When playing over this IV chord, is this a b7 or b3?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by bluesman, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. JonR

    JonR Member

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    This.
    Yes. I'd see it as a more "traditional", or "folk/downhome", approach to the blues, as opposed to the more chord-based approach you find in jazz (which culminates in Blues For Alice ;)).
    Most of the time, of course - as I think you'd agree ;) - we work with the interplay between both approaches.
    OK, so why are you calling it "#9" and then "minor third", in the same sentence? Or is that a point about the interchangeability of the terms? ;)
     
  2. kimock

    kimock Member

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    In blues the names move around?
     
  3. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    Some quotes from W.C Handy

    A lean loose-jointed Negro had commenced plunking a guitar beside me while I slept... As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings of the guitar in a manner popularized by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars....The singer repeated the line three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard.


    Handy wrote about using folk songs:

    The primitive southern Negro, as he sang, was sure to bear down on the third and seventh tone of the scale, slurring between major and minor. Whether in the cotton field of the Delta or on the Levee up St. Louis way, it was always the same. Till then, however, I had never heard this slur used by a more sophisticated Negro, or by any white man. I tried to convey this effect... by introducing flat thirds and sevenths (now called blue notes) into my song, although its prevailing key was major..., and I carried this device into my melody as well... This was a distinct departure, but as it turned out, it touched the spot.


    The three-line structure I employed in my lyric was suggested by a song I heard Phil Jones sing in Evansville ... While I took the three-line stanza as a model for my lyric, I found its repetition too monotonous ... Consequently I adopted the style of making a statement, repeating the statement in the second line, and then telling in the third line why the statement was made.

    Regarding the "three-chord basic harmonic structure" of the blues, Handy wrote the "(tonic, subdominant, dominant seventh) was that already used by Negro roustabouts, honky-tonk piano players, wanderers and others of the underprivileged but undaunted class from Missouri to the Gulf, and had become a common medium through which any such individual might express his personal feeling in a sort of musical soliloquy." He noted, In the folk blues the singer fills up occasional gaps with words like 'Oh, lawdy' or 'Oh, baby' and the like. This meant that in writing a melody to be sung in the blues manner one would have to provide gaps or waits.


    I was under the impression that these Negro musicians would jump at the chance to patronize one of their own publishers. They didn't... The Negro musicians simply played the hits of the day...They followed the parade. Many white bands and orchestra leaders, on the other hand, were on the alert for novelties. They were therefore the ones most ready to introduce our numbers. [But,] Negro vaudeville artists...wanted songs that would not conflict with white acts on the bill. The result was that these performers became our most effective pluggers.
     
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  4. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    This is my take on W. C Handy's quotes.

    The Blues in it's first heard form (Handy was one of the first to write about it) looks to be a repeated 3 line I IV V structure.

    The Blues that we know now as an opening statement, repeat statement, why statement was made in the first place, maybe wasn't original and maybe Handy had something to do with that.

    "Consequently I adopted the style of making a statement, repeating the statement in the second line, and then telling in the third line why the statement was made."

    Both ways follow the "Rule of Three" anyway.

    The way Handy describes the music as weird "with the weirdest music I had ever heard" indicates that it was probably minor pentatonic based which would have been weird over a I IV V back then to someone who hadn't heard it quite like that before and this is the minor pentatonic that Handy is talking about "I tried to convey this effect... by introducing flat thirds and sevenths (now called blue notes) into my song, although its prevailing key was major"

    Handy traveled quite a bit before stumbling onto the Blues and he only came across it in an isolated area pretty close to Dockery Farms.

    He mentions that the I IV V was used over a larger area but it wasn't really the Blues, so it looks like that is where the Blues harmony comes from.

    "Regarding the "three-chord basic harmonic structure" of the blues, Handy wrote the "(tonic, subdominant, dominant seventh) was that already used by Negro roustabouts, honky-tonk piano players, wanderers and others of the underprivileged but undaunted class from Missouri to the Gulf, and had become a common medium through which any such individual might express his personal feeling in a sort of musical soliloquy."

