round very well.

    Ray Charles is a wonderful example. Georgia, Hard Times, Gee Baby...Robin Ford's Start It Up. And and and....

    There isn't a formula or an equation. Jessie Mae Robinson wrote a wonder piece called Blue Mood...works around a vi-ii-v thing. T-Bone Walker seemed to like ii-v a lot. Minor, major...who cares?

    Pretty much anything can carry a blues flavor. It's in the feel, which comes from the soul.
     
  19. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Not Of This Earth

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    Sometimes I want to play the blues and don’t want to just play a 1 4 5…. So mix Major and Minor chords Dominate 7th Diminished and even some Augmented chords to give the progression life…. One time I wanted to play the blues and came up with this progression. One day I recorded these guitars at my buddies studio. He looked at me and said “ I don’t hear nothing with that man. It’s to
    Old Sounding”. I told him just to keep it and one day it would come to him… Years later he called and told me to come finish the song…. This is what he did with it…


     
  20. Bowmap

    Bowmap I nose a thang or two. Platinum Supporting Member

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