Improving the Blues

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Improving the Blues

Postby wolfeyes » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:36 pm

I'm not going to ask the lame question of 'how do i get better'. No one can answer that unless I know what I want to get better at.

I got the twelve bar thing down, different shuffle patterns, and the scales. What makes the blues exciting to me is all the little fills and chords that are added in between.

my favorite blues artists are lightnin hopkins and john lee hooker.

My question is, what is the chord they're hitting when they move up the kneck and get that kind of train sound? Here's a video that shows what I'm talking about?

He hits that chord at the 1:17 mark. I see so many blues guys do it and it knocks me out.

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Postby grumpygroo » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:13 pm

Hmmm, looks to me like an E, possibly E7, played in the D shape on the 4th fret. In the same way he's using the D shape run down from the 4th to the 2nd fret as his basic turnaround.
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Postby wolfeyes » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:31 pm

Thanks. I'm going to try it out. Whatever it is (probably a movable 7th of some type) it just takes the blues which is a really having thing and puts the magic into it. i'm going to work on it.
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Postby Rythameen » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:06 pm

It looks and sounds to me like he is just hitting the B string at the 5th fret along with the open E string, sliding down to the 3rd fret on the B, then maybe open open B, 2nd fret G string, open G, etc. Don't have a guitar at work, but that is what I would try.
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Postby wolfeyes » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:31 pm

i'll give it a whirl...i find he uses that 7th chord a lot. i think it's the use of that chord at the right moment that breathes so much life into the blues.
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Postby TC90 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:50 am

Hey there Wolfeyes....I'd agree with the D7 shape slid up two frets to make an E7.

Also try leaving off the high E and sliding into it. Looks like this:

--------------------3>4------------- slide

Also of note is the A7 shape at 1:57. I really like that shape with the 7th (G) played on the high E string third fret as opposed to the open G string serving as the dom seventh. That same shape slid up two frets can also serve as the B7 chord.

That A7 shape looks like this:

----------------------3--------------- (G)
-----------------2-------------------- (C#)
-----------------2-------------------- (A)
-----------------2-------------------- (E)
-----------------0pen---------------- (A)
-----------------X-------------------- muted

Ready for super-bluesy cool!


play the partial A7 and bend up. Not sure if it's a full 1/2 step, might be a 1/4, but you'll get the idea. Your ear will tell ya when to stop :)

A7 chord is A, C#, E, G

I don't have my guitar with me right now, so I hope this is all correct. If not, someone will be nice enough to correct, or I'll edit later.

Hope that helps a bit.....maybe you already know all this ........if so, well,

Keep on Bluesin'! 8)
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