12/8 Grooves & Rhythms
In this lesson we explore a key style that is associated with New Orleans music; the 12/8 groove.
The 12/8 groove is a sound that became popular in New Orleans music in the 1940/50s and continued into the 1960s. It’s best associated with Fats Domino who was one of the most famous musicians to come out of New Orleans in the 20th century.
The Basic 12/8 Groove
To construct a basic 12/8 groove we play 8th note triplets in our right hand over a repeating left hand bass pattern. We explore this groove using triads in our right hand and next with extended chord voicings including 9th and 13th chords.
The 12/8 sound from New Orleans become popular in the surrounding towns in the bayous and swamps. A style evolved around this 12/8 groove which was named swamp pop. Jon demonstrates an example of swamp pop with vocals.
12-8 Rhythms & Grooves File Type: pdf
Fats Domino 12/8 Groove Audio File Type: mp3
Fats Domino 12/8 Groove Midi File Type: midi
Learn the basic 12/8 rhythmic figure using triads in the right hand over the left hand bass line.
Extend the basic triad voicing to include 6ths, 9ths, and 13ths.
Slur or grace note off the b3rd in your left hand bass line.
Explore the discography of Fats Domino and Smiley Lewis who are best associated with the 12/8 groove.
Lay heavily into the upbeat of the bass line to add some swing as Jon demonstrates. Emulate Jon's accents and phrasing.