Instrumental Blues

John Watt

Active member
When you say instrumental blues to me, I'm coming from a North America perspective.
What's that mean? That's about American blues men that English Invasion bands were pushing,
playing their songs whether they were giving them songwriting credits or not.
I still see Robert Johnson as being more of a media, and now online creation, than a real musician.

For all the bands I ever played in, all the different kinds of music and cultures,
I never played a blues song, a three chord blues song, or traditional blues.
Some country bands, for American tourists in Niagara Falls, might have called it by the title,
"Who Do You Love", "I'm a Man", foot stompers like that,
but for me the big difference was playing "Kaliga", about the wooden Indian, because it was in Am,
one of the few minor key songs any country band played unless they did "Ghostrider".

In my life, there is one blues song I like to play and sing, and that's "The Thrill is Gone" by B.B.King.
That's in Am, and I like to improvise verses about the life around me,
the pills are gone, the bills aren't paid... and give it a more tribal feel, when B.B. was more upscale, or downtown.
Maybe I should have said clan feel, because Scottish bands are known for heavy beats and percussion.

That's probably why Jan Akkermans' video in the above reply is my favorite here.
Oscar Peterson and Count Basie can't be topped for being a very class act,
with non-upright Steinbergs sitting side by side and a small orchestra behind them.
Just the looks on their faces as they enjoy playing are worth watching.

If I have to say something about playing instrumental blues, any blues,
that's my playing my guitar, even if I can sing them, and that's something I got from Jimi Hendrix.
Or maybe I did it with my '64 Stratocaster and Marshall with effects in 1970 and thought that's what Jimi did.

Playing in G, I like to use an open chord D7 formation, using the G, B and E strings.
When it starts feeding back, I'll slide the G and B string down,
hearing that while the E string continues to feed back.
That's how Jimi starts "Red House" from the album "Hendrix in the West".
Jimi never had a three chord blues on any of his albums.
"Hendrix in the West" was the first album to come out after he passed away,
taking advantage of recordings made while he jammed with others in his studio.

oh no... oh no... typing about the blues is getting me into them... oh no...
Here's the only words I've ever written to use with a three chord progression in Am.
"Darling you've been gone so long, it's amazing that I still feel this strong,
times have changed and times have gone, how could I have been so wrong?
I just don't know what to do, when this cold dark night turns deep dark and blue,
you're not here to talk so what more can I say,
I'm just glad I've got this new inventive semi-solid-body guitar to play...
or something like that...

It was interesting, typing "Jimi Hendrix Red House" into search, to help remember the album title.
There was a video on top where he's playing the song live, with the info underneath.
That proves to me that other people love him enough to keep him up there in our online world.
I always said the only blues I ever had was seeing Jimi Hendrix,
because I knew I would never spend all the money for the equipment and employees he had,
so I could play onstage and have the sound and show like he did.
Who would have known I'd be inventing a guitar, and having more left-handed features,
than Jimi Hendrix did and more than anyone else could have imagined?
I can't get the blues. That's the tried blue and true hues of every colour and tone imaginable.
I should try a recording. I've worked myself up to liner note status already.
Please be forewarned: Listening to John Watt won't necessarily take you higher,
but it will make you wider... in stereo and with the buffet backstage.
yeah... I know what it takes to draw any kind of crowd.
Please! Please settle down, everyone, settle down.
John Watt is going to click Post Quick Reply,
and leave this thread. He's already got the clicker in his hand.
Good night! It's time to take your blues back home with you.
We've installed blue lights in the alley if you want to take it outside.
Please, good night...
 

John Watt

Active member
I know, I know, the thread title was "instrumental blues" and I talked about songs,
even getting into some lyrics I wrote without any instrumental to go with them.
But hey... saying instrumental blues in a jazz forum is just asking for a fontal free-for-all.

AlderonFrederik! You can see you got me going, so let me see if I can return the favor.
Here's a very intereting video with Jan Akkerman on a road trip, in a car, being asked about guitars.
It used video clips of the guitarists and bands he talks about, with subtitles.
What I got off on was after a while the subtitles disappear,
but because he's talking about guitarists and music with graphics and videos,
I really felt like I was understanding what he was saying.
I also agree with his opinions and learned more about the first uses of Les Pauls.

I've got more respect for him now than I had before, even just talking.
Look at him. He was a rock star and now he's an older man on his way to a gig.
He looks very healthy and is very well-spoken, if not as well-said as Right Said Fred.
Everyone around here is talking about the snow and ice that hasn't gone away,
but the snow-storm you see here is far greater as he enters Germany.


 
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John Watt

Active member
THREAD ALERT! Here's an instrumental blues, on topic, in tune and ingrained in our brain already.
I was talking about "The Thrill is Gone", yes, almost fifty years old for me... but listen to this.
The lead playing is there, the vibrato is there, but I'm hearing some blues harp I never heard before.
Incredible, if not inshredible!


 
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