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What kind of material do modern Blues bands play?


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Title says it all. I'm looking for something different.

I hate modern "Rock"... as in, when it comes on the radio, I change the channel or actually turn it off. I love Classic Rock and Heavy Metal, but in the "Post-Nu/Rap Metal" era, I can't stand what is out there. It's just not my thing.

I tried playing it, and I was quite good at it, but I simply didn't ENJOY playing it.

 

I've seen a few ads for blues bands looking for drummers... one of them told me that evidently there is a shortage of drummers into this in our area.

And the light went on - I'm game. I'm early 40's, played drums since I was 8, have a great feel (grew up on Bonham) and I play for the singer - meaning in my point of view the singer is the most important part of the band, so I play with a less is more mindset, and I don;t feel the need to hit the drums as hard as I can.

 

 

I fully intend to put another Metal band together in the future, but right now I'm looking to gig, to play for a different crowd, etc. and bring in some positive cash flow at the same time.

Normally, I'm the guy that provides the PA - but not for the time being - I'm just looking to play drums and let somebody else deal with all of that.

 

 

Thanks guys,

 

Ed

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This is all the information you need, LOL. They'll even give you style tips like tan pants, socks with sandals, and bowling shirts.

 

In all seriousness, check out stuff like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bonnamassa, John Mayer, Robben Ford, even some Allmans and stuff like that. Southern rock has a LOT of what all the kidz are calling modern blues these days.

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I would want to hear traditional Blues like Little Milton, Howlin' Wolf or Muddy Waters along with Tommy Castro style bands with one or two horns. A friend's band plays in central Florida which has a small Blues scene and these are the styles of artists that get covered.

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You'll need to learn some basic beats such as the shuffle, the flat tire, the funky dunk and the whap a dang......

 

Seriously, it's the same everywhere, blues drummers are hard to come by, maybe because the style is not very complex and challenging to most drummers? :idk:

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You'll need to learn some basic beats such as the shuffle, the flat tire, the funky dunk and the whap a dang......


Seriously, it's the same everywhere, blues drummers are hard to come by, maybe because the style is not very complex and challenging to most drummers?
:idk:

 

Four-on-the-floor seems to be the meat and potatoes of contemporary drumming, and that won't cut it for blues. Playing a shuffle well is a lost art.

 

. . . and what is a "whap-a-dang"? Link, please.

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. . . and what is a "whap-a-dang"? Link, please.

 

 

I've no idea, but I remember seeing a Craigslist ad from a while back from a guy looking to start a Blues band and those were the beats he required the drummer to know......

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You'll need to learn some basic beats such as the shuffle, the flat tire, the funky dunk and the whap a dang......


Seriously, it's the same everywhere, blues drummers are hard to come by, maybe because the style is not very complex and challenging to most drummers?
:idk:

 

I actually find that a lot of drummers can't play blues to save their life. It can be very complex. There is a lot more to it than the standard 6/8. I wish I had a nickel for every drummer I heard in a blues jam who thought a shuffle was a boom-chuck country feel. I auditioned one drummer for my band a few weeks ago who came highly recommended. He could play complex jazz riffs, double bass rock, and all kinds of stuff quite well. When I asked him to give me a simple 4/4 with a heavy backbeat, way on the back side of the beat, and he couldn't do it. Same thing when I asked for a simple funk thing. He fell back on lots of fills and complexity to try to mask the fact he couldn't play on the back beat. He was a fine drummer for what he was used to playing, but the stuff I was giving him was more of a feel than a technical exercise. He didn't feel it because he never played the kind of stuff I do. I'm not faulting him, he was good at what he did, but drummers who think playing in blues bands is easy are often quite mistaken.

 

Whether it bores them or not is another matter.

 

Here are some of the songs my modern blues band plays:

 

[video=youtube;dpZLWMo7A7w]

 

 

Nevilles:

 

[video=youtube;zoHrn3upTnU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoHrn3upTnU&feature=related

 

 

Kenny Neal

[video=youtube;CaaeXhGuVOY]

 

Johnny "Guitar" Watson

 

[video=youtube;T6F_v3UA9vM]

 

Ray Charles

 

[video=youtube;ToBJ5VzEhNw]

 

Delbert McClinton- real heavy backbeat

 

[video=youtube;T8rTjxlM5ZM]

 

Lloyd Jones (Local Portland boy!) drummer shuffles like a mofo!

