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Blues Theory
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:58 pm    Post subject: Blues Theory Reply with quote

I have been listening to the Major C D E (Up from the Literal TonalCenter) and Minor (Down from the 5th.) G F Eb for awhile now. And I am starting to hear/feel the Sounds.

And one thing that "popped"all the sudden, was what appears to be a good justification for the m3d./M3rd. co-habitating in the same "Family".

Idea

C D Eb E F G

Could be the R 2/9 b3 3 4 5 of a Chord.

So, I could possibly extend this line of thinking. But, I'm not eally sue how to, just yet. As the Major and Minor Notes start running into each other, with a 1/2 Step.

E up to F

Eb down to D

Should I take this as similar to closing a circle within an Octave?

Should I continue with Whole Steps, instead?

E up to F#

Eb down to Db

Am I TOTALLY off-base here? Or, is this a good way to view the results of the Symmetry?

Would this correspond with what happens in a lot of Blues Music?



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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, 23 Views and no one has worked on any of this? Confused

Well, I'm sticking it out. I will keep working on this, and will post my "findings".

But, if anybody here thinks I'm either on-target, or way off base, please let me know. Even if you are guessing.
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still working on that last couple of posts.

But, I have another question:

When bending a b3rd. or a b7th. up slightly, are these the Notes from the 7 Limit System?

I'm thinking that sllightly above the b7, is a Partial from the 7 Limit Series. Is this correct?

And when bending the b3rd. slightly, I find more than 1 Pitch that sounds good, before hitting the M3rd. Are these Notes part of the same system?

Also, I've read SK talking about a 3rd. below the b3rd. I will listen back to some of my own playing, and see if I ever play that one. Not sure yet, as I've always done this stuff kind of lunconsciescely. Is this the "Blue 3rd."?

Thanks in advance for any help on these topics.
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alans



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swain wrote:
Still working on that last couple of posts.

But, I have another question:

When bending a b3rd. or a b7th. up slightly, are these the Notes from the 7 Limit System?

I'm thinking that sllightly above the b7, is a Partial from the 7 Limit Series. Is this correct?

And when bending the b3rd. slightly, I find more than 1 Pitch that sounds good, before hitting the M3rd. Are these Notes part of the same system?

Also, I've read SK talking about a 3rd. below the b3rd. I will listen back to some of my own playing, and see if I ever play that one. Not sure yet, as I've always done this stuff kind of lunconsciescely. Is this the "Blue 3rd."?

Thanks in advance for any help on these topics.


Well, I'm not really familiar with the 7 limit terminology, but I do think I know what you're asking about with respect to pitches outside of the EDO (Equally Divided Octave) system that we use, also referred to as the tempered scale. In Just Intonation, the pitches in the scale correspond to the physical nodes on a vibrating string (or in a tube of air, or anything else we can get to resonate).

Play harmonics on one string just behind the 4th and 3rd frets, and you'll hear a third (major) and seventh (flatted, or dominant). Notice that these notes are not exactly the same as the notes you would be able to hit on a fret - both are a little bit flat, the seventh more than the third. The distance between the fret and the spot where your finger sits to play those harmonics are the differences between the tempered notes and the just notes.

The just minor third is about the same distance sharp from the fretted note as the just major third is flat from its own fretted note, so when you bend that minor third up, you're finding the sweet spot where the physics wants the note to be. On the seventh, however, because the true seventh is actually below the fretted value, bending it up takes it even farther away from the sweet spot, so that's one to avoid (eventually you would come to the major seventh, but that's a different chordal color entirely).

The practical application of this knowledge lies with knowing when to play and when to avoid certain notes, or to use them as passing tones only instead of leaning hard into one of them. Here's a crude example that others can probably improve upon: think about playing in E dorian (minor with a raised sixth). If you play a !V7 chord (A7), you'll get a G in there. In relation to that A tonality, that G (the 7 in a !V7 chord) should actually be flat by as much as 20 or even 30 cents. When you are working off of the E tonality (Im7) however, that G would be about 14 or 15 cents sharp. So you have two G notes in the same key, but they're not really the same note - they are almost a quarter-tone apart. In this case it means that the !V7 could sound awkward, so when you're playing over the A chord you would avoid bending that G up to what would normally be the sweet spot when playing over E, or even avoiding the G altogether when playing over A.

This is why Steve would say that there are no true chord substitutions, just chord replacements because each time you change to a new root for a chord, all of the harmonic relationships shift to fit with the new tonality, just as if you were hitting those third and seventh harmonics on an open string corresponding with each new chord root.

Hope this makes some sort of sense. Once you get the feel for the way this sounds, you'll hear it naturally - we all already do, but the systems we use to put things together can be a distraction if we focus only on certain details. There are some other more extensive discussions of this elsewhere in this forum, probably best found if you look for "intonation" or "workshop" as keywords.

alan
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Arkansas

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Alans! Wink

That was a great post!

I will be re-reading it a few times, and will try to internalize it.

