Country Swing and Jazz Chord progressions

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Twangbanger, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Twangbanger

    Twangbanger Tele-Holic

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    I want to learn how to play the chord progressions that follow country swing a la Jazz style. It's the technique that follows the bass line. I need just a push in the right direction and can go from there. Like Eldon Shamblin did and some of the other greats.

    Do I follow the bass lines with the chords for each note in the bass scale or is there something else going on there.

    Redd knows how to do it and if ya step in on this just shoot me an email.
    Thanx guys,
    Bryan
     
  2. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

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    You need a grasp on arpeggios, target intervals, chromatic passing tones, and chord substitution, and you need to do a bunch of listening to swing bass lines. If those considerations are in line, what I'd recommend is to learn to walk bass (and jab chords) over swing standards by the likes of Gershwin, Basie, and Ellington. Moves contained within the chord progressions of classic standards will generally serve Western Swing quite well. However, every stylistic genre has its pet sounds - Western Swing bass lines tend to be quite fond of 6th intervals. Also, get the book "Mickey Baker Jazz Volume I", and watch how the bass is placed within those guitar voicings over standards.

    Leon Grizzard is our resident Western Swing specialist at this sub forum. If my advice doesn't apply, Leon's probably the guy to set you straight.
     
  3. Twangbanger

    Twangbanger Tele-Holic

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    Thanx. I'm gonna talk to our bass player tomorrow night and if the fiddle player shows, I'll see what his theory is on the technique.
     
  4. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    The basic idea is to keep the chord of the moment on the middle or upper strings, and play a bass line on the lower strings. The bass line is usually just walking the major or dominant scale, sometimes with a diminished chord filling in chromatically. Here are a few posts I've done in the past to get you started.

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tab-tips-theory-technique/54176-ida-red-passing-chords.html

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tab-tips-theory-technique/52071-slippin-around-floyd-tillman.html

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tab-tips-theory-technique/63108-roly-poly.html
     
  5. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Am I the only person who finds he can do something on the guitar but when somebody explains what it is I'm doing, I get real confused. :lol:
     
  6. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Minor Chords

    You don’t play a lot of minor chords in Western Swing, but what is very common is the B part going to the relative minor. A typical B part, in the key of C, goes:

    |Am/E7/|Am///|D7///|G7///| or

    |E7///|Am///|D7///|G7///|

    So either way you get that second measure with the relative minor, Am, to fool around with. I don’t have a lot of shtick for this situation, but here is what I often play. It is written as block chords, but I would play bass-strum. In place of the E7, you could play Bm7b5 (7x776x), or E7b9 (7x676x). B diminished sounds pretty good too.

    Code:
        Am    E7    Am     E7
    ----5---------------------------
    ----5---------------------------
    ----5-----7-----9------7--------
    ----7-----6-----7------6--------
    ----7---------------------------
    ----5-----7-----8------7--------
      
    Similarly, if the minor chord has its root on the 5th string:
    Code:
        Dm    A7    Dm    A7
    ----5-----5-----------5---------
    ----6-----5-----6-----5---------
    ----7-----6-----7-----6---------
    ----7-----5-----7-----5---------
    ----5-----7-----8-----7---------
    --------------------------------
    
    Here is a one measure walk down:

    Code:
        Dm   Dm/C#   Dm/C  Dm/B or Dm/B   
    ---------------------------------------
    -------------------------------6-------
    ----10---10------10----10------7-------
    ----7----7-------7-----7-------7-------
    ---------------------------------------
    ----10---9-------8-----7-------7-------
                                                       
     
  7. Twangbanger

    Twangbanger Tele-Holic

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    Thanx for the info, I'll try some of that tonight when I' nice and warmed up from my gig.
     
  8. dangelico603

    dangelico603 Tele-Meister

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    A lot of the country jazz stuff uses very common progressions like rhythm changes etc.. There are also some common turnarounds like I I7 IV #IVdim I. Western swing style comping and what a modern jazz players approach to chords+bassline are two different things though. The Western swing version is a two-beat feel and not a swing 4/4. Try this progression (play the root first then the chord for the 2-beat feel) A / A#dim / Bmin7 / E7 / repeat then A / C#min7 / D / D#dim / A with E in the bass then A / E7 / A /// (all these chords are getting half a measure each except the final measure of A). Hope that makes sense.
    Jason
     
  9. Stackabones

    Stackabones Tele-Meister

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    Good post. Right on. I'm amazed that so many players don't have a clue about the rhythm changes.