 

[video=youtube;NFFND0z2rhw]

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I don't know where you live, but around here looking to gig and playing in a blues band are almost mutually exclusive, especially if positive cash flow is a consideration.

 

 

Ain't that the truth. You do it because you love it. When guys like Lucky Peterson are driving around the country in a 7 year old minivan pulling a trailer doing one nighters in clubs, that's a pretty good indication of where the market is.

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^^^^^!!!!


I lean over to our drummer and whisper, "It's like this, "dehShhookeh-dooka, Shhookeh-dook / dehShhookeh-dooka, Shhookeh-dook." Next thing I hear is chick-chick-chick-chick. Um... mm. Or that.

 

 

Ah yes, "drummer-ese!" "Hey, it goes 'casaba-casaba-ka-boop boop boop ka-FLAM!....you know what I'm sayin', right? "

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...a lot of drummers can't play blues to save their life. It
is relatively
complex. There is a lot more to it than...a boom-chuck country feel...drummers who think playing in blues bands is easy are
absolutely
mistaken.

 

 

Fixed your post.

 

Playing any of several varities of legit/authentic blues shuffles is a challenge, period, and to be able to do so convincingly is a sign of skill and technical ability.

I know I can't shuffle to save my life, and on the rare occasions I'm asked to play one in prepping for a gig, I make it clear to those involved that I am caucasian first and foremost...

 

I don't even feel comfortable playing "Jackie Wilson Said" fer cripes sake...

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The basic blues beats are: The shuffle and it's variations (Texas shuffle, Chicago shuffle etc), New Orleans Second line, Shave and a Haircut 2 bits (the Bo Diddley beat), applied clave rhythms, applied mambo rhythms, and of course, basic backbeat rock style stuff.

 

It is also VERY important to be able to manipulate pushing and pulling time by playing on, ahead or behind the beat at will.

 

Regarding the shuffle: In Nashville the shuffle is high art; a pre requisite to getting ANY gig in town. If you can't shuffle in a bunch of different styles, you won't work. Blues shuffles, country shuffles, all of em. The shuffle, when done right is cool on the outside and burning on the inside. It's technically easy, but hard to make feel right. Here's a technical look at a great medium or medium-up tempo shuffle:

 

Ride: plays the swing 8ths pattern ON or a little AHEAD of the beat.

Kick: plays one and three a smidge BEHIND the beat....bassist MUST BE LOCKED IN to the drag.

Snare: depending on the shuffle type, plays on two and four and plays dead ON the beat.

 

Another variation is to let the kick and ride drag while the snare is dead on pushing ahead a bit.

 

Try making that feel natural for 5 tunes a set! These cats don't {censored} around! And their tempo doesn't budge a micromilli-whatever unless they want it to (Russian Dragons go home quick round these parts). I love playing with those players that when they start their shuffle, you just sigh and go "ahhhhhhhhhh"....it has a burning quality while still staying relaxed.

 

Do that and have chops like Vinnie Coliauta, and I'll mow your damn lawn to get you to play with me.....

 

(btw most of this comes from some time I spend hanging with the great Eddie Bayers)

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The basic blues beats are: The shuffle and it's variations (Texas shuffle, Chicago shuffle etc), New Orleans Second line, Shave and a Haircut 2 bits (the Bo Diddley beat), applied clave rhythms, applied mambo rhythms, and of course, basic backbeat rock style stuff.


It is also VERY important to be able to manipulate pushing and pulling time by playing on, ahead or behind the beat at will.


Regarding the shuffle: In Nashville the shuffle is high art; a pre requisite to getting ANY gig in town. If you can't shuffle in a bunch of different styles, you won't work. Blues shuffles, country shuffles, all of em. The shuffle, when done right is cool on the outside and burning on the inside. It's technically easy, but hard to make feel right. Here's a technical look at a great medium or medium-up tempo shuffle:


Ride: plays the swing 8ths pattern ON or a little AHEAD of the beat.

Kick: plays one and three a smidge BEHIND the beat....bassist MUST BE LOCKED IN to the drag.

Snare: depending on the shuffle type, plays on two and four and plays dead ON the beat.


Another variation is to let the kick and ride drag while the snare is dead on pushing ahead a bit.


Try making that feel natural for 5 tunes a set! These cats don't {censored} around! And their tempo doesn't budge a micromilli-whatever unless they want it to (Russian Dragons go home quick round these parts). I love playing with those players that when they start their shuffle, you just sigh and go "ahhhhhhhhhh"....it has a burning quality while still staying relaxed.


