~ story lines ~

~ vamps ~

~ jamms ~

make the bar lines disappear

 

In a nutshell. Bored with your own playing? Cool, you've come to the right place. Just getting started with jamming? Cool, you've come to the right place. Need a vamp / groove to work a melody line over? Cool, you've come to the right place. Need some basic ear training for bass, chords and form? Cool, you've come to the right place. Need some backing tracks to hear your improvised lines over / through the changes? Cool ... :)

What follows are a few vamps and grooves that explore along traditional lines of our Americana musics. Just some ideas to get you started and to have some basic backing tracks to work with.

Vamps / styles. These next half dozen ideas cover the basic styles of our Americana musics. .

Montuno. By downbeat we mean the first beat of each measure. In this next melodic sequence of quarter notes, the downbeat is 'accented', meaning it is played a bit stronger and so sounds a bit louder. Example 1.

Making the bar lines go away. By downbeat we mean the first beat of each measure. In this next melodic sequence of quarter notes, the downbeat is 'accented', meaning it is played a bit stronger and so sounds a bit louder. Example 1.

One drop / reggae. By downbeat we mean the first beat of each measure. In this next melodic sequence of quarter notes, the downbeat is 'accented', meaning it is played a bit stronger and so sounds a bit louder. Example 1.

~ jams ~

Jamms. Nothing beats having a rhythm section to jam with, drums, bass and chords. Here's a few of the basic song forms / jams we often get to hang in. When making music with friends and need a something to get it rolling and start making songs, any of these might do the trick. Learn these by ear and you'll have a good foundation to commence a jamming :)

12 bar blues in 'A.' This jamm is two choruses of 12 bar blues in 'A' with the clave beat, made into a household vamp by Bo Diddley in the 60's. Starting 'right on it', find and play the bass line first a couple of times through if needed

blues in 'A' chords
chorus
12 bar blues
right on it
bass story line
blues scale

12 bar blues in 'A minor.' This jamm is two choruses of 12 bar blues in 'A' minor with the 'big 4' beat.

blues in 'A minor' chord
blues scale
big 4 beat

Review. Here at Essentials, at the core of our American rhythms lives an accented pulse on the 2nd and 4th beats of a measure of 4 / 4 time. We can find this pulse somewhere in every conceivable musical style and their myriad of sub genres. By accenting the 2 and 4, we create a sense of 'pull' away from and towards the downbeat pulse of each measure. It is believed here that in this pulling or stretching of musical time is where the magic of the American swing thing happens.

We can learn to rhythmically swing by singing our melody lines and getting them to capture the essence of our own unique sense of time. We then only have to transfer these ideas to our guitars. Quarter and eighth notes are the swing note values. Even 8th's are perhaps Latin derived and also swing just fine in other styles, although in a bit more of a modern sense perhaps than the traditional 8th note / triplet feel so common of the early Jazzer's of the first half of the last century. And perhaps it's best to simply remember that ...

~ Rhythms (s) ~

~ improv start / pentatonic jams ~

a tempo ~ vamps & jams & rhythms & grooves ~

~ a four bar phrase ~

~ one for each style ~

2 chord vamps ~ 4 to 1 ~ vamps 2 chord hits spooky / too late to turn back now ~

~ vamp lines ~ & ~ space jams ~ ~ shedding loops ~

~ montunos / bass patterns ~

'... getting some miles out of a couple of pitches and a couple of chords ...'

One to Four / major
One to Four / minor
a minor sustain / A D E

non dominant loops /

reggae Db- A maj triad to Ab

C7 ~ Bb7 / C natural minor / minor blues
I b7 4 / hey Jude rock beat 11.1/8 8th 8th bass drum
di
too late to turn back now
A- D7 oye como va
good lovin'

'from children's songs and folk into bluegrass, country and the blues, on through to reggae, rock, hip hop, rap and pop then off to jazz ...'