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> Blues Or Country?!
kevvyg
post Sep 11 2008, 01:25 PM
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Hi Ivan, I wonder if you could answer a question?
I've just been loaned a CD by a blues guitarist called Kelly Joe Phelps.
Don't know if you've ever heard of him, the album is called 'Roll Away The Stone.'
Although I adore blues, I can't get into this - it sounds too Country, and I can't stand Country music, although I can't help but think Country is pentatonic in nature too.
What is it about this guys' sound that makes it sound Country-ish? I think this may relate back to a comment I just put in the blues lessons. I was asking what you would do, given a piece of pentatonic melody, to make it sound bluesy, then rocky, without changing the notes. I guess it's down to phrasing, but I'm not sure. All I can get out of the pentatonic at the moment is a blues sound but I want rock as well!! Add to this the question what makes the pentatonic sound country?
Could you devise a lesson where you play a pentatonic piece in a blusey style, then in a rocky style, then maybe in a country style (so I know how to avoid it!), with an explanation of what you're doing to achieve this?

Thanks!
Kevin

This post has been edited by kevvyg: Sep 11 2008, 01:34 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 11 2008, 05:39 PM
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Hey man,

I haven't heard about that guy, but I can imagine how he must sounds. Country, rock and blues are all interconnected, and today if you wanna play any of these three styles, I would say that you it would be probably best to rely on some classic stuff, because back in the days, these types of music were more separate. Today they are forming a rather complicated fusion.
When people wanna play certain types of music,they mostly play certain licks, progressions and melodies that are often played in those types of music. So for example if I would have to play country style, I would play mostly country style strumming and licks, if playing blues style, I would play blues I IV V and blues licks, applying blue notes etc.. This is a classical approach, you can always make a small fusion in order to part sound more interesting. For example replace the turnaround in blues with other chords like
VII m7b5 (former V)
VII mb7b5 (Former IV)
I maj7.

All these styles are pretty wide tho, specially rock, so you can make it sound like a lot of different stuff. In order to do that, think how rock is different from blues, and listen to some classic tunes. Rock developed from blues, buy transgressing the I IV V chords to a whole bunch of different progressions, and changing keys as well. In rock you can change keys, use a whole bunch of licks, involving strictly minor or major if you want, depending how you want it to sound and the type of a song your doing. If you're doing ballad, you can use all minor chords, with no dominants and no I VI V and it will not sound to bluesy or country at all. I'm not much of an expert for country music, but in country type of progression, there are mostly major type chords, and licks can involve double stops, slides, and specific strumming. In blues you can do the shuffle, blues note licks, and in rock just anything that rocks really, add a bit distortion and pull off some power chords, bending licks, and fast legato runs and it will sound like rock.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Sep 11 2008, 05:40 PM


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kevvyg
post Sep 19 2008, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 11 2008, 05:39 PM) *
Hey man,

I haven't heard about that guy, but I can imagine how he must sounds. Country, rock and blues are all interconnected, and today if you wanna play any of these three styles, I would say that you it would be probably best to rely on some classic stuff, because back in the days, these types of music were more separate. Today they are forming a rather complicated fusion.
When people wanna play certain types of music,they mostly play certain licks, progressions and melodies that are often played in those types of music. So for example if I would have to play country style, I would play mostly country style strumming and licks, if playing blues style, I would play blues I IV V and blues licks, applying blue notes etc.. This is a classical approach, you can always make a small fusion in order to part sound more interesting. For example replace the turnaround in blues with other chords like
VII m7b5 (former V)
VII mb7b5 (Former IV)
I maj7.

All these styles are pretty wide tho, specially rock, so you can make it sound like a lot of different stuff. In order to do that, think how rock is different from blues, and listen to some classic tunes. Rock developed from blues, buy transgressing the I IV V chords to a whole bunch of different progressions, and changing keys as well. In rock you can change keys, use a whole bunch of licks, involving strictly minor or major if you want, depending how you want it to sound and the type of a song your doing. If you're doing ballad, you can use all minor chords, with no dominants and no I VI V and it will not sound to bluesy or country at all. I'm not much of an expert for country music, but in country type of progression, there are mostly major type chords, and licks can involve double stops, slides, and specific strumming. In blues you can do the shuffle, blues note licks, and in rock just anything that rocks really, add a bit distortion and pull off some power chords, bending licks, and fast legato runs and it will sound like rock.

Thanks Ivan.
On this subject, I noticed in one of your blues lessons (Blues for beginner, I think), you played in B minor, but the D#, i.e. the major 3rd from B major, appeared a couple of times and made it sound great. Is this a standard 'trick' to use in blues - adding the major 3rd, as well as the flat 5th blues note?

KG
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 20 2008, 12:24 AM
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Yes it's a standard kind of thing. In blues it is very common to mix both minor and major scales pentatonics in general. Only true master can do it, and one of them is BB King. He mix them seamlessly.


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kevvyg
post Sep 23 2008, 11:58 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 20 2008, 12:24 AM) *
Yes it's a standard kind of thing. In blues it is very common to mix both minor and major scales pentatonics in general. Only true master can do it, and one of them is BB King. He mix them seamlessly.

It would be good if you could do a lesson on how to 'mix' minor and major pentatonic scales. I've been working through an AC/DC tab book, and I notice Angus uses this 'trick' quite often. The solo from 'Highway to Hell' goes from A minor pentatonic to A major pentatonic if I remember correctly. Does the major pentatonic just sound a bit 'happier'?! I'll have to have a play around, but does the minor and major pentatonic necessarily just fit over a given chord sequence, or is it (as I suspect!), not that simple?

KG
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 24 2008, 01:17 PM
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Well, yeah, major pentatonic does sound happier, and it gives a totally different feel from minor pentatonic.
Regarding chord progression, in blues and blues-based rock (such as ACDC), you can use a root chord as a major one, and do a I VI V regular blues progression. You can record that kind of a progression, for example from A (A-D-E), and try to improvise the same licks but on different positions in Aminor pentatonic and Amajor pentatonic. The more you use both of these scales, the more it will become clearer how to mix them, and it is a very fun exercise, you can practice and jamm along with it.


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