In lesson 2, "Blues Rock Tune," the first chord in the tune is an A instead of an A7. I was a little confused by this, because on the previous page of the book John had stated that a blues is in a I7, IV7, V7 format. Did he choose to use an A chord in the tune instead of an A7 for a particular reason? Is that common to do?
Post by bluesbruce on Jan 16, 2023 10:40:21 GMT -6
I am sitting in an airport, so don't have BYCU or a guitar with me, but I'll take a stab at this. You can use either major chords (comprised of the root, third, and fifth notes of a scale) or dominant seventh chords (the root, third, and fifth, PLUS the flatted seventh note) in a blues. Dominant sevenths chords, though, are used much more commonly in the blues than simple major chords. Try it yourself - strum a simple 12 bar blues using A major, D major, and E major; then strum a 12-bar pattern using A7, D7, and E7. Which sounds more "bluesy"? Other chord types (minor chords, minor seventh chords, 5 chords, ninth chords, etc.) can also be used. You will see these as you progress through BYCU. Hope that helps some. If not, please ask for more clarification! Maybe someone else can give a more comprehensible explanation than I can!
Post by wannaplayblues on Jan 16, 2023 11:21:25 GMT -6
I agree with bluesbruce and will only add a couple of things:
1) I think it's done to add melodic movement to the piece - notice that the next time it's an A7. As John details, the chords are adding "punctuation".
2) With 4 bars of a 1 chord (in this case 'A' related) it allows freedom of expression
3) If there's other instruments playing the chord (like a piano) they're probably covering all the notes too - so you're free to play only portions of them anyhow you like - an 'A' chord is the same as an 'A7' minus a note, so it won't sound bad against an 'A7' played by another instrument. Other options are to drop the root note if there's a bass guitar - and even drop the 5th note if you want!
The chord indicated is a suggestion - if it sounds good, you're doing fine
...just wait 'till you play chords for jazz
"I hear you talkin' son, but you 'aint sayin' nothin'" - Will McFarlane quoting Muddy Waters hearing a really fast guitar player