Sunday, November 18, 2007

playing the blues...

If you're new to playing sax, the Blues is an ideal place to start. But first...

Rules For The Blues

1) Most blues begin "woke up this mornin'."

2) You can't use "Got a good woman" to start a blues unless you insert something nasty in the next line.

Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town

3) Blues are simple. After you have that first line, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.

Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town
Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town
He got teeth like Maggie Thatcher
and he weighs 'bout 500 pounds.

4) The blues are NOT about limitless choice.

5) Appropriate blues transportation includes Chevvies, Cadillacs, Greyhound buses and southbound trains.

6) Walkin' is a major part of the blues lifestyle, as is fixin' to die.

7) You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression. Chicago, Saint Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.

8) The following colors do not belong in the blues:


9) You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong.

10) Good locations for the blues:

The highway
The jailhouse
The empty bed

10a) Bad locations for the blues:

The Gap
Gallery openings
Weekends at the beach

11) No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit unless you are an old black man.

12) You have a right to sing the blues if:

Your first name is a southern state (Georgia)
You're blind
You shot a man in Memphis
You can't be satisfied

12a) You DON'T have a right to sing the blues if:

You were once blind but now can see
You're deaf
You have a trust fund

13) If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues. Other blues beverages are:

Irish whiskey
Muddy water

13a) Blues beverages are NOT:

Any mixed drink
Any wine kosher for Passover
Yoo Hoo

14) Appropriate blues deaths include:

Cheap motels
Shotgun shacks
Stabbed in the back
Electric chair
Substance abuse

14a) Death during liposuction treatments is NOT an acceptable blues death.

15) Creating a blues name:

Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic)
First name or name of fruit (Willie, Bessie, Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, Melon)
Last name of a US President

Example - Cripple Lemon Clinton

15a) People with names like Sequoia or Sierra will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

16) Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means you're old enough to get the electric chair for shooting a man in Memphis.
Didn't write it, full credit to the author. And now those links:

12-bar Blues according to Cardiff University
5 lessons on the 12-bar blues form again, but with specific activities for all you 'structured types', plus midi audio tracks to put it into context.

A road-map for the 12-bar blues. Scales, how to build tension, telling a story.


At 3:01 PM, Blogger info said...

excellent, made me laugh (in fact I'm still giggling away from time to time). I suppose you're saying that as I'm sitting here in my study, in depeest Sussex, happily self-employed and working from home I just "ain't gonna get it". And I thought I couldn't play - glad it's not my fault, that's a relief!

Great resource at the foot of the post though, really useful. Many thanks, Phil


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