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Melodic Dreamer
01-01-2007, 10:27 AM
I have been wanting to get an understanding on Black Gospel music. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

brad347
01-01-2007, 10:37 AM
Much gospel borrows a lot from baroque chorale type harmony and voice leading. Studying 4-voice Bach chorales will teach you a lot.

Smooth motion in the bass, where the bass is a melody in and of itself, is a key feature of this style. This means fewer root-position chords than many blues, rock, jazz, and R&B styles. I would say begin experimenting with first and second inversion triads and seveth chords, and lots of passing diminished 7th chords.

More contemporary gospel borrows a lot from jazz harmony, with a proliferaton of change-bass chords.

jzb
01-07-2007, 12:45 PM
Try the Gospel Forums here: http://www.learngospelmusic.com/forums/index.php

-jzb

dankayaker
01-07-2007, 05:09 PM
I've been jumping into this world over the last year (have a regular gig now). It's amazing the talent in this genre. Get comfortable playing in B-flat & E-flat. Much of this music is organ/keyboard lead and they don't play in guitar friendly keys very often.
There are not many good resources on-line but look into a few of the prominent artists of the genre and get their song books.
These two guy have unreal bands and incorporate some of the "shout music".

Tye Tribbett
Isreal Houghton

brad347
01-07-2007, 06:50 PM
As long as we're recommending artists, on the old-school tip check out Rev. James Cleveland. He did a cut based on Gladys Knight's "You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened To Me" called "Jesus Is The Best Thing" and it has the funkiest piano i've ever heard. So ridiculous.

Fred Hammond is a very successful and talented contemporary Gospel musician. Bassist/bandleader.

dankayaker
01-07-2007, 08:29 PM
As long as we're recommending artists, on the old-school tip check out Rev. James Cleveland. He did a cut based on Gladys Knight's "You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened To Me" called "Jesus Is The Best Thing" and it has the funkiest piano i've ever heard. So ridiculous.

Fred Hammond is a very successful and talented contemporary Gospel musician. Bassist/bandleader.



yeh, this music goes way back and there's probably no better way to really learn it than figuring out the early stuff. thanks for the names Brad.

brad347
01-07-2007, 08:39 PM
i'm just scratching the surface of that music myself. Neither of the names I gave go "way back." Hammond is pretty new and Cleveland was mainly active in the 70s. There are some recordings floating around of Cleveland with Aretha Franklin. Killing.

Sonar
01-08-2007, 11:11 AM
First the artists:

Fred Hammond often has da funk. He's a bass player and it shows in his writing/ song styles. He came out of a group called "Commissioned" that also spawned several other great solo artists.

Israel & New Breed is the current template for contemporary black worship music IMHO.

Tye Tribbett is sorta the rebel bad boy of black gospel and rules youth choirs. You can't dis Tribbett without teenagers chewing your ankles off.

Norman Hutchins is one of my current favorite.


Guitarists are the red-headed step child in this music. The keyboard players rule. There's basically no good transcriptions available and you're left to your own imagination......which largely attracts me to this style.

One of the most interesting collections of ideas is found at forumite Scott Jones' site. Go to his site at http://www.scottjonesmusic.com/ and look for his work with Grace Church.

If you enter here, leave all hope of ever seeing Keys like "E", "G", "A" and "C" behind. :eek: I keep two electric guitars on hand and one stays tuned 1/2 step flat.

You'll be using lots of jazz forms, but because there are LOTS of keyboards (and horns), you'll need to abreviate chord forms and drop the root to the others. You'll discover you're more closely aligned with the percussion section. Forget most barre chord forms.

You'll live in major scales and welcome the opportunity to drop occasionally back into a nice comfortable pure blues scale or lick.

There's a lot to be used in this style from guitarists like Cornell Dupree, Jonathan Butler, Jonathan DuBose Jr., Alex Weir (Brothers Johnson) and all the old funk guitarists you can name.

Check out this guitarist names Bobby Griffin Jr. on YOU TUBE for a good idea what you gotta do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWzKhOJt8Qg

Here's a local group that is typical of what I find myself doing these days (along with two or three keyboard players....Hammond B3/Leslie, Acoustic Grand and piles of Motifs....they LOVE Motifs....I'm in heaven.)
http://www.myspace.com/jimmyrussellboc

The funniest part is that I'm in a crew that constantly tells me to TURN IT UP and I haven't found a distortion pedal ugly enough for this bunch. There's no other guitarists in sight but there are always dozens of talented keyboard players around......and their KIDS could teach most of the road musicians I know a thing or two. It's a kinda altered musical universe for most guitarists.

