8 Bar Blues: Maximum Funk
In this final lesson of the 8 bar blues course we explore the different levels of funk that we can apply to the 8 bar and show the contrast between very straight, and very syncopated.
So far we have been looking primarily at the harmonic aspect of the 8 bar blues and how we utilise passing chords, reharmonisations, and chord substitutions to embellish the basic 3 chords in the blues.
We also explored how the left hand can be used to stretch, pull, and push on the rhythms to create energy, excitement, and a funky vibe.
Straight vs. Syncopated
Jon demonstrates 2 different approaches to playing the 8 bar blues. The first approach is one where we play with a straight triplet vibe similar to the styles of Fats Domino and Smiley Lewis. Jon then demonstrates the other end of the syncopation level.
The final performance of “Tipitina” is the way that the funky 8 bar blues is interpreted in New Orleans. This is a fantastic vehicle for stretching out the rhythm and the harmony of the 8 bar blues.
12/8 Feel with Basic Voicings File Type: pdf
12/8 Groove with Substitutions File Type: pdf
Basic Funk Syncopation File Type: pdf
Funky Blues With Chord Substitutions File Type: pdf
Once we are comfortable with the basic chord changes we can start to play around with the feel of the 8 bar blues and the level of syncopation.
Remember that the substitutions in the 8 bar blues are optional. Many of the most popular early New Orleans R&B songs were played with the basic 1-4-5 changes.