Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > 15-bar blues?
15-bar blues?
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Andrew
1746 posts
Dec 07, 2017
9:26 AM
I am really frustrated - there was a thread about a weird duet between someone like Tom Petty and an old time blues harpist, and they wanted to know how to write it out or tab it out, as it had a weird structure - either 15-bar, or some of the bars had 7 or 3 or 5 beats instead of 4, or maybe there were extra bars with 3 beats?
I've gone back 40 pages, and I can't find it. I wanted to send the link to the YouTube video to a couple of friends to see what they thought of it.
Anyone know what I'm talking about?
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Andrew.
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Last Edited by Andrew on Dec 07, 2017 9:28 AM
Flbl
56 posts
Dec 07, 2017
9:36 AM
Try a google search, many times that brings me back to this site, to threads I never would have found otherwise.
1847
4564 posts
Dec 07, 2017
10:20 AM
was it the johnnie winter/ muddy waters thread

rock me baby...
Andrew
1747 posts
Dec 07, 2017
10:28 AM
"was it the johnnie winter/ muddy waters thread"
Could be. What was the name of the song?
Can anyone find a link to it?
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Andrew.
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1847
4565 posts
Dec 07, 2017
10:39 AM
dc.al.fine
Andrew
1748 posts
Dec 07, 2017
11:03 AM
That's the one, thanks!
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Andrew.
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The Iceman
3417 posts
Dec 07, 2017
11:07 AM
There is a tradition of old tyme/traditional/folk tunes being what is called "Crooked tunes", which means that they are driven by the melodic line which doesn't correspond to our Western music "feel" of even numbered measures to the 'verse'....the melodic line itself dictates how many measures, and sometimes it may be "X" number of measures with an incomplete measure tacked on somewhere.

One can find the best examples of this type of melodic line in Slavic folk songs - in the early 20th century, Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok ventured into the small villages with a tape recorder to archive these types of tunes that are passed down through generations - learned by ear - never written down in Western Civilization notation. (These guys used ideas gathered here in orchestral compositions).

Also, some of the ODBG blues guys who were used to playing solo wouldn't stick with a metric format, but change chords when the mood struck them in the moment. Bands like Canned Heat, when recording with someone like John Lee Hooker would have to keep their eyes on him and their ears open for his particular changes...

So, this happens quite a lot actually. One just has to search out artists who do this...I can tell you this, though. Those type of songs will never make it to the Pop top 40, as trying to sing and/or dance along will tie you in knots when that "crookedness" makes itself known!
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The Iceman
Andrew
1749 posts
Dec 07, 2017
11:12 AM
I just counted this one out for the first time.
(I didn't before because I didn't like it)

It's a 15-bar blues, consisting of 3x5 bars.
And a two and a half bar intro with anacrusis as well!

I think it smacks of pedantry, not crookedness, and I blame JW (whilst being completely prepared to be told I'm wrong and it's a 100% attested historical tradition). After all, the form didn't thrive and survive, so I'm not the only one who didn't like it!

Otoh, most of what I don't like about it is in the clunky, pedantic drumming. If it were some old blind guy sitting on his porch, I might feel differently about it.

There's a country-tradition of insanely random bar lengths. That's a different thing. I forget what it's called.
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Andrew.
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Last Edited by Andrew on Dec 07, 2017 11:29 AM
SuperBee
5113 posts
Dec 07, 2017
12:52 PM
Yeah, Muddy did the 15 bar thing, nothing to do with JW.
I think King Bee is another 15 bar; I’m sure there are others.
Rolling and tumbling? Champagne and Reefer comes to mind
1847
4568 posts
Dec 07, 2017
1:13 PM


junior and buddy both played in muddys band. this is 15 bars.

muddy used to play it with a 14 bar progression
SuperBee
5114 posts
Dec 08, 2017
12:49 AM
Ha, I didn’t mean ‘that’ JW.
:)
Andrew
1750 posts
Dec 08, 2017
1:01 AM
(yeah, superbee and I both meant Johnnie Winter. Well, I did)
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Andrew.
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groyster1
3044 posts
Dec 10, 2017
5:25 AM
15 bar is very strange......good morning little school girl is 9.5 bar and key to highway is 8 bar blues
1847
4575 posts
Dec 11, 2017
9:24 AM
so we went to see the mighty flyers yesterday, rod is playing slim harpo's king bee.. my buddy is taking a few photo's, so i say to him, check this out.


i count out the bars to him, and my count is off! so i count it again and i am closer but my count is still off.

so i ask rod, when you get a song that has an odd numbers of bars, like .... good morning little school or trouble no more, how do YOU count them? he say's, you mean like slim harpo?

he said he never learned any of that, that the band had to watch him for the changes.

i find that fascinating... for me that is a recipe for disaster. but hey, he has a world class band, so i guess what ever works.

there were 4 or 5 bands yesterday, i heard funk... r and b... traditional blues, and a jam that sounded like the grateful dead.

Last Edited by 1847 on Dec 11, 2017 9:51 AM
1847
4576 posts
Dec 11, 2017
9:46 AM
so now knowing what we now know....


watch the band watching him

Last Edited by 1847 on Dec 11, 2017 9:51 AM


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