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The Blues of a Final Beginning; or the Beginning of a Final Blues

February 28, 2016

The fourth week of the Deborah Henson Conant (DHC) Blues HarpStyle, and I started working on the final blues tune. 
My ideas as I started were to keep it as easy to execute/play as possible,  (so I didn’t have to work hard; the slacker in me comes out), and to this end I thought I would try to keep scale-wise movement in the right hand. I also wanted lots of dissonance, to tweak and break the expected blues sound/form.  So when the scalar right hand started sounding rough to my ears, I wanted to emphasize that. I wanted to experiment with simple, uncomplicated upward and downward movement in my right and left hand, too.
Always contrary me; do something different, so played the slap bass in the opposite direction as taught. Instead of starting on the top note of the octave, I started my slap bass on the bottom. I tried to get as much dissonance going as seemed acceptable, without unpleasantness. I violated the 12 measure blues format, I think; I didn't pay attention, because this was a hybrid, a flat scale, and as I wouldn't be playing with other instruments,  why not offend the 12 measure format. The question is, do I like it, for any reason other than it being other than what I was taught? When does my contrary reaction get in its own way? This will be explored in much detail in the future, I am sure.
I came up with a vamp for the middle section, which was a simple and an interesting contrast to the melody that had gone before (head in blues terms). But this vamp posed lots of difficulties when I tried to improvise against it in the right hand. I wrestled a lot with this, and my ear went to syncopating the right hand, instead of swinging the rhythm.
Since I had 2 more weeks to work at this, I didn’t overwork the ideas, but thought I was close enough to an end product. And I liked what I heard well enough.














The video I posted shows me forgetting where I am, and flailing in the air trying to remember. I used this video, despite this blip, because this was the quarter-baked version, and I had lots of time to smooth that over.
I was to come up with a story or lyrics for my tune, and I dashed out the following, just so I could say I had done it:
The Session Blues
Can't recall the tune name,
it all starts to sound the same;
Don't know how many A parts I've played,
Don’t know how many mistakes I've made;
fingers don't remember the notes, when I do know the tune;
feels like its time to pack it up, and leave for home soon .
Corny, and I will not be singing it!

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