I get to switch from distorted electric to Godin Nylon String Multiac to Godin A6 acoustic steel string IN ONE SET. It as close to my dream gig of playing in Paul Schaeffer's LATE SHOW/LETTERMAN band. Altered and dropped tuning are to be expected....it's ALWAYS some kind of surprise.

Be sure to check out Sister Rosetta Tharpe on You Tube too! :D





If you wanna play that nice intro sound along with the Bobby GriffinYOU TUBE video linked above, here's some progression chords:

Emaj7 G#min7#5 Amaj7add9
B11 Emaj7 C#7#9#5
C#min7 Cmin7 Bmin7
C#min7 Dmaj7 D#dim
Emin11 E9 Amaj7 G#min7
F#min7 D#min7b5 G#7#9#5
C#min7 F#13 B11 G#min7#5
A#min7#5 Cmin7#5 C#min11
F#9 B11 Emaj9

Welcome & enjoy!

dankayaker
01-08-2007, 12:26 PM
"The funniest part is that I'm in a crew that constantly tells me to TURN IT UP and I haven't found a distortion pedal ugly enough for this bunch. There's no other guitarists in sight but there are always dozens of talented keyboard players around......and their KIDS could teach most of the road musicians I know a thing or two. It's a kinda altered musical universe for most guitarists."






My experience exactly . . . .the organ and keyboard players can't always tell you what they are doing . . . but man can they do it. I just bought a Uber Metal for the Tye Tribbet stuff . .hope thats nasty enough !

brad347
01-08-2007, 12:48 PM
so true! When I lived in Dallas Texas I was just beginning to get into this world before I moved up here. I wish I had more time immersed in it. I met some great musicians who never played outside of church, but could play a RING around most of the other people in town.

Sonar
01-08-2007, 01:16 PM
My experience exactly . . . .the organ and keyboard players can't always tell you what they are doing . . . but man can they do it. I just bought a Uber Metal for the Tye Tribbet stuff . .hope thats nasty enough !

OH MAN.....I feel your pain! :dude

One of my music directors (keyboardist, of course) has NO CLUE what he's playing....but MAN can he ever PLAY it!

If I need to know some passing chord or inversion he chose, I gotta have him step it backwards...note by note.

He also has the common gospel keyboard player's habit of playing with EVERY finger of BOTH hands at ALL times. If he could use his feet during services for additional notes, he would! They've never played with a guitarst or in a true band/group environment and leave little room for anything you're playing.....unless you go on the attack with crazy distortion. THEN they get a BIG wide grin.

They seem to stop it when you put a synth patch in front of them (synth leads seem to confound them and slow them up a bit).....and the TRUE organists seem to have a clue,....but the piano players on the whole are a serious pain in terms of getting an overall pleasing balance to the mix.....egos can be staggering. Basically I think they don't want guitarists around doing any gospel.....but they'll gladly welcome a half dozen more keyboard players all playing at once ANYTIME.

A dozen Kenny G alto sax clones could also find a home around these piano players.....but A GUITARIST?!? Forgetaboutit!

Go figure! :cool:


BUT....thankfully I'm changing the old habits...one song at a time! :p

I'm actually teaming up with another gospel guitarist from another MONSTER LARGE church to take on this terrible GUITARIST DISCRIMINATION issue. :mad:

We're working up some great double guitar stuff that requires only minimal keyboard action. Going from the old Quartet-style to very pretty nylon string & jazz combinations.

Should be heavenly! :AOK


Where are YOU located, Dankayaker?

dankayaker
01-08-2007, 02:14 PM
I'm playing in Roanoke Va. . . how about you Sonar ?

I just did my first gig with them New years eve at the local civic center auditorium . . . . . we made alot of noise ! I'm still trying to find my place in this setting. You're right about the keyboard players . . .the organ/keyboardist in this band is smokin . . .I mean really smokin and though he is busy, there is room for a guitarist . . it's just finding the right parts to add. I knew I was entering new territory when I had my Two Rock gained out and added a OD-9 on top if it and they wanted more nasty ! I am finding though that for most of the tunes, my light OD is going to work best. I'm also thinking that once I get som eof the patterns (shout music) down and polished, I'll be far more at ease about the whole experience.

Sonar
01-09-2007, 09:08 AM
First...to dankayaker....I dropped you a Private Message to stop cluttering up this nice fellow's posted question.



Second...and most importantly.....

...where did Melodic Dreamer go and what was his question again? :p


I apologize for us possibly getting off topic, but what particularly would you like to know, Melodic Dreamer?

You spoke of progressions, but what flavor?
A Shout? A certain song? Preachin' Chords?

