Brian Setzer 'Straight Up'

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raboof
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Brian Setzer 'Straight Up'

Postby raboof » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:18 pm

I sometimes make some small arrangements for the horn sections of bands I play in - nothing very fancy, nice to do though.

This time I set out to arrange 'Straight Up', which sounded (to me :) ) like a fairly straight-up bluesy song.

First, the key. It seemed pretty obvious the tonic of the song would be 'G': all the fat horn punches and the final note are G's, so that seemed like a safe bet. Quick doodling: this must be G major.

So my first intuition was that this would be just a 12-bar major blues in G: "GGGGCCGGDCGG."

However, the nice catchy recurring bassline turnaround over 'DC' is 'a b c des, d c b a g'. That doesn't seem right. Ha! This appears to be a typical ii-V-I turnaround. The rest sounded about right, so that'd make the progression "GGGGCCGGaDGG" instead.

But this isn't quite right yet either, and this is where I'm starting to get (slightly) confused: in the bars that I so far marked 'G', the G triad (g b d) sounds fine. It'd seem obvious to add an F there and make this a G7, but that doesn't seem to feel quite right - actually, adding an 'E' for some reason sounds much more natural. But how to explain that? I briefly considered notating this as 'e-7' instead - that has the notes I hear (e g b d e), but otherwise doesn't seem to make much sense.

But should I write this down as an G6? That seems weird too. Or perhaps I should just write a G7 and hand-wave the 6th in there? G7+13 perhaps? It all seems so far-fetched for such a simple song.

What do you make of this?

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raboof
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Re: Brian Setzer 'Straight Up'

Postby raboof » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:35 pm

raboof wrote:I briefly considered notating this as 'e-7' instead

Hmm, that *would* explain the trumpets playing 'b-flat g' in the intro - where is this b-flat coming from? could be from the e minor blues scale (e g a b-flat b d e). It'd also be in g minor, but that doesn't seem right either.

And of course all this talk isn't much good without a link to a recording: http://arnout.engelen.eu/mask.mp3

thorgal
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Re: Brian Setzer 'Straight Up'

Postby thorgal » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:00 am

hi raboof,

after a rather quick listen, I would say that the b-flat simply comes from the standard blues combo G7 - C7 (C7 has B-flat). Except here, the C7 is skipped and the song goes straight to a hidden D7 (hidden because of what you mentioned about the bass progression). But if you place a C7 as a standard blues in G would do, B-flat - G is right on :)

mikeh789
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Re: Brian Setzer 'Straight Up'

Postby mikeh789 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:26 pm

yeah, got yourself a G-blues there... if you wanted to, you could use the pentatonic scale G Bb C D F G over all the chords (G7 C7 D7, and theres a quick Aminor7 in there too)... the Bb is the minor 3rd of the G chord, but that works just fine, and we can call it a #9 (sharp 9).. we see a perfect example of this in the 'bass-line' over the Aminor7 chord in the 'turn-around' where the notes are A B C C# D C B A G... the A B C C# is over the A chord, and the D C B A over D7, and the G takes us to the one chord G7... over the A chord we have BOTH 3rd's, but this works fine because of the sharp 9 thing... you can really 'get away' with this anytime on a blues, and anytime you see a V7 chord.. if you were in C and had a G7, you could make that G7(#9) and play the scale G Bb C D F G again over it if you want... i like to encourage finding deeper harmonic vocabulary than pentatonic only, but i think its useful to reduce a large sections of chords down to a common scale or 2... i would suggest some phrases like the one at around 28 seconds, some bluesy unison licks that the horns can play... when i have played gigs like that, the horn players usually just make background figures up on the gig... anyways, i hope that helps explain that Bb .. im holstein on freenode, and id be glad to talk about it some more...


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