Blues Masterwork


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nnizzle
03-11-2008, 07:18 PM
So for a class I am taking (senior year of highschool) we have this project called a Masterwork which is basically what it sounds like. We decide to make or do virtually anything as long as we can demonstrate how it has helped us grow. Some examples: learning to surf, writing a novel, bellydancing, a Mr. Greely High School Pageant, etc. I had an idea to write a blues song (for guitar) which reflects the changes in blues in the past 50 years or so, so the first part would be something like Robert Johnson (maybe earlier I'm not sure yet) and then progress up to Muddy Waters, then B.B. King, Clapton, Hendrix, SRV, maybe to people like John Mayer, maybe different sections for each decade although it does need to flow. I haven't really done any in-depth research yet, but I have listened to a lot of these artists, excluding artists from the 20's or 30's or even 40's. This project is supposed to take at least 100 hours and I have until late May I believe. I know there is a Who to listen to type thread but can anyone give me some artists or songs that are really the culmination of their time? Or any books to read, websites to visit, videos to watch, etc. Anything is appreciated.

Mr.Cuddles
03-11-2008, 08:08 PM
Blues music has been around since slavery, start of with something accapella ans sipmle that sound lik e it could be hollard out by a choir almost...

aetherspear
03-11-2008, 09:28 PM
we have this, but it's called an independent study. I'm doing composition.

TheDev01dOne
03-11-2008, 09:36 PM
yeah start with that "Oh lordy, trouble so hard.. Don't nobody know my troubles but god" song fo sho'

This isn't gonna be easy though man, do you have to play it live or just record it and present it as a recording? Playing it live would be close to impssible IMO, gonna need a lot of work for smooth changes between open tuning delta blues to chicago blues to the english revival to texas blues to 'new-blues' like john mayer, joe bonamassa etc..

I'm sorry I can't be of much help but I wish you luck and would love to hear this when it's finished.

Maybe between each song/section (if it's gonna be a recording) you could break them up with quotes/clips of blues guys saying something interesting about blues before it moves on to the next phase?

Lol I dunno, I'm not very creative.. If you want some good research material, get the "Martin Scorsese presents The Blues" DVD's they explain pretty much everything you'd need to know, AND they're jus awesome to watch!

deluxity
03-11-2008, 11:45 PM
it could start with some a cappella stuff, like billie holiday or bessie smith, then go into delta blues and so on...

interesting idea btw

nnizzle
03-12-2008, 01:49 PM
yeah start with that "Oh lordy, trouble so hard.. Don't nobody know my troubles but god" song fo sho'

This isn't gonna be easy though man, do you have to play it live or just record it and present it as a recording? Playing it live would be close to impssible IMO, gonna need a lot of work for smooth changes between open tuning delta blues to chicago blues to the english revival to texas blues to 'new-blues' like john mayer, joe bonamassa etc..

I'm sorry I can't be of much help but I wish you luck and would love to hear this when it's finished.

Maybe between each song/section (if it's gonna be a recording) you could break them up with quotes/clips of blues guys saying something interesting about blues before it moves on to the next phase?

Lol I dunno, I'm not very creative.. If you want some good research material, get the "Martin Scorsese presents The Blues" DVD's they explain pretty much everything you'd need to know, AND they're jus awesome to watch!
Yeah now that I think about it playing it live would be quite difficult so if you don't mind I might use your idea of breaking it up.. maybe not using quotes but doing something.

ze monsta
03-12-2008, 04:16 PM
I think you should split it into sections, that can blend into each other, maybe via the riff.

1) Claps with singing: (Like this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vAczJUkwU0 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpDR-JG45tA&NR=1 )

2) Delta playing, Charley Patton style playing with the previous clap turning into a stomp on a wooden floor. Lyrics should stay pretty similar, but not so it's boring. Use a lick you can transpose from perhaps Open E to standard tuning.

3) Switch from playing the lick with a slide or knife to playing it with your fingers on a slightly overdriven electric. Lyrical style stays the same. This should have drums (brushes, blues shuffle kinda thing), bass, piano and blues harp. [See Howlin' Wolf]

4) Perhaps go from a guitar solo from chicago blues part to a solo in the British Blues Boom part, adding in wah but the change should be just a solo, and then add in some wah and change it. No piano or harp this time, but organ.

And I don't really know where to go from there to be honest, but I reckon that's a fairly good, basic idea, even if it is fairly vague.

MONSTA EDIT:

To expand and give you some more ideas:

On part one, perhaps have a chorus of mens voices (real men with deep voices! :p: ) singing, and perhaps chains rattling (as in slaves).

Part two, a voice that it fairly growly and some haunting slide guitar. Try to vary the dynamics so that you get a real spooky feel.

Part three, try some Hubert Sumlin style licks!

Part four, look at Cream, Blues Breakers and such.

Hope it helps. :)