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#1387971 - 03/04/10 10:34 AM What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ?
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
Hope some kind souls could enlighten me on this.

I have come across many Internet lessons, but I don't seem to be able to tell the differences.

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#1387983 - 03/04/10 10:51 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Cashley]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
Blues is a style of playing. There are blues chord progressions/scales and such. Jazz is a very general genera, kind of like Rock. There is swing, big band, blues, latin style, fusion etc.

I am not a full expert on it, but thats just kinda a general idea of what it is. Someone here can elaborate! smile
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#1387992 - 03/04/10 11:02 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Cashley]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3392
Originally Posted By: Cashley

I have come across many Internet lessons, but I don't seem to be able to tell the differences.


Thats because a lot of "Blues" lessons on the internet do not capture the true flavor of Blues as the masters play it.

Go to You tube and listen to Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Otis Spann, and you will hear authentic old-school Blues.

Also, there is some overlap between Jazz and Blues, in that some Jazz has the chord structure of Blues, but the flavor of Jazz. Examples would be Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff.
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#1388005 - 03/04/10 11:21 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Chris G Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Portland, Oregon
You might get more answers if you post this on the non classical forum. Jazz and blues both have roots in the early 20th century but have evolved in different directions. Blues is based on simple chord progressions, most songs just have three chords and has a much more hard edged and raw sound. Many songs will share the same chord progression. Blues songs often have a primitive intensity.

Jazz songs typically use far more chords and from a musicians point of view there is more to learn. Jazz tends to be more sophisticated than blues melodically and harmonically but jazz can also be raw and hard edged. There has always been a lot of overlap between jazz and blues, you can uses blues licks in a jazz context and use jazz chords on blues songs and there are quite a few songs which straddle genres and are somewhere between jazz and blues such as All Blues, Blue Trane, Chitlins con Carne etc.

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#1388582 - 03/05/10 02:52 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Chris G]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: Sydney
Yup, why don't you repost your great question to the other forum.
I think there are two answers. I'm definitely not an expert but this is how I understand it.
1. Blues is a subset of jazz; and
2. Blues is the particular combination of West African and non African influences which preceded jazz.

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#1388607 - 03/05/10 04:06 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: custard apple]
tuner2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 125
Years ago, Leonard Bernstein made a very good album for Columbia Records called: "What Is Jazz". On that LP, he explains in very easy-to-understand terms, how the whole thing works. For one thing, you'll learn that Blues is one of the cornerstones of Jazz (and Rock and Roll, for that matter).
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#1388701 - 03/05/10 07:58 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: tuner2]
Mattardo Offline
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Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Jazz makes me want to dance a jig, while the Blues makes me want to blow my brains out.
That's the only difference I could competently point out ('competently' being used loosely here). smile


Edited by Mattardo (03/05/10 07:59 AM)

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#1388727 - 03/05/10 09:02 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: tuner2]
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12591
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: tuner2
Years ago, Leonard Bernstein made a very good album for Columbia Records called: "What Is Jazz". On that LP, he explains in very easy-to-understand terms, how the whole thing works. For one thing, you'll learn that Blues is one of the cornerstones of Jazz (and Rock and Roll, for that matter).


Is this it?
Bernstein - Journey-Into-Jazz

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#1388805 - 03/05/10 10:29 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keystring]
tuner2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 125
That is not the LP that I referred to but you're close. I believe that this video is an excerpt from one of the more than 50 televised "Young Peoples Concerts" that Maestro Bernstein did for the CBS network from the late '50s to the early '70s. Pretty fascinating TV, unlike most of what passes for entertainment today on that medium.
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#1388834 - 03/05/10 11:05 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: custard apple]
Cashley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 530
Originally Posted By: custard apple
Yup, why don't you repost your great question to the other forum.
I think there are two answers. I'm definitely not an expert but this is how I understand it.
1. Blues is a subset of jazz; and
2. Blues is the particular combination of West African and non African influences which preceded jazz.


