Blues Leads players with bad time?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by blindtc, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. blindtc

    blindtc Member

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    hey everyone,

    hey i have noticed when ever i listen to certian blues guitarists like buddy guy and guitar slim i have noticed there lead playing seems sorta out of time. I mean time of placing the notes perfectley on the beat like jazz guitarists seem to do. i have studied awhile ago with tomo fujita and he stressed that most of the stuff you play lead wise should always be in time. but when i listen to guys like buddy guy ( im listening to his early chess material as i write this) they don't really seem to solo in perfect eight notes, sixteenth notes..etc. does anybody have any thoughts about this subject? which way is right for a true blues feeling?

    -t
     
  2. IIIBOOMERIII

    IIIBOOMERIII Member

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    Well I think that is sort of like the same argument as saying Jimmy Page or Jimmy Hendrix were sloppy players. I think the point is that they are the FIRST guys to do it, they are defining the sound of their style of music, they were the pioneers. So maybe by todays standers it is a little sloppy. But you are listening with ears in the present. You have the benefit of listening to modern day players and you are making the mistake of comparing then to now.

    You have to also remember, especially with the blues, there is a live component that is undeniable. Some guitar players may not have sounded like much on tape, but live, they could make your hair stand on end. There is a certain electricity in the air when these guys play live that may not translate to tape.

    Just my thoughts.

    -Eddie
     
  3. monstermike

    monstermike Member

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    Music isn't a grid. Buddy's time, especially early on, is slamming and impeccable. Does his phrasing color outside of the lines? Absolutely. Is it locked in and grooving? Hell, yes.

    Ask Tomo - he loves and understands the blues feel as much as anybody.
     
  4. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Tomo is right, from the quote, There is a lot of music on time, but blues.. There is a time to break away from the rules.. and feel the blues.
     
  5. davya

    davya Member

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    Listen to buddy's early recordings like with Howlin Wolf on One Way Out ('57) he is locked in solid on the beat. If you listen to his early recordings with Jr. Wells in the '60's he is once again locked in and on target. IMHO I believe that if he was off of the beat he did so intentionally. Some of those early Chess sessions seemed to be very exploratory and experimental. Buddy pushing the envelope.

    But I think also that many of the earlier Blues player were not as well educated as so many of us are these days...If it sounded good at the time well they just played it...
     
  6. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    My question to you is

    Do you like Buddy Guy?

    If you think he makes his guitar scream the blues
    then his timing is fine, chalk it up to phrasing.

    If you don't like Buddy Guy, well, that's another thing.

    Can't compare Buddy Guy with Pat Martino,
    one doesn't have a thing on the other, playing wise.
     
  7. xk49w

    xk49w Member

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    Slipping the time is one of those things that defines the style of a player. Listen to Dexter Gordon. Even though he might be playing straight 8ths, it sounds like he's marching a half-a-block behind the rest of the band. I've heard that it drives piano players crazy.
     
  8. elgalad

    elgalad Senior Member

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    This man speaks the truth!

    :agree
     
  9. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    hmm, well you can still be "in the pocket" but playing things off the beat. Time's a funny thing. Jimi's a guy that seems to be all over the place, but he's always in the pocket.
     
  10. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I always think that too. Lots of rock guys do too. They just phrase around the "one" or a chord change, and they're playing isn't evenly dividing up the beat at all. It makes it more interesting, but it's really off if you sit and try to count it out. Like when you look at transcriptions and 5 notes over one beat and then 7 on the next beat. Sometimes, they're just cramming in as much as they can in those beats!

    It sucks because I spent all this time trying to learn to play in time and in key and now I find out all the cool players play out of time and out of key! I had it right in the beginning!
     
  11. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I love the blues. I love great inpefection! Time and feel ... really deep subject ... It's important to have time skill.. tempo keeping.. but the blues.... funk... whatever about taste and time..feel... more than just about in tempo... accuracy.....

    Tomo
     
  12. Sub City

    Sub City Supporting Member

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    I've felt the same way about later Buddy Guy; listening to Stone Crazy on Alligator years ago, I thought his playing sounded out-of-control. But that's what he's known for and that's why a lot of guys like Clapton love his playing: the over-the-edge intensity. Lack of timing more than made up for with sheer energy!
     
  13. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    the right way is however you feel at that moment in time. that's the blues. there's no manual. anybody who says different is a liar.
     
  14. grunlee

    grunlee Member

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    Listen to stevie or duane.Half the time Buddy just doesn"t care.On Muddy's Folksinger album Buddy is perfect cause he respected Muddy so much.A lot of the time he's just lazy.
     
  15. crzyfngers

    crzyfngers Member

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    that's ridiculous. how the hell would you know any such thing? are you a bluesman? i seriously doubt it. pisses me off when people talk out of their ass like this.
     
  16. dcarroll

    dcarroll Member

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    Great black blues guitar players often manipulate and go out of time...once you know the rules you can break them. I just laugh my ass off when you guys are talking about Buddy Guy not having perfect time...lol....its all about FEEL boys otherwise your playing elevator music. Listen to the second solo in Voodoo Child for an example of going out of time and coming right back in the pocket...blues guys may go out of time but they always RELATE to the BEAT.
     
  17. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    It also brings up an interesting (to me) philosophical point regarding one's aesthetics.

    When Aristotle wrote his Poetics, he sought to describe the elements that made a good play. So he goes, "Well, Oedipus is a good play, let's see what elements it has".
    That's kind of the way I look at things.

    Music was there before 8th notes. All theory, all understanding of what is "good to the ear", came after somebody banged on a log or blew air threw a hollowed out stick or pulled some wires across a box.
    Now, understanding how stuff works, and what sounds naturally good to the ear (both across & within cultural traditions) is cool. Playing with the listener's expectaions is also way cool, whatever the level it is consciously done.
    So Buddy & Pat Martino are both cool, and both using the tools they have & their audiences expectations of what they are about to hear on the next note to express themselves and make wonderful music.
     
  18. seiko

    seiko Member

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  19. ivers

    ivers Member

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    I love flexible time, behind the beat phrasing, what have ya, but some of the 'newer' blues guitarists' *cough*Clapton*cough* rhythmic phrasing doesn't suit my taste at all, but that's music for ya, I'm pretty sure they know what they're doing, and I sure know what I like, and that's were it stands:BEER
     
  20. abergdahl

    abergdahl Member

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    Also remember that blues in early forms is polyrhytmic (lots of 5/4 from African music which can be heard on the ride in Jazz as Ding, dinga ding ;) ) . So what then is time is it the 8th notes, triplets on the quarter notes or playing 5 over the base 4/4 beat?? It is of course a mix PLUS a mix of being slightly before or after any of these sub divisions. Take Mingus for example, he trained is own drummer Dannie Richmond, originally sax player, and thought him that the beat is within a space, it's not precise. In order to make it swing you must learn to be early or late within that space. Of course it might be good to learn to be ON the beat first (even if Mingus did not ever learn Dannie or wanted Dannie to learn that) an then later learn to swing. But I'm not sure that is possible. You got to plat MUSIC and straight mechanical 8th or 16th notes is not music...

    In my opinion that is ;)
     

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