I'd like to see this subject explored as expansively as possible, because.....well....it doesn't get talked about much except by Gospel keyboard players.

Hot Licks doesn't exactly offer Paul Jackson Jr. or Jonathan DuBois instructional DVDs yet. :rolleyes:

Anyone care to offer up a nice "shout" progression we could pick apart? :D

Melodic Dreamer
01-09-2007, 09:59 AM
Thinks guys, this is some interesting stuff. I come from a land of Groove Rock/Jam Band/Funk & Fusion type of stuff. I'm wanting to learn the chord structures and the different ways these musicians modulate them. I would also like to see the BG guitarist's take on chord voicing.

I signed up to the site listed above the same day I made this thread. The guitarist on there seem very limited in what they know, but the keyboard players are awesome.

dankayaker
01-09-2007, 10:02 AM
Hey guys,

My organ player friend (been playing this genre for years) just charted out a standard "shout" progresssion for me. I'll post it here shortly.

Dan

dankayaker
01-09-2007, 10:14 AM
E flat Minor Shout


Bass Line Eb – G – Ab –A – Bb - C – C# - D – back to Eb


Guitar chords Ebm9 Fm Ebm


Scales usable for solos = Ebm pentatonic, Eb blues or dimished scale.

Just in case these chords don't line up properly in the format the Ebm9 happens under the Eb bass note. The Fm happens under the Bb bass note and the Ebm happens under the C bass note.

cameron
01-09-2007, 10:25 PM
E flat Minor Shout


Bass Line Eb G Ab A Bb - C C# - D back to Eb


Guitar chords Ebm9 Fm Ebm


Scales usable for solos = Ebm pentatonic, Eb blues or dimished scale.

Just in case these chords don't line up properly in the format the Ebm9 happens under the Eb bass note. The Fm happens under the Bb bass note and the Ebm happens under the C bass note.

But how long does it hold each chord? Can you chart it out in measures, or something approaching standard notation?

Sonar
01-10-2007, 09:09 AM
But how long does it hold each chord? Can you chart it out in measures, or something approaching standard notation?

This is sorta something like the above progression.....

....a bit sped up, but it gives some ideas.

http://www.uriahsmusic.com/images/Video19.WMV

dankayaker
01-10-2007, 11:26 AM
This is sorta something like the above progression.....

....a bit sped up, but it gives some ideas.

http://www.uriahsmusic.com/images/Video19.WMV



Is that a C#m9 he's starting on ? Looks like a C#9 towards the end.
Thanks for posting this . . is there any tabs that come with it ?

ChazMania
01-10-2007, 11:54 AM
Great thread! I'm an old school rocker who wants to learn some of this stuff but man it's another universe of understanding.....I'm just a simple caveman stuck in primitive ways....:)

Buddy Boy
01-10-2007, 12:00 PM
Just came off of 8 yrs of playing weekly in a black Baptist church.Echo all comments-amazing players who are relatively clueless msically to what they are doing to totally aware players who compose and play.Flat key practice a must,about the time you tune down a 1/2 step they'll go to G major for an hour. Jay Black Masterbuilt straight into '65 Deluxe Reverb on 10 could sometimes not keep up.Lots of Steve Cropper rhythm and B.B./Albert solos worked well and turned heads. For primal source check out Mahalia Jackson and try to emulate her vocal chops-4 cd set available w/everything. Also Williams Bro.s(early stuff),Mighty Clouds of Joy,and if you can find it-The Golden Gate Quartet(ca.1950)these guys paved the way for Southern Gospel,Elvis was hip to them.Check out "Run on" from his gospel stuff.

dankayaker
01-10-2007, 02:19 PM
Is that a C#m9 he's starting on ? Looks like a C#9 towards the end.
Thanks for posting this . . is there any tabs that come with it ?



yes , I'm an idiot . . . . . those chords are Am9 and D9 I believe.

Sonar
01-10-2007, 04:11 PM
yes , I'm an idiot . . . . . those chords are Am9 and D9 I believe.
Now STOP THAT! :FM

If you start using REAL technical chord names, we'll be haunted by keyboard players, community college edjumacated guitarists and music theory savants that will only confuse everything with their exceptions to the rules (that we didn't know already), their polychords and what-not. :nono

Let's get back to way REAL guitarists talk.



With that in mind, yes......you're simply talking about one 'o dem "Stevie Ray Vaughan chords" but you might only want to use the part shaped like a pointy witch's hat with your middle finger goin' back and forth between those fattest two strings on top. :AOK


THERE! Now wasn't that easier? :D


So, basically.....there ain't no idiots here.....just us guitarists.
Go easy on yourself.