1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

ABB: Whipping Post

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by gratephulred, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. gratephulred

    gratephulred Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Quick theory question about Whipping Post.

    Verses and solo is over progression A - Bm - C - Bm. The solo is played in A minor (seems mostly pentatonics and dorian). Is the idea similar to the general blues idea of forcing minor over a seventh chord?

    I guess I'm thrown off because the chords are only triads (not sevenths as is traditional in blues) and I'd like to think of it as ii - iii - IV - iii in G but that A is a major chord. Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,803
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    You sure that the first chord is A major?

    I've not listened to the tune for a while, but I'm pretty sure the A chord is minor. And if major third appears in that A chord, I'd probably still treat it as a minor, like you said about the blues minor over major phenomenon.
     
  3. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

    Messages:
    7,052
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Location:
    NH
    as long as we're talking about Whipping Post, are the verses in 3/4 (or 6/8) waltz time and the rest in 4/4?
     
  4. TopDog

    TopDog "jumping the valence" Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    I haven't listened or played it in a while either but I've always played the solo section as, Am-Bm-C-Bm. A Dorian all the way.
     
    MikeMcK likes this.
  5. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    I learned it when it first came out, let me test my 70s damaged brain cells ... The first chord is A minor, the whole tune is in 6/8, but the turnaround, "Sometimes I feel ... tied to a whipping post" is felt in a slow 4 over the 6/8, I don't think you need to change time signatures, but it feels like half-time or slow 2/4 over that section.
    I think the chords imply II III IV in "G", but it's not a Modal tune and I would write it in A minor and use varying scales, not locking into that F# in A minor.
     
    Tom Gross likes this.
  6. gratephulred

    gratephulred Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Well if that's an A minor it definitely changes everything! It's a little tough for me to discern from the recording, I guess. Tabs like this one aren't very helpful for those of us without a well developed ear.

    http://www.azchords.com/a/allmanbrothers-tabs-182/whippingpost-tabs-126537.html



    "I think the chords imply II III IV in "G", but it's not a Modal tune and I would write it in A minor and use varying scales, not locking into that F# in A minor."

    How do you mean it's not a modal tune? Don't those three chords strongly suggest Dorian? Are you saying either F (b6 in A) and F# (6 in A) should fit equally well in the context of this song? Not challenging your assertion, just trying to understand.
     
  7. kape

    kape Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    The organ is definitively playing A/ Bmin/ C/ Bmin with A on top (which turn out as A/ Bmin7/ C6/ Bmin7), a classic gospel progression.The guitars play as if the first chord was minor (or blues/penta if you like).
     
    ichi likes this.
  8. kimock

    kimock Member

    Messages:
    12,460
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Where the Palm Tree meets the Pine
    Hi Strat,
    The riff at the top is in 11/8. etc. verses, solos, 6/8, but the bits in between are 11. Pretty sure.
     
  9. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    Gave up on 40 year old memories and gave it a listen. Best I can make out is that the bass line plays a repetitive line going from A to E to A, then B, C, B, A, so ... sort of outlining an A minor chord, and the organ chords and guitar lick tracks the bass line with A7, D/A, A minor 7. The bass is playing a lick, but not really defining the root of each chord.
    Timewise, Kimock, you're right, though counting it as 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 is easier for me to follow.

    Listen to the bass line, organ chords and guitar lick, they form a sort of counterpoint that implies a chord progression without actually realizing the chords beyond A7, D/A, and A min7 in that section. I think we're making up the B min and C chord in our heads out of the parts of riffs, but I don't hear a definitive "B" or "C" bass note on a consistent basis.
     
    AZJim likes this.
  10. kimock

    kimock Member

    Messages:
    12,460
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Where the Palm Tree meets the Pine
    Same thing, 123 123 123 1+2+. I like counting those groups starting with 1, but yeah, 4 5 would be the right count. Awesome tune huh?
    Still kicks my ass after all these years.

    peace
     
    AndyPecker, buddyrama and Bob Pollock like this.
  11. kape

    kape Member

    Messages:
    137
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    "I think we're making up the B min and C chord in our heads out of the parts of riffs, but I don't hear a definitive "B" or "C" bass note on a consistent basis.[/QUOTE]
    One of the guitars is playing a b c consistenly through the verses, and at 4:05 the whole band hammer in that line.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv3RWqFlvJs
    I don´t want to start a controversy, but chords are chords and basslines are basslines. the bassline doesn´t necessarily define the chords (though it certainly affects the way we hear things).And like i said, the organ plays that standard gospel vamp...
     
  12. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    12,038
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    True.

    I'm slightly ashamed never to have heard this track before, so here's my analysis (from studio version)... :)

    INTRO
    8 bars of 11/8. (Simple A minor pent bass riff, doubled by guitar from 3rd bar and organ from 5th bar.)
    They play this as alternating bars of 6/8 and 5/8, which is the easiest way to feel it. Or three 3/8s and a 2/8 if you like!

    VERSE
    16 bars of 6/8. Bass riff is mainly octaves of A, with a descending G-E-D-C line under the 2nd "Bm" of the 2-bar Am-Bm-C-Bm pattern. IOW, the chords are only played by the organ. This could really be characterised as entirely A dorian mode.
    It could be seen as 8 bars of 12/8, because of the harmonic rhythm: the 2x6/8 pattern of the chords and bass.

    CHORUS
    Also in 6/8, tho the tempo slows slightly, from the 130 of the verse to around 120.
    More complicated structure:
    2 bars D7; 2 bars E7 (with rising bass line, E-F#-G-G#);
    Then 6 bars of alternating A and D chords (both major, tho the D works well as D9);
    Then a short C chord, and a 4 bar break - 2 bars vocal, 2 bars guitars (A minor pent riff);
    (The chorus is more like 6/8 than 12/8 because of the faster harmonic rhythm. IMO. Doesn't matter much either way.)

