The MLP Blues Guitar Course

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by sliding tom, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    For playing in T.Bone Walker (or generally uptown) style we will employ 9th chord voicings. A 9th chord is an extension (adding the 9th of the appropriate scale) of a dominant 7th chord. I’m not going into theory here - there is enough material around here that addresses the topic of chord construction, but if you have any specific questions, please feel free to post them in the Q & A thread. I’d rather give you the fingerings to play them. Let’s move to the key of G.
    Here’s our tonic chord, G9:
    (actually this would be called a G9/B - “G9 over B” = means a G chord with a B (3rd) in the bass)

    [​IMG]


    The IV chord C9:

    [​IMG]


    The V chord D9:

    [​IMG]


    In the attachment you will find a tab in typical T.Bone Walker chord comping style. It’s not a note for note transcription of “Stormy Monday”, rather a generic accompaniment in this style with the fundamental elements you’ll find in T.Bone’s playing incorporated. Notice the opening chords: D 7 and D# 7 and the cool arpeggiated D aug.
     

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  2. River

    River Senior Member

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    Great stuff, Uncle T!

    The augmented arpeggio is the best "leave 'em hanging" trick in the book, IHMO.
     
  3. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    Indeed! Keeps you on your toes, thinking: "now what's next?" :)
     
  4. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    A neat variation on playing 9th chords

    I have shown you the fingerings most often used for playing 9th chords in blues. Off course, these grips are interchangeable. If you like the sound of one of them better over the other, you can either stick with one of the forms and move it around the neck or choose the one derived from the C form as your tonic and the other one for the subdominant and dominant. I do this all the time -whatever sounds best for the respective tune.

    Now here’s a neat little variation that is sparse backup and embellishment at the same time: playing only two notes out of each 9th chord, sliding them up two frets and going back again to their root postion . (Note: there’s no 9 in any of these fingerings but I refer to them as 9th because they are part of the 9th chords shown above). These licks work great in lead playing, too. You can also mix and match - play the slides as single notes and then go into full or partial chords with more than just the two notes. Experiment!
     

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  5. River

    River Senior Member

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    What fingering do you recommend for the last beat of that riff?
     
  6. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    Middle for the lower and ring finger for the higher string on both voicings is the most comfortable in my book.
     
  7. River

    River Senior Member

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    That's the ticket!

    Another reason I love taking lessons - oft times the most obvious fingering solutions escape me. I have to be shown.
     
  8. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    No problem - I wish I would've had somebody show me stuff when I needed it.
     
  9. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    “Call It Stormy Monday”, as the tune that T.Bone Walker is most associated with, is originally called, put him on the map as a solo recording artist, when it was released in 1947 and reached # 5 on the R & B charts. The title was often shortened to “Stormy Monday “ which caused some confusion and cost T.Bone some cut into his royalties which often went to a different tune, “Stormy Monday Blues”, sung by Billy Eckstine and released a couple of years earlier (in 1942, I believe). Anyway, “Call It Stormy Monday” didn’t become a blues standard until Bobby “Blue” Bland recut it in 1962 with the great Wayne Bennett on guitar and pretty much cut the defining and most covered version of it. The arrangement was changed a bit around with a more sophisticated jazz-like chord progression and this version became the one that would be played whenever the song would be covered in later years - from weekend warrior bar bands to The Allman Brothers Band who recorded a great version for their Fillmore live album where Greg Allman even announced it as “an old Bobby Blue Bland tune…. actually it’s a T.Bone Walker song.” Even T.Bone Walker used these chord changes when playing his own tune in later years. Back to the Bobby Bland recording: the guitarist on this session was the great Wayne Bennett and you couldn’t imagine a better player to breathe a whole new life into this tune and almost making it his own. If you have a chance, you definitely need to give it a listen. Many years later blues harp maestro James Cotton recorded the song - again with Wayne Bennett on guitar. At that time “Stormy Monday” (as was its generally accepted title by then) was already a horse beaten to death, but Cotton and especially Mr. Bennett did such a great job it’s simply irresistible to listen to.
    In the attachment to this post you will find a tab that follows the Bobby Bland arrangement. The opening is pretty much the same as the one before, only I have changed the D7 and D#7 chords to only three notes, because these are being emphasized in the playing of Mr. Bennett. Also the IV and V chords are being approached from only a half step above instead of a full step. You can play them either way, though and feel free to mix and match elements of both versions (and the single note variation above, which you can hear The Allmans do) to create your own variations.
    For playing lead you can again use the pentatonic with added 6 and 9.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  10. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    The other day I found some great clips from a Bobby "Blue" Bland show with Wayne Bennett that I actually attended when I was in Chicago in 1981. Enjoy one of the best R & B singers you could possibly think of (BTW - the other guitarist is Mr. Mel Brown - another great):


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiVWR6yeFqA&feature=related]YouTube - Bobby Blue Bland - Live In Chicago 1981-(Part 1 of 3)[/ame]

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCs2g9_4yyE&feature=related]YouTube - Bobby Blue Bland - Live in Chicago 1981 (2 of 3)[/ame]

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlH347npIqI&feature=related]YouTube - Bobby Blue Bland - Live In Chicago (3 of 3)[/ame]
     
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  11. River

    River Senior Member

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    Tom - in the Stormy Monday Bland-style tab, is the first chord in the 9th measure a Dm6? That's giving me fits. What's your suggested fingering?
     
  12. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    Hi, river and everybody else: been away for a couple days -that's why the late reply. No, it's not a Dm6, it's a G7. I had introduced the voicing here (first chord):

    http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/guitar-lessons/33884-mlp-blues-guitar-course.html#post626909

    Are you using TuxGuitar to open up the files? Tuxguitar doesn't show all the information contained in my ptb files like chord names above the chart. I strongly suggest to download and install powertab software to be able to see everything that's in my tabs.
     
  13. WhippingPost

    WhippingPost Senior Member

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    Finally sat down and read this thread...

    Great stuff! Looking forward to the next installment!
     
  14. axslinger

    axslinger Senior Member

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    This post reminded me of a drill my teacher used to throw at me. He would have me improvise or "solo" using only two strings and two frets. In the key of Am, it would be the D and G strings between the 5th and 7th fret. Bends and slides were allowed. He said, "if you can't do anything useful there, then you aren't ready to move on to the rest of the fretboard". BB King is a great example of that. Often he would solo or improvise in a similar fashion, using very few notes/strings/frets.
     
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  15. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    That's a great exercise, axslinger - you had/have a good teacher IMO. Another exercise that I keep recommending and practice myself sometimes is using the minor pentatonic and, while not using any embellishments like slides, bends etc. try to come up with some melodic lead playing. Most of the guys who complain about "being stuck in pentatonics" haven't really explored the possibilities that just five notes are able to give you.
     
  16. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    We're not done yet - I'll be back with you pretty soon - thanks for your patience! :)
     
  17. River

    River Senior Member

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    Excellent.
     
  18. davidgold

    davidgold Junior Member

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    Im really enjoying this thread. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I dont know if this requires a new thread but: Can anyone recommend some sort of backing track software or music for garageband (or something) which we could use to practice both the rhythms and leads over. It would be a huge help.
    Thanks
    DG
     
  19. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    Try the backingtrackforum - there's a few good backing tracks for practicing available as mp3 files. Here's the link:

    FREE Guitar Backing Tracks - Browse Downloads

    Some reasonable stuff also on youtube - search for "backing tracks".
     
  20. sliding tom

    sliding tom Senior Member

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    Hi there!
    Judging from the few views that the tabs got we seem to be a pretty exclusive club here! :D
     

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