Blues Deep: Fifty

A timeless compendium of Blues lines, phrases and sequences

"Blues Deep: Fifty" (82 pages)

The Blues...!

What more can be said about the Blues that hasn't already been said, whether referring to the musical genre or the state of being?

As a form of musical expression, the Blues is the bedrock of Jazz, Boogie Woogie, Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll and Funk, and although it is often performed in a group setting, the soul of the Blues (and Jazz) is in the personal expression and statement of the individual.

Although there are different opinions as to what constitutes the Blues Scale, it seems clear that the pitch set which comprises the Blues tonality (ultimately referred to as a “blues scale”), is derived naturally from the harmonic overtone series – in particular harmonics 4 through 7 – from which the non-tempered equivalent of a dominant 7 chord is formed (C-E-G-Bb, which uses C as the fundamental).

The Blues Scale that was finally settled upon for this volume of “Blues Deep: Fifty” is a 9-note (nonetonic) version containing both flat & natural 3rds and 5ths, as well as a Perfect 4th, Maj 6th and 9th. The Maj 6th is included here since it is often present in Blues phrases of all styles (as is the Maj 9th) and is the root of the relative minor of the key in question.

Each sequence is presented as a 2 bar phrase and organized into 12 chapters, one per key.

Working these sequences through the keys is useful and practical, especially for horn players, who might often find themselves playing in common guitar keys, such as E, B & A concert, for example

Also, an important aspect of the Blues which is often ignored - rhythm - is featured in the way these sequences are notated. The majority of are presented in triplets with a 12/8 feel, in either 8th or 16th notes, which highlights aspects of the "push and pull" between the 3 and 4 feel, which is inherent in all African based rhythm.

Bobby Stern

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