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Author Topic: Blues  (Read 5526 times)

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melodeon

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Blues
« on: December 17, 2007, 11:54:37 PM »

Anyone playing blues... if so,  what "sytem"  what keys    what configuration    1 row  2  row  etc

Thanks

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Andy in Vermont

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Re: Blues
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 01:43:39 AM »

Anyone playing blues... if so,  what "sytem"  what keys    what configuration    1 row  2  row  etc

Yes!  Tuning: EADGBE
6 rows (strings instead of "mushroom" buttons)
And one can even bend notes on this kind of setup!!!
It does have to be frequently tuned, though.
-Andy, tongue-in-cheek

C age ing

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Re: Blues
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 10:57:46 AM »

No open tuning? Really Moonlight in Vermont, sorry got it wrong, Andy, you can't call yourself a blues guitarist unless you've got your finger trapped in the bottle neck for a least twenty-four hours or badly slashed your hand trying to make one. It's the only way to achieve the authentic mood.
Old Bill.

Melodeon, I do try on the Erika but much prefer the chromatic freedom of the woodwinds, brass and strings for this genre, unlike Theo who enjoys overcoming the limitations of the diatonic box, I give up easily. However Squeezy can boogie.
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My Erika is as old as me. Luckily, it is not as decrepit.

TomB-R

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Re: Blues
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 02:07:44 PM »

Brian Peters did some as part of his "Melodeons at Witney" concert spot last month.
Seemed to work well.
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Matthew B

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Re: Blues
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2007, 03:37:26 PM »

There are a couple of other ways to look at blues on the melodeon:
Zydeco http://tinyurl.com/32rdxx, and Leadbelly http://tinyurl.com/2omuo7

After all, there are only five notes in the blues scale, it can't be that hard . . .
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melodeon

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Re: Blues
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 04:09:54 PM »

After owning in excess of 100 guitars  I am down to my all time favorite for blues

a 1959 Guild M-20   EADGBE  all the way  actually tuned down 1 step and capoed at the first fret    playing 11-52's  silk and bronze

Boozoo is great, have a few CD's 

Leadbelly was also a favorite ....

thanks for the replies

I'll keep on looking...

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Johnf

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Re: Blues
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 05:48:54 PM »

Believe it or not, I can do pretty well playing blues on my Cajun C box. After all, you can play blues on a C tuned harmonica. The way a Cajun box is tuned helps, of course. I can get some wonderful discordant chords, even close the high bank of reeds and lowere the overall pitch. Blues is as much about the beat and expression as it is about the notes themselves.
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Austin Texas
C "LeCapitaine"
B/C "Double Ray"
Mandolin
Pennywhistle

Pete of Ebor

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Re: Blues
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 07:28:11 PM »

Don't do much - but can make a vaguely passable (depending on the alcohol intake of the listener) attempt at Rocking All over the World by Status Quo - Not exactly blues, but it's the best I can do. You'll need to play in A if you're on a D/G.

Pete.
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Mike Gott

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Re: Blues
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 08:20:46 PM »

Next....slide or bottleneck melodeon. I must give it a try. I did play an amplified 4-stop though a friend's Wah Wah pedal once.....

Mike
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"Traditional music was for entertainment, it wasn't for a further education class" (Bob Davenport)

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Open_G

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Re: Blues
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 10:48:33 PM »

Next....slide or bottleneck melodeon. I must give it a try. I did play an amplified 4-stop though a friend's Wah Wah pedal once.....

Mike

I have long fancied putting a melodeon through my POD (for those non guitary types it is a digital amp modeller and effects unit) and seeing what I could make it sound like- a heavily compressed, delayed melodeon with a touch of chorus and flange. Could be wonderful or just plain awful.
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Squeezing with varying degress of success since 1995. -Clive

melodeon

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Re: Blues
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2007, 03:36:14 PM »

I have a Castagnari Melodeon in C....

