T-Bone Walker 'chordal' lesson

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by klasaine, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Specifically the "Stormy Monday" chord voicings.

    No lead stuff discussed here.
    There's already a ton of tutorials on that.

    This is by request. From both a personal friend and also another member here and is related to the earlier 9th chord thread.

    Disclosure and caveat ... I talk a lot. Maybe too much. I'm also a bit scattered as I'm trying to pack a fair amount of info into a relatively short format.
    Important to keep in mind that there are three commonly known T-Bone studio versions: one from 1947, one from 1956 and one from 1968. All very cool! I talk about the similarities in these rec'd versions (not the differences). There are also a ton of live versions out there (in a few different keys and lotsa different band configs).
    There is of course also the classic Allman Brother's version from the Fillmore East recording. I do delve into that one briefly and again, only in how it relates to the original T-Bone versions.



    TBoneWalker.jpeg
     
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  2. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks @klasaine

    I hope there’s some discussion - I love to play this progression and there’s, as you said, versions and variations.
     
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  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    T-Bone Walker is a huge influence on me, chordally as well as melodically. I love to talk about this stuff.
    One of the coolest things about t-bone records are the other guitar players that he has playing rhythm and some leads.
     
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  4. tominwa

    tominwa Tele-Meister

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    Yup......added this last year. Took a while to make it flow, I kept wanting to throttle it. I also found a lead line he did and was transposed. Such an expressive piece of music. Beautiful song and the variations you can come up with just come out once you get comfortable with it. I put a nice snapping opening then arpeggio and drop into the 9th slide. Well worth the time to learn this one. After you learn his stuff you see just how sophisticated T-Bone truly was. I'm sure Charlie Christian was pushing the best out of him in that regard...and visa versa. What a group that came out of that time.
     
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  5. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    See that smiling guy that’s my avatar? I’d bet he’d love to talk to you about this stuff too.

    I’m just a spectator - but I do wonder about using a seventh for the I chord, and hammering from the major to minor third (on the g string) to roll into the C9. Do you ever play it that way?
     
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  6. tominwa

    tominwa Tele-Meister

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    I was going to send you a PM on this thread but thought doing it in public would be better. I would love to see a t-bone thread develop. You are the perfect person to proctor it. I'm tempted to go up and record a video playing it myself. I've also picked up another one of his pieces and like you, I could talk about T-bone all day. I can't express enough the influence he has had on me.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  8. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Here's a live performance where T Bone does that 6th to 9th sliding lick. Some great lead work by T Bone in it too.

     
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  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    When I get done stealing T-Bone licks, I move to stealing licks from his sax player.
    Some great stuff there.
     
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  10. Shidoin

    Shidoin Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Big T-Bone fan here. Even though I know that stuff, I enjoyed watching the video; very well done. Thanks for calling attention to a foundation player.

    I was smart enough (a rare thing!) to buy this Mosaic 6 CD set back when it came out; Great Picture of T-Bone
    [​IMG]

    Here's another great picture from the accompanying booklet:
    [​IMG]
    I definitely would like to see a T-Bone epic thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK then. My lack of 'long form' video tutorial skills didn't turn too many folks off. Good!

    One of the elements of T-Bone records that hit me immediately was the band. Always great players and super tight arrangements. I was also impressed at how funky he was before a lot of guys were doing that (Slim Harpo too!).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  12. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Huge, huge T-Bone fan... Who begot, Gatemouth Brown, BB King and the myriad that followed. I listen to so much T-Bone, and I love it when I recognize a lick I stole directly from him, when I'm on stage and playing. One thing I sincerely love about T-Bone walker is play with timing. He works all around the beat, and stutters and hesitates in all the right places.

    Funny thing about Stormy Monday. It is played at so many Blues Jams and Open Mics, it can be tiresome... But, when done even remotely properly, it is easily one of my favorite standards.

    I studied the Allman/Blue Bland changes first, then moved backwards to T-Bone. If you listen to the original recording, T-Bone plays it much more straight up, without the Am/Bm/Bbm walking bit. That's actually in a different T-Bone song (which I can never remember when I'm telling this story). But, after Bobby Blue Bland released his version, and it became so popular, T-Bone eventually gave in and started playing it that way himself....

    It's also funny to me, that these changes are so simple, just some simple substitutions, and chromatic moves, but they seem to be so difficult for some folks to get down at first. It's still just a 12 bar Blues with a quick IV. There are just a few 'jazzy' chords thrown in... The m7's and dominant 9ths, and of course the lovely augmented chord at the end of the progression. Maybe it's the 12/8 timing?

    Gatemouth Brown used these changes for The Drifter, which I cover, and I use the Allman changes straight up. As much as many people love to play it, I am not sure how many other songs have absconded with the changes. Any other examples y'all can think of?
     
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  13. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Exactly!
    His piano players would hint at it occasionally but yeah, he didn't play it on that tune until later (I can't remember the other tune you're referring to either Axis29). *That walk up: G9 - Am7 - Bm7 to either an altered E7 or Bbm7, is a super common thing to do in a real jazz blues progression.

    I think it's the initial, rootless G9 shape that's elusive: X2323X
    For most folks, somebody has to show it to you or, you have to be a little serious about jazz guitar playing. My guitar teacher showed it to me. From the guitar POV, that voicing is the key (pun intended) to the song.

    In the 1968 version from the Stormy Monday record (and 1973 re-issue Dirty Mistreater album), he does a great D+7 chord lick in bar nine, moving up and down the fretboard in the initial solo before the vox enter. This was the first T-Bone version I heard. *My personal fave is the 1956 T-Bone Blues rendition. That entire record is pure gold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  14. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    Great lesson! I realized a few things I was doing differently than the original T-Bone version and will try out your version (which sounds very authentic).
     
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  15. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks so much for this. Subscribed to your YouTube channel, too.

    Embarrassed to admit I just realized I don't even own a copy of "Stormy Monday", though I've heard it a million times. I've had the Imperial collection for years and have spent much time poring over it, but no "Stormy Monday".

    One thing I typically do differently is I play the C9 above without the root in the bottom, typically just ending with the E on the D-string in the bottom. Advisable, or not? I think I got that from watching/listening to Jimmie Vaughan.

    Scott
     
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  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    phrasing: vocal
    picking: lots of downstrokes
    vibe: the guitar is an instrument to DO something to the listener

    he carries it like a) a baby, and b) he's about to push it off into the audience
     
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  17. Chanan

    Chanan Tele-Meister

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    For the most part, as far as I understand, the ‘classic’ stormy Monday changes are from the Allman Bros. That being said, I’m only really familiar with one of the three T-Bone versions the OP referenced.

    It interesting to note though, that Billie Holiday played the same changes quite a few years earlier...
     
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  18. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The Allmans took the changes from Bobby Blue Bland version. In the intro on Live at the Filmore, Greg even hints at it.... He says, "We're gonna play this ole Bobby Blue Bland, actually, it's a T-Bone Walker song". They knew it from Bobby Blue Bland. Bobby might have had a bigger hit with it than T-Bone?

    The original, Call It Stormy Monday, was released in 1948. It seems there is some confusion on the original recording date.

    ...And, it's still driving me crazy trying to figure out the T-Bone song with the changes.... LOL
     
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  19. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    All good. The root in the bottom isn't necessary, especially if there's a bass player and/or a piano player or a second guitarist. *If it was just me accompanying a singer, I'd probably play the low C.

    Absolutely.
    Jazzers have been playing those changes since the 20s.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  20. kidmo

    kidmo Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the lesson, it will keep me busy for a while :cool:
     
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