Blues Chords

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Blues Chords

Postby outstretchedarm » Fri Sep 15, 2006 5:55 pm

This question is a little bit theoretical, so bear with me...

You know how the I, IV, and V of the C blues scale are
Cm, Fm, and Gm, respectively?

How do you chord, say with your left hand on the piano, the Eb, Gb, and Bb (the other notes of the blues scale)?

are you playing Ebm (Eb-Gb-Bb) or what?

and so forth...

I've been wondering about this for a while so solid input would be appreciated.
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Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:40 pm

That's true for a minor blues.

For usual blues, though, the blues scale is being played over major (or seventh) chords.

The chords are not derived from the blues scale. Nor is the blues scale derived from the major scale, neither are the seventh chords. They just all work together well and sound cool.
:D
Last edited by ricochet on Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby outstretchedarm » Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:42 pm

what scale are you using to play "normal blues?" and can you articulate what the chords are at each scale interval?
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Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:46 pm

What I'm calling "normal blues" uses the I, IV, V chords from the major scale. The blues scale, which is used to solo over those chords, is the minor pentatonic with the flat 5 note included. Often just the minor pentatonic is used and called "the blues scale."
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Postby outstretchedarm » Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:59 pm

can you right out the notes for that scale in C?

cause I've been using

C, Eb, F, Gb, G, Bb,
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Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:08 pm

You're correct. But you don't use a separate chord for each of those notes, just the I, IV and V. C, F, G.
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Postby outstretchedarm » Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:19 pm

aww man...that's disappointing. I'm sure they can be contructed...

its just like in the major scale...for each interval there is a corresponding chord..

c-e-g
d-f-a
e-g-b
f-a-c
g-b-d
a-c-e
b-d-e

surely something like this exists for the blues scale
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Postby ricochet » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:20 pm

No. It's just not done.

If you want to do that, you're going to have to play jazz.
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Postby mickeypainless » Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:28 am

>>>The chords are not derived from the blues scale. Nor is the blues scale derived from the major scale, neither are the seventh chords. They just all work together well and sound cool.

DAMN that's a GREAT description John!
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Postby outstretchedarm » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:01 pm

if you say so.
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Postby Bournio » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm

Using thew Blues scale(which is a modified pentatonic scale...) You can't really make chords, however, if you stick in pentatonic you can play drones with any of the notes cos of the intervals, THat works nicely sometimes.
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Postby outstretchedarm » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:40 pm

hmmm...how exactly?
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Postby maxx england » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:18 am

Try playing in Am pentatonic, and just keep playing the low E over the top while you do the notes, then move to Em pentatonic and keep the E going. it richens the sound up without being too complex. Same with other keys, mess around with 4th & 5th intervals and see what comes out.
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Postby Bournio » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:08 pm

Sorry, I forgot people didn't study strange folk music!

Yeah, bassically, do what maxx said! If you find keyboard hard to play try F#pentatonic(can't remember if it's major or minor) it's just black keys, try playing around with using just that scale, pick one note to play in the bass, and play a melody!

Then start changing the scale, so pick a drone that's in both keys, so as Maxx says E drone over Aminor, and Eminor. then I guess you can go where you like! You can play thngs that sound a bit like harmonic singing, and other crazy stuff!
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Postby ricochet » Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:26 pm

Bournio wrote:try F#pentatonic(can't remember if it's major or minor) it's just black keys
That's a major pentatonic.
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