Magazine article Guitar Player

Blue Notes or Not

Magazine article Guitar Player

Blue Notes or Not

Article excerpt

WHETHER a noie is considered to be "blue" depends on how it's used--a distinction that's often overlooked. Lei's consider a few cases.

Ex. 1's E[flat], clashes with ine C chord's E and is repealed 10 drive the point home. Ex. 2 includes a B[flat], which enhances the bluesy effect. Play Ex. 2 with the E[flat] changed to E, and notice that the B[flat] retains the blues flavor; however, if you keep the E[flat] and use B, the phrase sounds far from right.

Ex. 3's Gb is clearly a b5, a blue note that rubs against the C chord's G. The b5 is a trademark of bebop, whose version of the 12-bar blues is quite different from purer forms. Bebop was a rebellious music and the weakening of the perfect fifth, (hat pillar of the harmonic establishment, issued a challonge. In bebop you can think of the b5 as displacing the 5, not confronting it in hand-to-hand battle like a conventional blue note.

When a simple non-harmonic note chromatically pushes up to a chord tone, it takes on an ornamental role, not that of a collision -causing blue note. …

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