Talk:Blues basics

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Question of Clarity[edit]

What do these symbols represent? Roman Letters? I IV I IV I V IV I I understand the letter sequence of notes E, A, E, A, E, B, A, E. So is it a cycling pattern sequence of 1, 4, 1, 4, 1, 5, 4, 1 where 1 is E then up three notes a,b,c,d,e,f,g,a so Chord C is 3=C, 4+3=7=G, C, G, C, 5+3=8=A, G, C so a C Chord is C,G,C,G,C,A,G,C? Mirwin 22:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

The Roman numerals represent chord progressions. They are the degrees of the diatonic scale. I is a chord built based on the tonic of a given scale. Similarly, IV represents a subdominant chord. You can use these numbers like this:
For example, suppose your key signature is D major. The notes would be
D - tonic (I)
E - supertonic (II)
F# - mediant (III)
G - subdominant (IV)
A - dominant (V)
B - submediant (VI)
C# - leading note (VII)
D - tonic (I)
A simple I chord (or "tonic chord") could consist of the notes D, F# and A. Note that these are made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th (I, III, V) degrees of the scale. Similarly, the IV chord would be made of the 4, 6, 8th notes of the scale, which would be G, B and D. Well...the 8th note is really the first note...but this makes it simple to explain.
To play the same chord progressions in C major, I would be the C chord, IV would be the F chord, V would be the G chord. To figure these out, you can count like this:
C - (I)
D - (II)
E - (III)
F - (IV)
G - (V)
A - (VI)
B - (VII)
C - (I)
My suggestion for figuring out the chords is first to identify the notes in the scale, and the count from the tonic note in order to determine which notes are part of the chord. Hope this helps! --HappyCamper 03:30, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I should mention that the first chord being E is significant: the lowest note on the guitar is an E. Not only this, it is also an open note, so it resonates quite well, and helps to bring out the blues. --HappyCamper 23:55, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Audio resources[edit]

I started recording some Blues basics using Audacity, a guitar (Ibanez acoustic), a tamborine and finally a software drum machine. I emulated a base by playing the bass line on guitar and halving the frequency using Audacity's "pitch" control. I started out with a very "standard" 12-bar arrangment:

  • About this sound 12-bar blues demo 1  - I talk out the chords, E, A, and B7 while my "sidekick" reiterates for clarity. We do one round.
  • About this sound 12-bar blues demo 2  - I started this by making a stereo drum track (pain in the neck) with Hydrogen and export/import into Audacity. Then put in the bass, a light rythem, heavy rythem, and a very loose lead - all on the Ibanez. Finally I add a tamborine with an "air mix" to give a live raucus sound.

These were quite a bit of work but I "learned by doing" and it was exciting and fun. I hope you like them and look forward to making some collaborative pieces. Maybe I can make some other tracks with just a couple of tracks and someone else can add parts. Let me know how ya'll would like to move forward. --CQ 08:20, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Very nice clips :-) Let me comment on the second recording first. The guitar part sounds improvised...some things:
  • You seem to have a very intuitive feel for how 7th chords relate to each other
  • Measured use of chromaticism...tastefully done :-)
  • The one triplet inserted in there was quite creative
  • Pitchwise, it's slightly too loose for my taste, but it's relaxed
  • The first bar is quite nice...the repeated Es in the base announce "here I am! listen to me!!"
  • The guitar line can be brought out a little more - the bass is a little overpowering
  • The last chord has a very nostalgic feel to it, which I like.
I've got a little challenge for you...see if you can use more C#, G#, F# and Fs in the guitar part. I picked these notes because they don't show up quite as often as the others. Also, try, make the baseline more interesting by experimenting with chord inversions. That's all for now. --HappyCamper 23:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I liked these clips a lot - but am slightly in awe of HappyCamper's musical ear! I just thought they were "kinda cool" :-) Cormaggio beep 23:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I can't wait to listen to CQ's next set of music clips!! --HappyCamper 19:04, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


We need an easy way of sharing musical scores here...ideas anyone? --HappyCamper 23:14, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Interesting - are you talking here about existing musical scores, or a way of writing out notation for others to play around with? If the latter, it can be done - see m:Music markup. If the former, they of course need to be outside of copyright - see eg. Project Gutenberg's sheet music project. Cormaggio beep 23:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Music markup is what I'm looking for!! But it doesn't seem to work here though. Do we just do this on our computers locally, and then upload the images here? --HappyCamper 00:14, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
That's strange - but it seems to be based on TeX, which I seem to recall others having trouble with here on Wikiversity. I'll ask around.. Cormaggio beep 01:03, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
JWSchmidt has demoed pretty scoring capability but I think it with Mac. I we have someone with Mac willing with propor software, we could scan handscored music blank paper to them, they can probably post blank sheet we can print and annotate, if we work neatly enough the scanned image will be useable just obviously scanned handwork. 09:41, 16 February 2007 (UTC)