    He says the minor pentatonic was used over a larger area, in the fields etc

    "The primitive southern Negro, as he sang, was sure to bear down on the third and seventh tone of the scale, slurring between major and minor. Whether in the cotton field of the Delta or on the Levee up St. Louis way, it was always the same. Till then, however, I had never heard this slur used by a more sophisticated Negro, or by any white man. I tried to convey this effect... by introducing flat thirds and sevenths (now called blue notes) into my song, although its prevailing key was major..., and I carried this device into my melody as well... This was a distinct departure, but as it turned out, it touched the spot."

    What does European major or minor mean to field singing?, not much IMO.

    They just did what they did and the major/minor thing might have got emphasised when it got combined with the I IV V from other songs.

    So, maybe the minor pentatonic got combined with the I IV V from those other songs for the Blues in an isolated area around Dockery Farms.

    The Blues never made it into Gospel music or Ragtime and when it did hit the cities it became one of the elements in the new Jazz.

    So that's further indication that the Blues developed in a small isolated rural place.

    He also mentions that a lot of Black performers were more interested in performing hit songs than the Blues and even with Charlie Patton this seems to be the case because Charlie did other stuff besides the Blues.

    Anyway, it's all a bit of a mystery.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  5. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Gold Supporting Member

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    Nope. :dunno
     
  6. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    I'll take a crack at that,

    Instead of just sus9, as in Asus9, the same chord could be named G/A , or A9sus, or even b7maj/1.

    Some good voicings

    --------5----7------10--------
    -3-----3-----8------12------12
    -4-----4-----7------12------12
    -5-----5-----7---------------12
    ---------------------12------12
    -5------------------------------
     
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  7. blueworm

    blueworm Member

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    I call it the 'Maiden Voyage' chord....
     
  8. 57tele

    57tele Member

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    Yep, that's the one. I was thinking of a move he makes in at least a couple tunes when the IV comes up. I'm on my phone right now so too much of a hassle to write it out but if I get a chance I'll try to post it. And yeah, I hear it more often in, for example, gospel on the V.
     
  9. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Thanks Clifford.

    One off the top of my head is Moonchild Blues. IIRC he plays a Ab/Bb before the Valt in the turnaround.
     
  10. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Exactly.
    And in this case the context was very clearly stated by the OP in the thread title.
     
  11. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Yeah, why can't those slippery bastards stay still so we can take proper aim! :D
     
  12. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    The Blues is a moving target that not many hit.
     
  13. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Well, see. All this musical crazyness has to do with the tgp rule that we can't talk politics.

    #9 is secret code, b3 is secret code. Kimock is code for the king of Lilliput and vintagelove is code for the king of Blefusca.

    Now Blefusca has decreed that hard boiled eggs be cracked on the larger side of egg, that's what #9 represents. Lilliput decrees that hard boiled eggs be cracked on the smaller side of the egg and the code name for that is minor 3rd. And the two kings, warmongers they are.

    Now watch me get suspended for talking about the real politics that started this war that has been going on for years. Btw, I crack my eggs on a surface, so the resultant multiple fracture is more or less in the middle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  14. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Okay, I was just reading through this thread. Tried to stay in the shadows.........

    But, that is one of my favorite bad jokes! LOL

    Thanks Professor for still fighting the good fight.
    I know you've repeated these same conversations many, many times. And I applaud you for hanging in there and doing some serious legwork.
    On the plus side, every time you have to re-state the same points, I usually glean a little more insight into the topics at hand. And THAT is also a part of what I appreciate and consider your larger contribution.

    And YES, contribution is truly meant here.
    THANK YOU.

    You DO make a difference. I know you don't need any validation from me. But, I hope that it does at least give you a bit of positive vibes to have some acknowledgement here.

    PLEASE........

    Keep On Truckin'





    (Doo Daa)
     
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  15. Swain

    Swain Member

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    :)
     
  16. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    Well, some of them did migrate northward, some spreading east and west after a while. :D
     
  17. bluesman

    bluesman Member

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    So you're tellin' me it's more like the b7 of A. Got it.
     
  18. jerrycasemusic

    jerrycasemusic Member

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    Takin the scenic route on that one lol!
     
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  19. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    It's a b37, or it could be a b73.
     
  20. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Actually I think the point is the b7 of A is really the b3 of E...
    ...but I guess it works both ways...
    ... or maybe THAT's the point.:rolleyes:

    Miles definitely made the b7 of C into the b3 of G:
     

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