Analysis: I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues - Questions

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by 6tringer, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. 6tringer

    6tringer Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Hi Folks:

    I love Robben Ford's version of this tune and have played with it for a while now. I've decided to take it on as a project not to just learn the song but to analyze the structure, determine the theory behind the chords, work on various voicings and alterations and then hopefully be able to apply that to other tunes.

    I have grasp of Harmonic theory but even though I use substitutions in my playing all the time, I don't always understand what is happening or I knew at one time and have forgotten. So in my quest to actually understand the theory behind what I'm hearing and playing, I've come up with the following. I am hoping for some guidance, ideas and correction where needed on this to make sure that my understanding is accurate.

    Basic Song: I believe is an 8 Bar Blues

    Ain't got the change of a nickel,

    |Bb / / / |Bb / / /

    Ain't got no bounce in my shoes,

    |Eb / / / |Eb / / /

    Ain't got no fancy to tickle,

    | F7 / / / | F7 / / /

    I ain't got nothing but the blues

    | Bb / / / | Bb / / / |


    RF Version:

    For my exercise, the basic (non-altered) chords that I'm using for the main choruses of the song are:

    Ain't got the change of a nickel,

    F7 / Bb7 F7 Bb7

    Ain't got no bounce in my shoes,

    Am7 Ab7 Gm7-C7-Gm7 Gdim

    Ain't got no fancy to tickle,
    Cm7/Dm7/Eb/Edim/F7

    I ain't got nothing but the blues

    Bb7 E7 Bb7 F7

    So here's what I've come up with....

    First Section:

    Bb7 F7 Bb7

    F7 is a typical Dom7 substitution

    Second Section:

    Am7 Ab7 Gm7-C7-Gm7 Gdim

    Chromatic walkdown to the Gm7. The Gm7 is a sub for the IV (Eb) chord. Here's where I get stuck.... I can't figure out why the C7 (C13 #5) chord fits in. Is it because it is part of a II - V- I in F, so it works with the Gm7?

    Third Section:

    Cm7 / Dm7 / Eb / Edim / F7

    Harmonized Bb scale walk up as a sub for the F7

    How did I do? Thanks for any help.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  2. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    I am just playing the progression on the keys......but my ear says that progression is setting up an anticipation of the F, so C7 Dominant makes me want to hear that F (of course), that eventually gets delivered in the end, since the tune end on da' F.

    Its a big tease I think....
     
  3. 6tringer

    6tringer Member

    Messages:
    330
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    On the 'Talk To Your Daughter' recording that little section is a bit of voice leading between a Gm11 - C13#5 - Gm11 to Gdim. It is a signature riff in the tune. It definitely works but the only reason I can come up with is the II-V-I in F connection....
     

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