Lesson 2 – The Blues- Hearing the Form

I wrote Those Mornin’ Blues on a morning when I was not wanting to get out of bed. The form is a 12 bar blues. There are three main types of 12 bar blues and the most popular follows a vocalist format. In this lesson I explain the AAB phrasing which will ultimately help you “keep the form”. When listening to the blues, a skilled listener should be able to hear where the musicians are at in the form no matter when the listener starts listening. Knowing the sounds of the 1, 4, & 5 chords is an important beginning for improvising musicians. For more vocal blues tunes in this format check out musicians like Bessie Smith, Joe Williams, BB King, and Ethel Waters. Go and discover these musicians’ music, then look up who they are playing with and branch out from there.

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“Annie and her band did a fabulous job of engaging students from all ages of our string feeder area ­elementary through high school. The students and audience members loved the band’s performance and the high energy they brought to our concert! The students had so much fun learning new songs by rote and the pieces were well-arranged for a variety of levels of playing.”

-Julie Nelson (Orchestra Director, Castle Rock High School)

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