Strange enough, I received better response from this forum. The non-classical forum is 'fat zero' so far.

BTW, can anyone recommend a good website where I can learn jazz ?

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#1388844 - 03/05/10 11:21 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Cashley]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Don't know about a website, but there is a great series of books where the first book is about improvising the blues (the blues are often considered a kind of early, proto-Jazz)

http://www.amazon.com/Improvising-Blues-Piano-Tim-Richards/dp/0946535973/

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#1388956 - 03/05/10 01:31 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: theJourney]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Well, to sing the Blues ya have to suffer. To play Jazz just attend Berkeley.
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#1388972 - 03/05/10 01:50 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
tuner2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 125
Berkeley or Berklee? There's a world of difference.
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#1388981 - 03/05/10 01:57 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: tuner2]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Me bad! Berklee.
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#1388990 - 03/05/10 02:10 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7187
Loc: So. California
Blues has a specific form (12 Bar Blues) and uses only 3 dominant chords, for example, in the key of C:

|C7 | F7 | C7 | C7 |
|F7 | F7 | C7 | C7 |
|G7 | G7 | C7 | C7 |

It also has a specific sound, which is created by the 'Blues Scale', one of the most recognizable of which is the slide from a flat-3rd to the 3rd of the chord. So in C7, it is Eb sliding to E.

Now there are Jazz Blues which modifies these chords a little but still returns to the original 12 bar structure. Jazz Blues tends to be played fast, while regular blues tends to be played slow.

Both are improvising forms.

Jazz is a broader genre although Jazz Blues is often a starting point to learning Jazz in general.
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#1388994 - 03/05/10 02:17 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jazzwee]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Blues has a specific form (12 Bar Blues)
No it doesn't. It can be 8 or 16 or whatever length the creator wishes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_bar_blues http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_bar_blues
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#1389033 - 03/05/10 03:05 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7187
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Blues has a specific form (12 Bar Blues)
No it doesn't. It can be 8 or 16 or whatever length the creator wishes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_bar_blues http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_bar_blues


Well I can name you ten million exceptions too, including the chords and minor blues, or blues-like forms. But that's not the base form. When you learn it, it will be 12 bar, I IV V.
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#1389036 - 03/05/10 03:12 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jazzwee]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
When you learn it perhaps but in practice it has no specific form. There is no recipe. If anything it's a poetic form.
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#1389040 - 03/05/10 03:18 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7187
Loc: So. California
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
When you learn it perhaps but in practice it has no specific form. There is no recipe.


Let's just say that 90% of what you will hear falls under this recipe. I myself prefer to play the "exceptions" so I hear you.

Although mind you, the exceptions are often intended to suggest the original form.

I personally wouldn't describe it as a "poetic form". Instead I would refer to it as a "Call and Response" form, which is why the "Form" of the chords has some specific significance.


Edited by jazzwee (03/05/10 03:21 PM)
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#1389041 - 03/05/10 03:19 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jazzwee]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1822
Loc: Colorado
Ragtime and Blues structures were precursors to Jazz, which now takes into account all sorts of influences from around the world.

The defining list of what defines jazz is quite large...Ragtime, New Orleans music, 20s and 30s are known as the Jazz Age, Swing (ah that swing tempo), Dixieland, Bebop, Cool Jazz, Hard bop, Modal Jazz, Free Jazz, Latin Jazz, Post bop, Sould Jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz funk, smooth jazz (ugh), Acid Jazz, punk Jazz and Modern Creative, just to name a few, but most all take into account improvisation inside of a structure.

Jazz is generally known as truly American music first.