You confirmed some of what I was thinking. Plus, you cleared up some more pieces of the puzzle, that I had just caught hints of. Especially the idea of the differences between Ascending and Descending (for lack of a better description, at this point). Chord Replacement makes sense, as a descriptor.
I just need to keep playing/reading/playing. Then, I will be asking/screwing up/asking. Rinse and Repeat! Laughing

The 5 Limit vs 7 Limit is something I think I can explain. I will try to post something after work tonight. It especially helps with my understanding of the whole "Blues Theory vs. Diatonic Theory" concepts. And, with understanding why the b5 "Blues Note" comes into play.

Thanks, again!

Caio for now........
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted this on another Forum, but thought I'd put it here. Maybe it will help. Either by explaning things, or by being ripped to shreds!


It seems like the approach Steve Kimock is talking about, is treating each Chord as a "Tonic Of The Moment" type of approach.

The "Basic Blues Scale", plus the related "Overtonal Notes" for each Chord, as they happen in the Progression. Almost like a "Playing The Changes" type of approach?
As each Chord appears, the Overtones change, as regards these Chords as "Tonics Of The Moment".

And I think that he describes, the "5 Limit" vs. "7 Limit" Systems as accounting for the b7 and b5 of the Blues Scale.

The b7 is a straight "Overtone" (Partial? Is that more correct terminology?) Note to the Tonic. If we are considering this as a "Tonic Dominant" situation? Meaning, the b7 included as a Tone is the actual Tonic of the "Key", or "Tonal Center".

The b5 could be explained as an Overtonal Note, from the IV Chord? I think this is what SK describes.

This "Tonic Of The Moment" (My words) is interesting. Much more so (to me), than the more "Traditional" way of switching from Key to Key. Basically, because it may be a way for me to see/hear the heart of this whole "Overtonal" type of view.

Also, from a comment on TGP, I saw mention of Lyle Spud Murphy, and his whole concept of Composition. It seems like "Spud Murphy" used these "Overtonal Relationships" in his Arranging. Treating each Chord as a "Tonic Of The Moment". Again, my wording for stuff I don't fully get yet. (But, I'm on the Hunt!)
And after reading a LOT of posts, etc. on his approach, it seemed to be a type of "Revelation" to some Heavyweight Composers and Arrangers. In fact, one Composer wrote of using a "Spectrographic Analysis" of an old Opera (or, maybe it was "Pre-Opera" I can't remember clearly), and seeing how the Overtones were appearing. How these were used (Via "Church Modes") to support the dialogue of the Music.
i.e. When the Evil and Depressing parts were happening, the Overtones seemed to go towards more of a "Darker" sound. And when the Good Guys appeared, the Spectrograph "Lit Up" with the "Brightest" Overtones. Anyway, something along those lines.
All of this did seem to line up with what SK alludes to in his posts. So, it reinforced my desire to "Crack this Nut", and see where it will lead me.

So, I am trying to wrap my head around this at the moment. It makes "Sense". But, will it really be a useful way of looking at things? I will have to decide for myself, as it applies to me and my playing/understanding.


(WHEW! I think I described some of my research! But, I was reading for a LOOOONG time! It may be fatigue talking, here! LOL)


Anyway, fire away......... Twisted Evil
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Merkin



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject: Perfect Just Intonation 3rd Reply with quote

To understand what is meant by "And I think that he describes, the "5 Limit" vs. "7 Limit" Systems as accounting for the b7 and b5 of the Blues Scale. ", the Perfect Just Intonation 3rd is a note described by a simple ratio that falls between the Equal Temperament minor and major 3rd. This explains why blues players have been bending up the minor 3rd for a century. The ratio that best describes the leading tone is greater than the ET MAJ7 th, the interval for the dominant 7th is smaller than the ET one. Don't take my word for it--see "Genesis of a Music" by Harry Partch, and "On the Sensation of Tone" by Alexander Helmholtz. I just found this board tonight, and imagine these books must have already been mentioned elsewhere. I should be re-reading them, since I can't even recall what these ratios are. Good stuff here.[/quote]
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merkin, glad you're here. It was getting cold!

Check out some of the other Threads, and I think you'll get a better handle on the "5 Limit" and "7 Limit" Concepts.

It'll be interesting to read what you make of all this. I'm just muddling through it all, trying to glean what I can.

This isn't the busiest Forum in the world. But, people do post some. I've even seen Steve Kimock post some.
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Swain



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, still toiling away here. Wink

Anybody have anything they want to add to the whole topic of "Blues Theory"?

I've been working on an Example SK described on TGP (I think it was TGP). And, I will post what I have so far, soon. But, basically I find it spells out the way certain "Scales" or "Tonalities" have Interval (or other) characteristics that really help to define themselves.

The Example mentioned, is for the Blues Scale.

m3rd., Whole Step, Half Step

So, that one is pretty interesting. Yes, I can hear/see/understand the defining characteristics of the "Blues Scale" there. As far as using it? Well, I guess I always have been using it. But, I am now trying to get a more organized way of explaining it, as well. Hopefully, this will deepen my understanding.

P.S.