    INTERLUDE/VAMP
    8 bars of 11/8 - bass riff as intro, but with organ and guitar spelling out the chords. The twin guitar line is in 5ths:
    Code:
     
     6/8                     5/8                6/8
     Am          Bm/A        C/A        (D - C) 
    |0-----------2----------|3-----------5-3-2--|0- etc
    |------------0----------|1-----------3-1-0--|---
    |2----------------------|-------------------|---
    |-----------------------|-------------------|---
    |-----------------------|-------------------|---
    |-----------------------|-------------------|----
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .  |1
    
    The bass sticks to its A-root opening riff, with D-C on those last two 8ths of the 5/8.

    GUITAR SOLO
    16 bars of 6/8, on verse sequence. IOW, A dorian, but played mostly as the usual rock A minor pent - just a couple of Bs added towards the end (in a G triad arp in 14th bar). No F or F# anywhere in the lead guitar (but it's there in the organ of course).

    REPEAT: Verse / Chorus / Interlude / Solo (more wide-ranging material in this one, with the F# appearing as well as the B, but also a blues Bb and a passing G#. Mostly still A minor pent tho... ;))

    CODA: 8 bars running up the scale (unison, octaves):
    |A-B-|C-D-|E-F#-|G-A-|B-C-|D-E-|F#-G|-G#-A| (just that one chromatic G# at the end);
    Then the organ chords in half-speed, 1 per bar (underlined by bass roots this time): |A - |Bm - |C - |Bm - | x2;
    then - after a 1 bar vocal break - the chorus at a much slower tempo (about 106), ending in an ad lib vocal break, and the final stretched out chord, which is a dorian Am69. You can hear the guitar clearly spelling out those extensions:
    Code:
    Am6/9
    5------------------------7------------------
    ------5-----0-----------5----------------------
    ------------5--(5)-----5-----------------------
    ------------------4----------------------
    (0)----------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------
    
    This underlining of 6th and 9th suggests to me some intentionality to the A dorian sound, whether they knew the term or not. It may hark back to the Doors "Light My Fire" in this respect, with its consciously dorian Am-Bm solo vamp.
     
  13. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    12,038
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    Here's those bass riffs:
    Code:
     
    INTRO RIFF
    |-----------------------|--------------------|
    |-----------------------|--------------------|
    |-----------------------|------------5---3---|
    |5---5-3-5-3-5---5-3-5-3|5---5-3-5-3---------|
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .   |  
     
    VERSE RIFF
    (Am)        (Bm)        (C)         (Bm)
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
    |----7-7-7--------------|7---7-7-7---5---2-0----|
    |-----------------------|--------------------3--|
    |5-----------5-5-5-5-5--|-----------------------|
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .   .  |  
     
    CHORUS
    D7
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
    |5-----------5-------0--|5-------------0-5---6--|
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .   .  |  
     
    E7
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
    |------------4---4---4--|5---5---5---6---6---6--|
    |7-------7--------------|-----------------------|
    |-----------------------|-----------------------|
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .   .  |  
     
     A                       D7                      
    |------------5---6------|-----------------------||
    |7-------7-----------7--|----------------5---6--||
    |----0------------------|5-----------7----------|| X 3
    |-----------------------|-----------------------||
     1   .   .   2   .   .   1   .   .   2   .   .  || 
     
    
     
  14. GBStratman

    GBStratman Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Yes, I used to play with a drummer who complained about this to no end...
     
  15. 57tele

    57tele Member

    Messages:
    919
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Interestingly, although I've always heard the first chord in the verse as minor, I had an ABB 'piano annd guitar' book when I was a kid (I'm sure it's long oop), and I distinctly remember the chart saying the first chord of the verse was A major. Not that those books are the authoritative source...
     
  16. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

    Messages:
    1,273
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    south of no north
    Even though everyone I've ever heard play that song plays it as a minor, yes, Gregg plays an A major.
    Freaked me the hell out when I first heard it...

    I bought the CD with that track on it the same day I bought my first Funky Meters CD. Big day for me.
     
    AZJim likes this.
  17. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    12,038
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    Damn, you're right! The whole vibe of the thing seemed so A minor/dorian to me, I didn't listen that closely to the organ.:eek:
    It's definitely playing A-Bm-C, not Am-Bm-C.
    In the 11/8 sections it's less clear, seems to be just root and 5th. But definitely A major in the verse and solo sections.
    Thanks for the heads up!
     
    MikeMcK likes this.
  18. gratephulred

    gratephulred Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    A lot of interesting discussion in here, thanks. With a song this popular, I'm sure a number of you have played it or continue to cover it in your own band. With no organ, do you typically play that Amaj or Amin as a rhythm guitarist? And if it's really Amaj, is it just a case of fitting minor over a progression that can't really be categorized as modal?
     
  19. 57tele

    57tele Member

    Messages:
    919
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    I wonder if the vocal line is a little bit of a hint, too? I think I hear him glide up a bit sharp on the C in the melody.
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Guest

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    One of the guitars is playing a b c consistenly through the verses, and at 4:05 the whole band hammer in that line.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv3RWqFlvJs
    I don´t want to start a controversy, but chords are chords and basslines are basslines. the bassline doesn´t necessarily define the chords (though it certainly affects the way we hear things).And like i said, the organ plays that standard gospel vamp...[/QUOTE]

    Fair enough, how will we decide between C6 and A min7 or B min7 and D/A?
     

Share This Page