    Those western swing players considered themselves jazzmen. Don't forget that swing=jazz. Some of those western swing comping styles have the same kind of drive as the gypsy jazzer's le pompe. :)
     
  10. dangelico603

    dangelico603 Tele-Meister

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    You are right the two biggest influences on the western swing guys were Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. Also in my last post I said to play a C#min7, well that is not exactly right. I play an A7 with the C# in the bass. Either will work but the G# in the min7 chord would resolve to the 5 of D which is not as strong a resolution G to F# (7 to 5 as apposed to b7 to 3). Hope that helps.
    Jason
     
  11. eclipse

    eclipse Tele-Meister

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    Hey, see if you can find the September 2007 issue of Guitar Player. There is a great article on beginning Western Swing. It will have you playing a sock rhythm in no time.
     
  12. dibber124

    dibber124 Tele-Afflicted

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    NO!:eek:
     
  13. Stackabones

    Stackabones Tele-Meister

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  14. eclipse

    eclipse Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for that Stakabones.
     
  15. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Another place to learn is from Texas style Fiddle accompanists. Key of E:

     
  16. Twangbanger

    Twangbanger Tele-Holic

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    Thanx Leon!
    Yeah, I play with Ricky Turpin and I need to sit down with him and learn some of his stuff.
     
  17. texas_surfer

    texas_surfer TDPRI Member

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    I know these threads are several years old but I just wanted to say Thank You to Leon for all the incredible information hes given within this and the numerous others on Western Swing.

    The new group Im in wants to do an Original song in the Western Swing style and out of all the various techniques and styles Ive studied over the years, this wasnt one of them! Im more comfortable playing regular Jazz changes on Miles and Coltrane songs than playing this stuff! This has been a great help to get me going in the right direction!

    Also came across this article from Premier Guitar with a lesson and sound clips.

    http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2011/Dec/Twang_101_Western_Swing_Rhythm.aspx
     
  18. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Surfer Dude - Thanks for your kind words to all of us.

    I disagree with the Premier Guitar article. I think the basic major chord type should be the triad, not the 6th chord. I use 6th chords a lot if I am playing on the upper strings, G6 = xx5453, but not as a basic rhythm chord type with the 6th in the middle register like shown in that article. When I went to that Guitar Player article cited above, it did not show the music examples, but the text says major triad and seventh chords as being the basic forms, and I have seen the article and that is what is shown. That is also what is shown in Joe Carr's materials; he is a well respected teacher in the style. I'll pimp my own stuff here - I have a YouTube series on Western Swing Rhythm Guitar. Here is the first one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44zOQ8MpFYs

    I have attached two PDFs of tabs for Faded Love and Take Me Back to Tulsa of Eldon Shamblin's playing on his instructional video, and you will see that his basic I chord is the triad, also. His style is more complex and richer than I, or Joe Carr, or the author of the Guitar Player article teach.
     

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  19. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Leon's lessons are the mac daddy of Western Swing rhythm playing.
    And I agree with him regarding the Premier Guitar article.
    Those notated examples are much more of a 1940s standard jazz swing style. Which can be used judiciously in Western Swing but not as a starting/beginners point of reference.
    *The Freddie Green lesson link'd from the PG page is good (Campilongo lesson) but again it's more of the jazz/swing thing.
     
  20. texas_surfer

    texas_surfer TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much Leon and Klasaine! This is all gonna be a great help! Always excited to learn new approaches and styles. Just when you think the whole neck is unlocked to you and you can fake your way thru anything, along comes stuff like this! I love it. My Steel player had mentioned that 6th chords were used a lot more than reg 7th style jazz chords so when I saw the PG article I figured I was on the right track but your lessons and tips are really the sound I think they are looking for to apply to the original song. Hoping the add some of the standard Swing songs to the set too!
     
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