Duke Robillard

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Chicago Blues with Bass


Lesson 1

Duke Robillard Lesson >

Chicago Blues with Bass > Lesson 1

For this months lessons we have special guest Brad Hallen sitting in on bass fiddle and electric bass. In our first lesson are going over playing the slow Chicago blues in the key of E with acoustic bass. Brad demonstrates the style of Chicago blues bassist Big Crawford who played with Muddy Waters in the early 50s on many of his classic recordings. We discuss some of the things that work best with that style of guitar and Brad demonstrates a few choruses that you can play along with.

Enjoy! Duke

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chicago Blues
key of E
Muddy Waters
Acoustic Bass
Duke Robillard
Chicago Blues
Big Crawford
Brad Hallen

Print Print Chords & Tab

loop @ 0:15 to practice the intro

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loop @ 0:15 to practice the intro and first chorus

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loop @ 2:12 to practice the second chorus

 

loop @ 0:15 to practice the intro, first and second chorus

 

loop @ 3:20 to practice with Brad's bass run though

 

Comments

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Bill
Bill Apr 11, 2012

I think I understand what you're saying about not being specific in time. With enough listening and playing along with records it just becomes intuitive knowing where the changes come in. I think I can do that now to some degree. In the back of my mind I always think there would be someone saying - hey, you're not following the correct format! You changed to soon or you changed to late.

 

Thanks Duke!

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 11, 2012

Some things are in specific time and some aren't but there is almost always away to count it out to understand it. Sometimes moving from one note to the next will not always be one beat to another. It can be anticipated to be a different value. You don't have to know what you are doing as far as beats per 12 bar measure but listening and playing with recordings will help immensely to help you know where the changes go. It will become instinctive eventually. And playing with a recording is like having a metronome going too. Good luck with it! Duke

Bill
Bill Apr 11, 2012

Thanks lterenzi. I feel like Bigfoot on the guitar sometimes! LOL

lterenzi
lterenzi Apr 11, 2012

Hey Bill... maybe record yourself counting beats and just start playing along. Or download a metronome (or you may have one) and start counting along. One thing you dont want to do is start counting and playing and really thinking about it at the same time. All the feel will fly out the door. Just let it come to you. It will happen. Soon you will be at the point of having musical ESP. You will hear those changes coming!

 

Watch dancers too... you will see good ones just flowing and then you will see the ones who count every beat and stomp around like bigfoot. Which in dancing is totally me. :)

Bill
Bill Apr 11, 2012

Thanks Mike. That will help.

Specifically, I struggle with knowing what constitutes 1 beat. When you play a straight shuffle the beats seem to be easily recognizable. But if you play the A7 then slide from the 2nd to 4th fret on the B string, etc., how many beats is that? Not sure if I'm making any sense but it's the emblishments that make it hard to count.

 

Thanks,

Bill

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Apr 11, 2012

Hi Bill .. I saw your question about counting the beats.  One thing Corey emphasized was tapping your foot, getting the rhythm in your head and your body.  It totally worked for me.  From the videos I see of Duke, I bet he does it too (that's the hand clapping you thought heard in one of the previous lessons) ... and you can notice how Duke's head and body move around as he plays ... the music is going through him in some way.  

Whenever I have trouble now I slow it down to where I can tap my foot and play ... and once that becomes natural, then speed it up.  Hope that helps!

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 11, 2012

Thanks Ken!

Ken Cathey
Ken Cathey Apr 10, 2012

Good ol' muddy blues...just like I like it!!!

Mario Abbagliati
Mario Abbagliati Apr 09, 2012

Thanks Duke.  

Could you, in a future lesson, explain the difference between Open E Blues Chicago and Texas style?  Would you say that Tell Me Why from your Cd Duke's Blues is an example of Chicago blues?

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 09, 2012

Hi Mario, Brad's computer just died so I will ask him and get back to you. Duke

Mario Abbagliati
Mario Abbagliati Apr 09, 2012

Excellent, this is very good!  I look forward to the next lesson.

A question for Brad: why didn't you start from the open low E and A?  Personal choice or stylistic feature?

 

Bill
Bill Apr 08, 2012

Thanks very much Duke.

I guess it's not the structure I struggle with so much but counting the beats. It's easy to count them with a straight shuffle but when it's played like this it's a lot more difficult.

mojo74x
mojo74x Apr 08, 2012

Thank you Mr. Robillard, much appreciated.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 08, 2012

Mojo 74x, I will ocallionally do lessons with bass, I realize it will help many of you here. Thanks, Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 08, 2012

Hi Bluesman, What we have been working on is the typical 12 bar blues with a quick 4 change. What that means is at 4 beats to the measure wi play one measure (or bar) of the 1 (E) , one measurse of the 4 (A), then2 measures of the 1 again, then 2 measures of the 4 (A), next is 2 more measures of the 1 (E) then to the 5 chord (B7th) for 1 measure, 4 (A) for one measure then back to 1 (E) for a measure then back to the 5 to resolve the verese or chorus. Sometimes its six beats on the the last E before going to the 5 B7 for the final time to resolve the progression. If you write out the number of beats with the chord symbols it will help you get used to the form and make it easier to understand. Note that sometimes in the first four measures, a common variation is to stay one the 1 (E) for all four measures. That is called a long 1 change. It depends on the melody of the song usually or personal preference wether to use the long 1 or quick 4 change. Hope this makes it easier to understand. All the best, Duke

mojo74x
mojo74x Apr 07, 2012

Thie lesson with double bass is a great idea. Please continue to do lessons like this. It really helps a lot to understand how things work if you listen to the bass alone. I play guitar and I´m learning bass and this is of great help. A lesson with Brad showing double bass basics for chicago shuffle (muddy/j.rogers  and j.reed), t-bone-west coast style and other different blues types would be GREAT. I´m sure a lot of bassists and band members in general would benefit from it. It´s difficult to grasp double bass from old recordings and most of the learning methods don´t show the real stuff. THANKS AGAIN for the lessons and for listening to us.

Bill
Bill Apr 06, 2012

Hi Duke,
    One of the things that I struggle with is the changes. When I play a standard 12 bar blues rhythm it's easy to know when to go from the I to the IV and V. But when it's played like here in your lessons I find it really hard to know when and for how long to go from one change to the next. What do you recommend for making that easier? Hope I'm making sense.

 

Thanks,

Bil

Bill
Bill Apr 06, 2012

Thanks Mike!

Bill

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Apr 06, 2012

Hi Bill .. I'm tabbing the first chorus of the solo right now .. you should see it in about 3PM west coast / 6PM east coast.  Funny, I'm right on the chord at this moment .. yes, it's a B7. 

Bill
Bill Apr 06, 2012

Duke,

Are you playing a B chord at 1:07?

I hear a piano in there too! :) 

Thanks,

Bill

 
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