Author Topic: Walkin' Easy Blues - traning the ear  (Read 2095 times)

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Offline BartNL

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Walkin' Easy Blues - traning the ear
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:10:17 am »
I just got the 1st Solo Blues DVD, and of course I really do like it. Just the kind of introduction that I needed for getting me into Lightnin' Hopkins style (at least, that's the association that it has for me).

But I wonder about one thing related to the Walkin' Easy Blues (opening) song: the main part of the song keeps doing the open 2 thinnest strings, i.e., B and E notes, which form an E "powerchord". I can see that this works well as long as the tune is on E7. But when it moves to A7 (about half way through the main sequence), doesn't that E powerchord become kind of awkward? For my ears it does... But I am sure there are more developed ears here.

I can see why keeping those 2 thinnest strings open all the time makes sense in terms of "finger practice" (it is surely a gentle introduction to this style). But would it not make more sense to keep the whole song in E, i.e., have more variations of the root notes around E, instead of moving it to A? Surely a 1-chord song is not uncommon in the blues...!?

Thanks for any feedback on these ideas!

Bart
1991 Ibanez AM-50, 2008 Am. DL Strat, Airline Twin tone, Cubase, computer-amped by Amplitube

Offline Borodog

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Re: Walkin' Easy Blues - traning the ear
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 03:39:56 pm »
The song has a standard 12 bar blues structure.

Over the A chord, those 2 notes serve different functions than over the E chord. They are the root and fifth of E, but the 5th and 2nd/9th of A. Hence they imply an A9 chord, a common chord extensiotn in the blues. They serve a different function again over the B chord, where they become the 4th and root, respectively.
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Offline BartNL

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Re: Walkin' Easy Blues - traning the ear
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 07:37:40 am »
Thanks!

Over the A chord, those 2 notes serve different functions than over the E chord. They are the root and fifth of E, but the 5th and 2nd/9th of A. Hence they imply an A9 chord, a common chord extension in the blues.

Indeed, very true. But to my ears that 9th degree creates a bit of an "ouch feeling", which never gets "released". So for me, the A9 would need a context to make sense, and I wonder whether other listeners/players have the same feeling.

Mind you, I am not criticizing! I like this DVD a lot, I am just wondering whether these 2 open strings are here for their own sake, or as a result of the particular teaching context.
1991 Ibanez AM-50, 2008 Am. DL Strat, Airline Twin tone, Cubase, computer-amped by Amplitube

Offline Borodog

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Re: Walkin' Easy Blues - traning the ear
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 02:52:28 pm »
Both. Like I said it is extremely common to play a 9 chord extension in the blues. The "ouch" you feel is tension and it is in fact released by resolving back to the I chord, even though in this case those same notes continue to drone. But pedagogically, the Walkin' Easy Blues drones the top notes while working the thumb. The Steady Thumb Blues keeps the thumb steady while playing a melody. The next piece will work both (full disclosure: I have yet to get back around to working on that one myself; it's on the list though . . . ).
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