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  1. #1
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    Default Hello - thought I'd never get here

    Hello

    I started looking for forums (are they fora, or forae?) about blues because I have just launched my book designed for music students to learn how to construct music through the playing of 12-bar blues and wanted to find out what kind of a response it will get.

    I took a basic three-chord sequence and kept on modifiying it until eventually it still sounded like an ordinary 12-bar but had multiple chord changes within it. I did several of these, so that there are about 15 different sequences, and then recorded them as piano accompaniments - and finally dubbed in saxophone parts on top. And they all sound like 12-bars.

    Needless to say, because it was me playing the saxophone they all sound slightly out of tune to me, but that is one of those weird things that happen with recording. It would be nice to know what others think, and if I have permission to name the website on which some of these recordings appear I will do so. It can only invite a torrent of abuse or praise, or - and anyway - sticks and stones.....And I will also name the book, which I hope will eventually find it's way into every music shop in the world!

    In other words, my blues are not typical in that they do not involve a guitar or Blind Lemon anybody (not to say that I don't enjoy those sort of people), but piano and saxophone, and are downloadable so that if you had the patience you could deduce how I got the sequences. I didn't try singing one, which is what I would have done in my youth.

    So that about sums things up. I was supposed to introduce myself, and have somehow sidestepped that obligation. Ask me a question.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum Poff. You are welcome to post your website and we will be happy to critique your music. Many members post their music. If you have time check out my YouTube music channel which is dedicated to blues/rock.
    Rdrokit Power channel, rock/blues & roadhouse music.
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc4...9lEgoWa39iqEgA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poff View Post
    Hello

    I started looking for forums (are they fora, or forae?) about blues because I have just launched my book designed for music students to learn how to construct music through the playing of 12-bar blues and wanted to find out what kind of a response it will get.

    I took a basic three-chord sequence and kept on modifiying it until eventually it still sounded like an ordinary 12-bar but had multiple chord changes within it. I did several of these, so that there are about 15 different sequences, and then recorded them as piano accompaniments - and finally dubbed in saxophone parts on top. And they all sound like 12-bars.

    Needless to say, because it was me playing the saxophone they all sound slightly out of tune to me, but that is one of those weird things that happen with recording. It would be nice to know what others think, and if I have permission to name the website on which some of these recordings appear I will do so. It can only invite a torrent of abuse or praise, or - and anyway - sticks and stones.....And I will also name the book, which I hope will eventually find it's way into every music shop in the world!

    In other words, my blues are not typical in that they do not involve a guitar or Blind Lemon anybody (not to say that I don't enjoy those sort of people), but piano and saxophone, and are downloadable so that if you had the patience you could deduce how I got the sequences. I didn't try singing one, which is what I would have done in my youth.

    So that about sums things up. I was supposed to introduce myself, and have somehow sidestepped that obligation. Ask me a question.
    Welcome Poff! We need a sax player-pianist-writer and your book sounds very interesting, so please send us sections you want helpful feedback on. We won't tear it down. Promise.

    Where in UK are you? I just got back from Eireann; my University of Manchester roommate & I had a reunion in Ballycastle (the County Mayo Ballycastle) and...completely by chance...met Matt Molloy (Chieftains) in nearby Westport. Seamy O'Dowd is just North in Sligo, and our beloved, belated Bluesman Rory Gallagher was from not-far Ballyshannon, Donegal. Poff, yer fortunate; for its size, the UK has a huge, rich music scene.

    BTW, "Forum" is Second Declension and the plural is Fora (just a humble tangential opinion but I believe those Jesuits must have been agents of Opus Dei ).

    Slainte,

    Dubhglas

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum, Poff. Will be curious to see your site/book.

  5. #5
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    OK. Will do. Thanks for being friendly.

  6. #6
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    Well.........the site is called somethingthatactuallyworksforachange.com (or co.uk) and the book's called "Any key you Like As Long As It's C" (I do like messing with names). It has blues in it in most keys despite it's name.

    On that site there are about 20 MP3s, and I have not yet posted chord sequences from my 30-year-old collection of chord sequences used on thousands of gigs - most of them not blues! If you view the site you will realise why I am intending to post them.

    The little boy with a tenor I drew for my first advert to get saxophone pupils - and it led me to a part time roll at the West Indian 'Sinclair Music Venue' in North Cross Road, East Dulwich. Daisy Sinclair, who ran it, is now dead and I wish I could tell her how much fun it was to work there.

    I am based in London, where I still get a chance or two at live performance. I try to play just anything people want me to. And sometimes I am in Wales, where jamming in the pub is pretty much all I get my hands on - although occasionally there is a community gig, and (very rarely) an actual union rate paid gig.

    I will look for things to quote from the book, but I am not sure if I can make sense of excerpts because they are all inter-related.

    It's nice to be here.

  7. #7
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    Right. Here we go.

    First thing I'ved got to say is that the publishers (Amazon) will not like it if I put too much here, and at the same time the psychology of selling demands that I give you a taster. Here is the list of chapters (by the way, it's a very small book):

    CONTENTS

    1. Introduction...................................... ......6
    2. Blues what is meant by the word........7
    3. How to play blues...................................11
    4. Terms used in music played by ear........18
    5. The blues sequences (in many keys)......25
    6. The reasoning behind these sequences.45
    7. Transposing....................................... .....50
    8. And now back to basics.......................53
    9. Tin Pan Alley............................................5 7
    10. Conclusion........................................ .......62

    and on page 18 we get:

    Circle of fourths (can also be called circle of fifths).


    The circle of fourths works in this way: If (for example) you play a C7 chord, it's sound is telling you to go on to an F chord, and if you play an F7 chord it is telling you to go on to a Bb chord, if then Bb7 you go to Eb, Eb7 to Ab........and so on.
    You can count this out on a piano, and you will find that the chord you are about to go to is always 5 half-tones** up from the one you are now on. So you can draw a chart of the chord names around a circle and you will eventually find yourself back on the C where you started. They follow on from each other exactly and entirely predictably after you know the first move and the number of half-tones.
    Needless to say, you can count backwards in the same way (C-G-D-A etc) to come back to the C in the other direction.

    Or this:

    Voicing of chords.

    How you voice a chord can make it sound different to the chord you started with at the same time as defining the chord by the notes that are in it. For instance the C chord is made of C, E and G, but you may decide that you want G as the lowest note, the C immediately above that G, then an E right up high - and you might even decide you want another of the three much higher still - or lower. (Meanwhile, it is possible or even likely that you will have a double bass playing a C a couple octaves below all the rest.)

    Or this:

    Transposition

    There is a short article on this subject towards the end of this book. It will only be of use to those who wish to mix instruments whose parts are not written in 'concert pitch' with those that are - for instance trumpet with guitar, alto sax with piano, alto and tenor together (2 different transpositions) . If you work literally 'by ear' this would still not be necessary - but then why are you reading this book?

    Or this

    8. And now back to basics...

    We have now seen a few exact 12 bars in various degrees of development, but actually most blues are based on one of the two simplest sequences I have already related here. Not only that, but frequently people play 13 bars, 11 bars, 12.5 bars and other lengths for a selection of reasons (probably often because they never thought about it and that's how it came out). Sometimes one chorus is longer than another, and so on, but they are all of the 12 bar nature.
    The main thing is to play what you think sounds right.
    The type that immediately comes to mind for me is something like this;

    (long description of some blues)

 

 

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