Sax on the Web Forum banner
101 - 109 of 109 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Still waiting for the link to this video!

I always get something out of those Barry Harris videos and now you've got me curious about just what he was saying in this case. Sometimes it takes several times listening, paying close attention, to get it.
Hi JL,
This is what BH, RIP, was talking about. Let me know your thoughts!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I understand what you're saying here, but I don't totally agree. I've played a ii-V line over the V-IV turnaround a lot of times in a fairly 'basic' blues and it can sound just fine. And also iii-VI in bars 7 & 8. It's all in how you play it. I will admit that those 'jazzier' progressions work better in a blues with some 'swing', 'jump' (especially!), or shuffle element, than in a real gut bucket country blues. So it does depend to some extent on the feel of the tune. But all of those styles are pretty standard blues.

When you are playing in more of a 'jazz' idiom, it's true you can get more abstract and free, where some of the blues sound can be lost, but that's more of a stylistic thing. Just listen to Coltrane play a blues. Even when playing a bog-standard I-IV-V 12 bar blues, he can make it sound very different from what a lot of people would recognize as the blues.

I see jazz and blues as pretty intimately associated. I think the blues can sort of stand on its own, but it also infuses jazz. Hard to explain what I mean by that!
I understand what you are saying, I can also see this association. To me it´s possible to loose the blues feeling when you are playing a shuffle, but is also possible to put a blues feeling in a jazz standard. So it depends much more on how you play...
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,687 Posts
Hi JL,
This is what BH, RIP, was talking about. Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for posting the link, DryMartini. A couple of thoughts.

First of all this is a student of Barry's describing something Barry taught. While this guy, in several other videos I've seen of him, does a good job of explaining a lot of Barry's concepts, in this case I think he's over-simplified it a bit. Of course you need to know those scales, but just playing mixo scales or maj scales won't get you to the blues (and I'm certain Barry would agree). So this is a way to learn those scales and relate them to a blues progression, but it's not yet the blues and I wouldn't really approach the blues this way. I guess you could think of it as learning the alphabet prior to writing a short story or poem.

As to that C maj scale in bar 7, leading to the C# in bar 8, I think that's basically to do with a iii-VI7 (Emin7-A7 in this case) change commonly played over those bars in a blues, especially 'jazz' blues. And while Barry often uses the natural '5' on that Emin chord, a B, (also the B in a Cmaj scale), it's often an Em7b5 chord (with a Bb).

I prefer the chordal approach, along with blues scales & pentatonics, for learning the blues. Not to mention listening to the blues masters and absorbing the style, which almost goes without saying.

And yeah Jptvieira, the blues is all about getting that blues feeling and that feeling is not limited to blues changes. Also, it's not just (some) jazz players who sometimes tend to destroy the blues feeling. Plenty of rock players lose it too, even when playing basic blues changes; they usually mess it up rhythmically (too straight), while the jazzers might get too carried away with substitute chords and 'over-playing'. I'm not putting anyone down for that, just pointing it out. Everyone is free to do what they want with the music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,043 Posts
the blues is a language and not a set of cliches, in my opinion. About 10 years ago I did a very long blues project recording with Marc Ribot and Roswell Rudd. Those guys have the feeling; just recorded with Marc for a sequel which will be out next year.

But I don't worry about scales and even intervals; it's phrasing, and how to match jazz-like chromatics with phrases that breathe like the blues. As a jazz bluesman, I think Bird was the best. No one else comes close.
 
101 - 109 of 109 Posts
Top