Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 389 #434)

Sweet Home Chicago Accompaniment Playing!!!

So maybe the tough range of Sweet Home Chicago is not something you can sign. Or perhaps you are just not the vocalist in your band. What are your options for playing accompaniment on this song?

Joe addressed this with two approaches. First was a look at other tunes by Junior Parker that carry licks and phrases that are "in the family" and appropriate. (all transcriptions here)

That's All Right
gives you a heavy dose of rapid vamping. It's a little different here than on Sweet Home Chicago because it is not in time, but still straight up blues.

Stranded gives you that cool double time phrase on bars 3 and 4 that you should know as well as the classic V/IV chord lick.

Pretty Baby, which remember has a similar melody to Sweet Home Chicago, is rich with Sonny Boy II phrases (bars 8 and 9) as well as that aggressive Memphis chording style.

With Highway RickEy on vocals, Joe then demonstrated a bunch of accompaniment techniques that you see outlined on the transcription link - sustained organ sounds; "train whistle" sustains such as non-chord tone chordal effects and splits; shuffle chording; chord bombs; repeating riffs like a bass player might use; and of course fills.

Key points - stick to what you start rather than wandering all over the place with accompaniment techniques as this helps define a song and secondly, remember that the Little Walter fill technique is a highly skilled thing to pull off. Fills can be dangerous when not done right - focus on some of these other techniques and you're more likely to be asked back by the band or vocalist!

Class Notes
  • Joe will be out of town next week. Zoe and Grant have you covered in the Level 3 classes and Shoji and the B1 Band will lead the Performance class.
Double CD Release Concert
Filisko & Noden have two new CDs out right now and they'll be doing a CD release show for both at the Old Town School on Sunday, March 15. You should get tickets here!

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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