Question on blues rhytm/accompaniment

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Question on blues rhytm/accompaniment

Postby vink » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:30 pm

Hi, I am new to the forums here, this is my first real post other than the meta post on the "A Bit About You" forum.

I am looking for some of you blues experts on how to make blues rhythm playing sound more like what I hear on most blues songs. I thought it would be a good idea to record a 12-bar loop of blues accompaniment. So, on one track I recorded a basic shuffle, and on the second track I recorded a basic bass line. But, when I listen to most blues songs, there are lots of rhytmic fills. They seem to be mostly played on the 3 high strings, and seem to involve sliding in and out of some partial chords, that is the best I can describe it.

If you have some suggestions, partial tab, some resources on the net .. any of these would be much appreciated.
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Postby dcblues » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:33 pm

Here are some guitarists you should listen to (especially when they recorded as sidemen): Robert Lockwood, Eddie Taylor, Luther Tucker, Bob Margolin. I guess I have guitarists backing up harp players more in mind and I'm sure others here can think of other players to recommend.
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Postby Axis29 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:09 pm

There's so much to add to the simple 12 bars of chords. There are passing notes, melodies, substitutions, etc. It can take a lifetime of learning and still not be done.

There are some basic moves that you can pick up out of books or some online stuff. If you do some simple searches on the internet for blues licks or some such thing you should find a lot.

What I would suggest is trying to find some songs which have what you want and try to learn them. You can search online for music/tabs, etc. (Or here over in the Tabs forum). Then break them apart, take the pieces you want and try to add them into your music.

And listen, listen, Listen to the blues. DC gave you a nice short list to get you started. But there are so many! The more you listen, the easier it is to make it sound like what you're thinking of... does that make sense to anyone besides me?

Anyway, if you can, try to give us some esxamples.
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Postby vink » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:19 pm

Axis29 wrote:There are passing notes, melodies, substitutions, etc. It can take a lifetime of learning and still not be done.


Certainly .. I understand that there the whole idea of playing melodies and licks (or all things that are kind of "solo like" if you wish) is very complex..

There are some basic moves that you can pick up out of books or some online stuff.


I was more after some such basic moves .. for example, say you have three guitarists, and one of them is playing the lead melody, and one is holding down the basic 12-bar shuffle. What are some fairly "standard" things that the second rhythm guitar player would do?

I will try to find some examples .. thanks.
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Postby guitarslim101 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:47 pm

Try to find some of the old Junior Wells stuff with Buddy Guy on guitar.
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Postby TheDude » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:34 pm

Hi Vink,

Good to know another set of fingers is starting to pick them blues!

There's a very good set of lessons on the web by a Dutch player:

http://www.swingblues.com

It's mostly swing and jump blues styles, but some of the riffs you can apply to other styles as well. Pretty complete, broken down into riffs, rhythm fills, licks and examples of possible solos. And it's free. You can't lose with that one!

Also, try to find some backorders of extra issues of Guitar World, I think they were under the name Guitar Legends. There's one entirely on Stevie Ray Vaughan and one on blues in general featuring lessons with BB King, Albert Collins and a pretty good general blues tutorial.

If I may, I'll recommend you one more source... There's a HotLicks lesson video with Duke Robillard that's just awesome. He covers the lot, from T-Bone Walker stuff, over Texas and Chicago stylings all the way to rock.

There.

That should keep ya occupied for a while! Enjoy!
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Postby bignick » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:25 pm

Lets not forget Hubert Sumlin's work with Howling Wolf. You can barely hear him in the back of that big band, but at just the right time his noodling pops out at you.

There was a really good Guitar One magazine out awhile back with Billy Gibbons on the cover. It had him playing some blues basics on a CD lesson and he talked about learning from Jimmy Reed records. He showed a way to play the basic boogie lick, then what the other guitar player would play, then how you could combine them into one lick. Killer stuff.
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Postby vink » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:42 pm

Thanks very much for all the suggestions! I will work on getting hold of some of this material.
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Postby vink » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:59 pm

TheDude wrote:There's a very good set of lessons on the web by a Dutch player:
http://www.swingblues.com


I took a quick look at this site (am at work..), and this is excellent. The lesson on "chord riffs and horn lines" seem to be exactly the type of stuff I was looking for!
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Postby jaybee » Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:44 pm

vink wrote:I was more after some such basic moves .. for example, say you have three guitarists, and one of them is playing the lead melody, and one is holding down the basic 12-bar shuffle. What are some fairly "standard" things that the second rhythm guitar player would do?

I will try to find some examples .. thanks.


as little as possible :wink:

double the bass pattern, or do some "horn" stabs (two or three note "chords") that's what I do in a situation like that

ex in A:

----------------
-(5)---(5)--(7)--------
--6-----5----7---
--5-----4----6---
-(4)---(3)--(5)--
------------------
A7 D9 E9

you can use just the two notes or use 3 adding either top or bottom notes between brackets, just put them in every now and then, not constantly
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T'ain't the blues, but...

Postby bluejay » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:56 pm

...when it comes to rhythm guitar, I was once again reminded of its importance while watching the DVD that comes with the 25th anniversary box set of the Clash's "London Calling." Joe Strummer put his all into that Tele when he played the rhythm line, and by "LC" the Clash had moved far beyond the typical punk band in style, drawing on a lot of rhythm influences, from reggae and ska to R&B and rock-a-billy.
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Postby blues power » Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:21 pm

the thing with blues is thats most of it is done on the spot of the moment

its very rare that a performer will play the same song the same exact way twice.

that suits me to a T cus i fall into that very easily and actually prefer to mix it up

best advice i can give is just tune up to the song and play what you hear.

after you have it down you can embellish your own stuff into it

you def dont want to be a playback machine. you need to take it to whereever you can take it
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Postby maxx england » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:48 am

I think that's about right, go where the feel is, and keep any backing as economical as you can to give the lead room to move. And the 2 or 3 note "horn" chords, some numbers you can just sit there all the way through on the same 3 notes and their tonality is changed by the rest of the number around them.
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Postby dcblues » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:44 pm

blues power wrote:its very rare that a performer will play the same song the same exact way twice.


I know many professional players who play a song the same way every time they play it. My band has all the parts worked out on most of the songs we play. If me and the horn players decided to just play what we feel (instead of the arranged parts), the performance would be a disaster.

Yeah, I know that people think that blues is all about feeling and should be spontaneous, but all music requires discipline and skill.
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Postby maxx england » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:49 pm

I suppose that's down to either being a regular gigging band or sitting in at a jam. A jam when it's good is brilliant, when it's bad, you really couldn't justify taking money for it, so you have to be organised when it's a commercial prospect.
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