As to my original Post on this Thread;
Am I totally off-base?
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

750 Views, and still no one has much to say?

Interesting. (To me, anyways).

Either I am on to something. Or I'm way off base, and totally missing something.

As I have stated before, it's all new to me. So, I don't claim to "know" anything about this stuff. I'm just searching, and poking about.
Kinda like the old "give 100 Chimps a typewriter, and eventually one of them will write the Great American Novel" type of approach, I suppose.

So, I'll keep looking. And maybe some of you "lurkers" will chime in. Maybe not. But, it does seem kind of odd to see 750 Views, and only a handful of responses. Especially for a "Discussion Board". Razz

Talk to you soon..........
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:15 am    Post subject: Re: Blues Theory Reply with quote

Swain wrote:

And one thing that "popped"all the sudden, was what appears to be a good justification for the m3d./M3rd. co-habitating in the same "Family"
:?:



Swain, there is no justification in the regular European/modern chord/scale diatonic blah blah blah for both thirds present as part of the resolved tonic area.
It's like looking in the Bible for science, you can believe what you want, but it wasn't invented yet. . .

As close as you get will be the occasional mention of the blues scale in some jazz methods as "neutral", which is essentially correct, although I've never seen any justification presented for it in those methods.

The pitch in question, that shows up in our temperament as the lowered third degree of the scale, in blues music is usually some form of sub-minor third, usually the overtonal seventh of the four chord.

If you just look at it as being part of a IV dominant chord, it starts to make sense as a "very spicy sus" and that's generally how it's used: some part of the IV chord resolving to the major third of the I chord. In this case it's a seventh resolving up to that third, and that's the way you want to hear that note, as a seventh, not as an alternate form of the third.

You'll also hear it as a melody note or scale tone against the I chord in any number of vocal performances by any decent blues artist.

So if you've got Blues in E as a starting point, the pitch you're looking for is the harmonic right behind the 3rd fret (toward the nut).
Find that pitch, sing it, compare it to the G you would sing as the minor third of E. They're almost a quarter tone apart.
Not really two forms of third at all, although there is some 5-limit version even a little lower, the blues third is the 7th of the IV chord.

For whatever reason, we just haven't got our theoretical heads around the idea that all modern western music has been Africanized for at least 100 years, and the traditional European theory does not deal with overtonal 7ths at all.
But if you look at our temperament, 5-limit 12 tone, and add the overtonal 7ths, and the major third below the tonic (because you can't have an overtone without a generating pitch) for your flat 5 blue note, you can start with a 7th chord as your tonic, and pretty much everything else remains.
Just play the harmonics on the string and see where that 7th sound shows up. The nearest fret is what it is, plus the third below the tonic, b6/#5.
Add that mess to your regular diatonic thing, and instant blues harmony accompanied by the complete collapse of the diatonic naming system. Oh well. . .

We just don't have a set of naming conventions for that stuff yet, so there's a lot of confusion in the analysis of any modern music if you try to apply the
conventional wisdom.

700 views and no comments?
HA! Pussies. . .
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57tele



Joined: 29 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oooo. fightin words! Lemme get back to you on that after Feb 5, my deadline for way too many work-related projects.
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Swain



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Kimock,

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I really do appreciate it! It's pretty cool, that you take the time to "talk" with others about what you've worked hard to uncover and apply. Cool

I am going to re-read your post, and try to really "get it", if possible. I mean, yes, I can understand it. But, I want to go beyond understanding, and really internalize this stuff. So, I will post some more, shortly.

As far as the m3/M3 justification, I guess I was confusing the whole concept of Reciprocal Tones, with the Microtonal aspects of Blues.

More questions to come................ Twisted Evil Wink
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kimock



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swain wrote:

As far as the m3/M3 justification, I guess I was confusing the whole concept of Reciprocal Tones, with the Microtonal aspects of Blues.



That's half right, but you got the important part, which is that the "blue notes" aren't reciprocal 5-limit major thirds.
They're 7-limit overtones. They're not out, they're in.
I wouldn't refer to them here as microtonal, because we aren't specifically dealing with pitch yet.
We're just debating whether or not they actually function as part of the resolved area of the tonic, in which case the distinction that they are in an overtonal relationship to the tonic, not a reciprocal one, is what we're going for.

It looks like you got that part. Thanks for hanging in there.
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Swain



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, I get the idea of the Blue Notes being "In". I guess that's near the Heart of the whole matter, regarding the idea of a "Blues Theory"?

Now, I'm still working through some older Posts. And your Guitar Player "Just Desserts" Master Class is now sitting in front of me. I'm going to try and soak this up a little more.

And I think I understand what you are talking about, as far as not calling these Notes Microtonal. Is it because of the fact that there are small differences between what might be called a Gb or an F#? Or, that there is a kind of "Floating Range" in which a Note can exist?
And does this tie in (like I was thinking) to my earlier comment on the idea of a "Tonic Of The Moment"? That the Overtonal Notes will shift slightly, depending on the Tonality, or the Chord Of The Moment?

I realize I'm probably butchering things here. But, I hope it's not too misguided.
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