Using a 50's electrovox mic.....  I put this thru a Boss DD-2 (3?) delay  with a passive splitter

One leg goes to my 1979 LAb Series L-5 2 X12 Amp  and the other goes into my Epiphone Valve  Jr....
Crank up the Valve Jr to just below feedback... crank the reverb up on the L-5.....a bit of compression

a few moments to diddle with the Boss settings and  you too can replicate the heavy Chicago sound

a bit more futzing and you can get the West Coast sound....



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Matthew B

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Re: Blues
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2007, 04:57:39 PM »

In reply to the original post . . . When I first started playing the box I was completely taken with Rocking Doopsey, and I still love that Zydeco sound.  I've never managed to reproduce it, however, despite years of trying.  I did, over the years, find a lot of blues-sounds hiding in my old club box, particularly played in C on the draw.  The gleichton helps with some of the the needed changes in the C chord.  The accidentals in the half row give the necessary fancy chords (sorry, don't know the proper names) on the F push, and G chords played on the C row draw plus a few extra notes from elsewhere on the keyboard get you some more oddities.  The blues scale can be played in both directions, and all the buttons are pretty close together.  The left hand fits pretty well with this, as there are most of the notes of a C scale on the bass end.  There are a few other tricks in there using the half row for some runs and fancy chords . . .

But is it blues? 

In my own defense, I _was_ born and raised in the South West.

SW19 to be precise.


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melodeon

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Re: Blues
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2007, 11:32:48 PM »

Thanks for the reply


I have thought of a club  C/f          and that might do it

I did own an  Overture 4 with 10 basses.. black and mint  wish now that I had kept it

is it blues?      I'll bet it is
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C age ing

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Re: Blues
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2007, 08:25:21 AM »

The main problem with playing on a diatonic without zillions of accidentals, is the restricted repertoire. Country blues are generally okay but how do you manage Blue Monk. And then of course I like semitone runs, awkward bugger, aren't I? ;D
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My Erika is as old as me. Luckily, it is not as decrepit.

melodeon

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Re: Blues
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2007, 11:35:24 PM »

Blue Monk   while Blue...   also a bit jazz oriented

and I agree with the notion of the semitone runs....

how about a box in

Bb/B           Eb/E         Ab/A     ?



16 hole chromatic harmonica would solve the problem   but then do you go with solo tuning, bebob, diminished, "Slippy"  etc
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Matthew B

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Re: Blues
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2008, 04:19:28 PM »

I'm not sure how well a semitone box would work for blues chords, since I don't play one.  I suspect the three-row semitone box would give you plenty of options, but a two-row might come up a bit short.  However for melody stuff it should be fine, and with a box in E you could play along with the guitar guys and keep them happy.  The semitone stuff works fine on a larger club, which is chromatic through a couple of octaves, in both directions.  But then even a standard 2-row is chromatic through one, if you're nimble enough. 
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Brian Peters

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Re: Blues
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2008, 01:53:42 PM »

Brian Peters did some as part of his "Melodeons at Witney" concert spot last month.
Seemed to work well.
Aha, I just caught up with this thread.  The advice above to seek out zydeco players and Leadbelly is sound.  The trick is basically to play 'backwards' like Cajun players do, e.g. by playing in A on the D row.  If you're doing this on a D/G instrument you can achieve two classic bluesy sounds quite easily: the flattened 7th (G natural in the key of A) is right there under your fingers on the D row, and you can pull a nice bluesy mini-chord of E & G with your right hand; also you can get the 'blue third' effect by slurring from C natural on the G row to C sharp on the D row (still pulling).  With a bit of row-crossing you can find a nice blues scale (A - C/C# - E - F# - G) on the pull.  Using my RH lower octave stop beefs up the sound no end, and I always play without thirds on the LH in any case.  The only problem is that you end up on the pull a lot of the time, so you either have to use the air button to recover bellows postion at intervals, or find interesting bluesy things to do agains a pushed D chord (not easy unless you have a few extra accidentals).

The other thing you need is a bit of attitude.  Given that, even the 'wrong' notes can come out sounding like the blues.
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