Question: What is a "vamp"?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by emu!, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    Occasionally I jam with musicians that refer to the beginning of a song as a "vamp". Is this just a one chord riff? Would the beginning of CCR's Born on the Bayou be a vamp?
     
  2. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    Yep! I don't think it has to be just one chord though. Mostly it is just hanging around waiting the for the fun to begin.

    Dan
     
  3. blacklinefish

    blacklinefish Tele-Afflicted

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    I am curious if there is an accepted limit to the length of a vamp.
     
  4. Parma_TeleMon

    Parma_TeleMon Friend of Leo's

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    Vamp is a technique that's been around a long time. Vaudville acts used to use it to provide background music for their bits, interspersed with the classic rimshot to accent the punch line. A vamp is used in musical theatre as well - just a segment of music repeated over and over again, often for an unspecified amount of time, or as Daddydex put it, until the fun starts.
     
  5. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    A couple of classic vamps:
    C / Dm7 / Em7 / Dm7 / repeated

    C / C#d / Dm7 / G7 / repeated

    C / A7 / D7 / G7 / repeated
     
  6. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    When I hear the word "vamp", I immediately think of the Ebm7 - Bbm7 vamp from "Take Five". But I think that we're all missing the obvious here:

     
  7. FirstBassman

    FirstBassman Friend of Leo's

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  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  9. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did a burlesque show for a long time, we played lots of vamps. No ... played with lots of vamps, I mean played for the vamps. Wait - what?

    Repetitive chord progression, generally 2 to 4 bars.
    'Usually' no real melody per se but there can be a rhythmic lick in there as long as it's repetitive.
    Occasionally you'll hear guys blow over the 'vamp' changes.
    An intro that repeats until singer enters the stage.
    Musical backing behind a physical comedy routine, magic act, etc.
     
  10. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for the info guys.

    (Wow, Cher was REALLY hot back then) :)
     
  11. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    Favorite Bugs Bunny line: "Hey Meastro, break into a vamp,"
     
  12. rsguitarplayer

    rsguitarplayer TDPRI Member

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    On Vamps

    A Vamp is a static chord or chord progression that can function as an intro an outro or both, and generally can go anywhere from 4 bars to a whole chorus (32 Bars).
     
  13. gtrplr

    gtrplr Tele-Meister

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    Short for "Vampire".

    As in "Aren't you a little short for a vampire?"

    Sorry guys, lack of sleep.
     
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