Do that and have chops like Vinnie Coliauta, and I'll mow your damn lawn to get you to play with me.....


(btw most of this comes from some time I spend hanging with the great Eddie Bayers)

 

 

There's a guy here locally who must be close to 70 now who used to play drums with Jay and the Americans back in the 60s.That guy is the best shuffle player I ever worked with, period. You don't really know it until you hear it but like you said, it feels like the stars all line up and all is right with the universe. It really is a rare thing.

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The best shuffle drummer I ever played with owned a club we worked at. Wasn't very good at rock beats, but we counted off "Kansas City" and the bass player and I started grinning at each other. His version had both hands playing "a one a two a three" . . . as opposed to a swing beat. . . . BUT the trick is to play the hit in front of the beat LATE.

 

Same thing if you've ever heard a group of Viennese musicians play a waltz. It's one two three one two three. The three is just a hair late . . . always.

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The first band I was in... this would be 1974... that drummer was raised on the stuff. Bob Wills, Krupa, Elvis. Shuffles were standard fare. I learned quick to get the pick up notes of my walking bass lines in step with any given feel. From straight to hard shuffle and anywhere in between. Now though, it's not really a style or beat that falls into the standard repertoire outside of blues and jazz. Then, to be a rock drummer, you had to shuffle too. Bonham could and did. Ringo, Watts. All the Brit Invasion and American groups had shuffles. Right through to the classic rock of the 70's. Now it's more kitschy and laughable. Too bad.

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THAT's a proper/legit shuffle IMO; the snare shuffles right along with the hats/ride.

 

 

Did you check out that last video I posted of Lloyd Jones? That guy he has drumming for him can shuffler the way I like it! The snare feels almost late, it's so laid back. The bass player playing almost all quarter notes helps that feel.

 

 

I got to play that same stage a few years ago.

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I actually find that a lot of drummers can't play blues to save their life. It can be very complex. There is a lot more to it than the standard 6/8. I wish I had a nickel for every drummer I heard in a blues jam who thought a shuffle was a boom-chuck country feel.

 

I wish I had a nickel for every drummer that discounted blues because it was too simple/boring, only to choke when he tried to maintain a simple "Tore Down" type beat for more than one chorus. "It's not so easy is it?!!" At the same time, living in Texas I've been blessed to play with a few really good blues drummers including my current drummer. He's mid-60s, experienced, and knows what I'm going to play before I play it. Magic stuff to have a friend like that.

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I wish I had a nickel for every drummer that discounted blues because it was too simple/boring, only to choke when he tried to maintain a simple "Tore Down" type beat for more than one chorus. "It's not so easy is it?!!" At the same time, living in Texas I've been blessed to play with a few really good blues drummers including my current drummer. He's mid-60s, experienced, and knows what I'm going to play before I play it. Magic stuff to have a friend like that.

 

 

The same can be said for bassists, rhythm guitar players, and piano and organ players. Blues appears simple if you don't look beyond the alleged simplicity.

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There's a guy here locally who must be close to 70 now who used to play drums with Jay and the Americans back in the 60s.That guy is the best shuffle player I ever worked with, period. You don't really know it until you hear it but like you said, it feels like the stars all line up and all is right with the universe. It really is a rare thing.

 

 

Man it kinda is. There is a handful of guys always around Nash that are really good....but those special cats....man you can just feel it....the air in the room changes, and the shuffle just COMMANDS the room....the best one I played with was like 17 years ago...can't remember his name but dammit I remember the feel of his shuffle like it was yesterday...he was Italian and he was from NYC with a Brooklyn accent....said he was on Don Kirshner's call list in the 60's...named a couple of Monkees cuts he said he played on.....and man, when he laid it down there was no question....my guitar played itself.

 

Most of the info in my other post came from discussions with Nash session stud Eddie Bayers, who has a sick shuffle. Another guy around town who has an amazing shuffle is Billy Block. He is more known for having an alt country radio show, but he should be more known for his shuffle....damn.....

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Four-on-the-floor seems to be the meat and potatoes of contemporary drumming, and that won't cut it for blues. Playing a shuffle well is a lost art.


. . . and what is a "whap-a-dang"? Link, please.

 

 

"Whap-a-dang." Sounds like the kind of thing that could get you arrested if you did it in public....

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