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#1929126 - 07/19/12 02:40 PM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: knotty]
Kbeaumont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 291
Loc: Virginia, USA
Quote:
It's the tritone that was considered evil.


The interval b5 or +4 creates this tritone. So playing a b5 over an I chord creates that interval. The whole idea behind pentatonic scales is as stated link you posted a link is consonance. The church didn't approve of dissonance. Early western music, christian chants used whole note scales avoiding semitones entirely.

Diabolus in Musica

Here is a great discussion of Blue Notes:

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A long long time ago, I can still remember
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#1929151 - 07/19/12 03:48 PM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: MissMayfield]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2663
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
the op is specifically asking about blues piano

The OP was asking which scale to play when she changed chord. This is not a question that comes from an experienced hand. I offered advice that I thought then, and still think now, to be good advice.

Originally Posted By: dire tonic
there's a risk you're not providing the best advice.

Firstly, this is a public forum; none of the advice here comes with credentials or guarantees and any advice given can be amplified, endorsed or contradicted by any other responders. Very litttle bad advice goes unchallenged. If I suggested she use only her index finger until she was familiar with the notes I'm quietly confident that someone would chime in to suggest a better way. If she already knew of the flatted fifth in the blues scale my first post would not have discounted its use.

Secondly, every introduction to Blues I've ever come across starts with the pentatonic for at least the first few lessons. It may not be the best but as far as I'm concerned its fairly universal and its the best I've ever come across. I'm not deliberately giving bad advice or trying to mislead. I know of no-one who learnt any other way. If you have alternative advice feel free to make a more positive contribution and educate both the OP and me. I respect your longevity in the business and your offerings from other threads, it wouldn't go unheeded.

Thirdly, I don't think playing blues on guitar disqualifies my advice as to which scale to use on a piano. I have a valid and earnest input and I've not withheld or prevented contributions from more informed sources.
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Richard

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#1929193 - 07/19/12 05:15 PM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: Kbeaumont]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: Kbeaumont
Quote:
It's the tritone that was considered evil.


The interval b5 or +4 creates this tritone. So playing a b5 over an I chord creates that interval. The whole idea behind pentatonic scales is as stated link you posted a link is consonance. The church didn't approve of dissonance. Early western music, christian chants used whole note scales avoiding semitones entirely.

Diabolus in Musica

Here is a great discussion of Blue Notes:






a bit off topic, but I think this guy gets things confused for people trying to understand minor melodic and diatonic scales. Listen to the bit about how the minor melodic got developed and how the semitone rising to the tonic is so useful, and then how he later states that tunes like 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and other similar tunes can use the minor and major scales within the same compositions. ---But God Rest uses the NATURAL minor, not the melodic, at least in this version he plays! However, the British accent he has masks this error from the untrained ear. wink
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Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.



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#1929266 - 07/19/12 07:50 PM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: MissMayfield]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1289
Loc: Sweden
A few basic blues exercises I put together some time ago. No guarantee for musical correctness or quality, but hope this is of help to someone. Don't think this can be a breach of copyright, so here they are.

http://theodorn.blog.is/users/28/theodorn/files/pfa2_bluberry.mid
http://theodorn.blog.is/users/28/theodorn/files/pfa2_blus1basic3ads.mid
http://theodorn.blog.is/users/28/theodorn/files/pfa2_blueberryhilleamast.mid
http://theodorn.blog.is/users/28/theodorn/files/pfa2_blus2strght8bugi.mid
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#1929450 - 07/20/12 04:27 AM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: zrtf90]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1866
Loc: uk south
She was asking both about the scale and any movement with the chord changes – I agree with you and others about the latter, broadly, don’t bother to change although there are examples where the RH follows the chords.

On the scale, I’d only want to stress what I was getting at when mentioning the b5, that in trying to narrow down a definitive ‘all purpose’ blues scale I see no point in omitting one of the few notes which most characterises the idiom, particularly since including it does nothing at all to complicate the issue technically and where the OP is looking for an instant formula.

I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said. Yes, so SO much more beneficial to listen to blues licks from favourite recordings and to train the ear to decipher them than drearily running up and down (usually from the top down) an approved scale. Start dead simple, work up, and expect to spend years doing it. I’m certain this is a vital exercise for developing any kind of musical independence or creativity. If we can conceive a musical phrase of our own we want ultimately to be able to realize it instantly on our instrument. There’s always a risk that we build up and regurgitate a library of clichés but a keen ear can act as something of an antidote.

If it’s solo piano blues, the LH carries an enormous responsibility so a selection of grooves should be practiced ad nauseam till they can be played without thought so as to allow almost complete focus on the improvising RH. A tight punchy repetitive LH allows greater economy and simplicity to the RH. This doesn’t work for blues piano when playing in a band where the LH is probably already being covered by a rhythm guitar and only the RH register has the capacity to cut through the racket everyone else is making – it needs then to be busy and bright.

Yes, of course you’re right, whatever makes musical sense for either guitar or piano must do so for the other, but the guitar has a natural bluesy timbre which the piano can’t mimic. We can’t apply a vibrato or give a note any significant length and, most wanting, we can’t bend a note. I suspect this explains in part why the blue notes – all of them - are so important for the piano and why there might be good reason amongst others to adopt a different approach.

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#1929677 - 07/20/12 12:27 PM Re: What to play over 12 bar blues? [Re: MissMayfield]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2663
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
We can’t apply a vibrato or give a note any significant length and, most wanting, we can’t bend a note. I suspect this explains in part why the blue notes – all of them - are so important for the piano and why there might be good reason amongst others to adopt a different approach.


Thank you, dire tonic, that's a persuasive and effective argument. Whilst I was subconsciously aware of the greater malleability of notes on the guitar you make the difference explicit. Henceforward I will include the flatted fifth in my recommendations.

My thanks to the OP and other responders. I've benefitted from this thread. smile
_________________________
Richard

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