Glen
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#1389045 - 03/05/10 03:23 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jazzwee]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: jazzwee
Although mind you, the exceptions are often intended to suggest the original form.
If you're trying to say the original form is twelve bar you'll need to substantiate that.
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#1389049 - 03/05/10 03:28 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
This is nearly as far back as you can go:

12 Bars?
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#1389057 - 03/05/10 03:45 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: keyboardklutz]
jotur Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 6032
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
The definition of blues:

Who can sing the blues

Cathy
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Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous

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#1389059 - 03/05/10 03:51 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jotur]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Damn! I have a retirement plan.
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#1389147 - 03/05/10 06:14 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Inlanding]
galex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 173
Loc: on the run
Hearing is believing :
This is jazz : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs
This is blues : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA8-ZOuKetU
Q.E.D
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#1389189 - 03/05/10 07:44 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: galex]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3392
Here are several examples of piano-based blues, (seeing, or is it hearing, that this is a piano forum)

First a couple of fast boogie-style rockers, to dispel the notion that blues is always sad music:

1. Fast Rockin' style...Artist Julien Brunetaud:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-hEOuMVmpY&feature=related

2. Fast Boogie...Artist is Amos Milburn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLoi252FUc4&feature=related

3. Medium speed Shuffle Blues...Artist is Otis Spann, backed by the Muddy Waters Blues Band:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0NZMZfIOgk&feature=related

4. Slow Blues...Artist is Memphis Slim:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy_H-1J4xWs

5. New Orleans Style, a Professor Longhair staple, Artist is Dr. John:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4M_spGbZiI

Enjoy!
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#1392782 - 03/10/10 10:23 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: rocket88]
rXd Online   happy
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2154
One of the most apt statements I have heard when discussing the tonal merits and feel of New York Vs. Hamburg is that 'Ya can't play the blues on a Hamburg Steinway'. This, to me is a truism...Jazz, however, along with everything else comes off acceptably well on a Hamburg or New York.
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"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.
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#1392820 - 03/10/10 11:06 AM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: rXd]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3392
Blues:

"For those who understand, no explanation is necessary...for those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."

(Borrowed from a Harley-Davidson T-shirt...substitute Harley for Blues...)
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#1392874 - 03/10/10 12:42 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: Cashley]
edt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 210
jazz has a specific chord structure where it uses almost exclusively 4 part chords with tensions to lend an ambiguous nature to the chord, and the resolution is always from V to I. Now the V of the V chord is the IIm chord.

So the single most common jazz progression is IIm7, V7, Imaj7. Add substitute chords and some modulations, and you have jazz.

12 bar blues, like stated above goes I for 4 measures, then IV, I for the 2nd 4 measures, then V, IV, I, I with the 7th chords before the change.

The most distinguishing characteristic of jazz is its use of tensions, and how it avoids completely a strong resolving chord. So for instance, jazz will never use a V7 in the uninverted form without tensions.

If you listen to the resolving tendencies of jazz that pull from iim to V to I, notice how weak the resolution tendencies are. Now if you go listen to 12 bar blues, you'll hear right away that V7 big as a barn door PULLING down to that I chord, oh man nothing is gonna stop that chord from resolving down, nothing.

That's the blues. The feeling you get from jazz is "cooler" because of all the tensions while the feeling you get from the blues is a very powerful pulling sensation towards the resolving tonic.

there are some other things you can isolate that are different in jazz and the blues. for instance in jazz it's very common to have octave lines to break up the 4 part harmonies, for instance the sax & trombone might double a line for 4 measures, this doesn't happen in the blues. like someone else said above, blues unlike jazz is famous for call and response.

both blues and jazz have a vast history, so when I talk about the chord structures, I'm like a naturalist explaining that the difference between the mammals and birds is that birds have feathers and mammals suckle their young without explaining that birds fly.


Edited by edt (03/10/10 02:36 PM)

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#1392999 - 03/10/10 03:53 PM Re: What is the difference between Jazz and Blues ? [Re: jotur]
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 1268
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: jotur
The definition of blues:

Who can sing the blues



At least he started it with "Woke up this mornin'..."
smile
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Current mantra: Play outside the box.
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