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Here's "Ninety-Nine Years and One Dark Day". The ninety-nine years is when you got a lifetime, the dark day is when you're dead. That's too bad for you. - Jesse Fuller

Author Topic: The Turnaround  (Read 3761 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2009, 02:23:35 PM »
Ladies, Gentlemen and Unkie Bud:

Just off the top of my head, Blind Blake did tons of turnarounds in the 1920's, Diddie-Wa-Diddie comes to mind, in C, ending the turnaround on G.

Interesting though that the famous RJ counterpoint turnaround in A (think "Kind Hearted Woman Blues") was first recorded by Funny Papa Smith (think "Mama, Quittin' and Leavin'") but ends on the I chord, not the V like RJ.

Alex

Offline Rivers

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2009, 04:31:29 PM »
Sorry folks, I still disagree. It does not have to be the V or V7, that's just one flavor. A quick google will tell you that, and I did confirm it for myself before posting my dissenting opinion. For a more learned example than my post, see http://www.answers.com/topic/turnaround-music

The V7 is the most common turnaround last chord in post Robert Johnson blues and unfortunately has become the cliche that seems to have redefined the term.

Hey I love playing those da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da, dum --- ba-bum things too but that's just one form, there are millions. Just establishing a predictable phrase at the end of every verse is a turnaround technique. The interval is irrelevant except to categorize what kind of turnaround it is. I have noticed that the most satisfying t/a's (to me) are cadences, descending often with chromatic melody notes. But not always...

I put the dumbing-down of the turnaround in the same category as the playing of strict 12 bar patterns versus breaking it up with extra / missed bars... life was more interesting B.J. (before Johnson). Yes I already acknowledged he was a great player but the hype surrounding him does a great disservice to all the equally great players who found a zillion other ways to get into the next verse, as well as through the V
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 04:55:47 PM by Rivers »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2009, 07:40:40 PM »
Hi Mark,
In every instance except one in the article you cited, the chord preceding the resolution to the tonic was still in fact a V7 chord of some type; the exception was a flat V substitution for the V chord, which contains the same tritone as the V7 chord and is the same thing as a V7 chord with a flat V in the bass.  I think the  alternatives you allude to would be more meaningful if you could give any examples of them in historic recordings in the style.  In the main, anything more complex than winding up the 12th bar of a 12-bar blues with a V7 chord after a lead-in of more or less complexity is extremely hard to come by in Country Blues.  A very high percentage of Country Blues recordings don't employ turn-arounds at all.  The extent to which the alternative turn-arounds suggested in the article diverge from what was actually played by Country Blues players is a function of the turn-arounds presented there deriving from the harmonic language of Jazz, and considerably more modern Jazz, at that, than was current at the time Country Blues was in its most popular period.  The function of a turn-around is first and foremost harmonic:  to create a tension that makes the form want to start over rather than end, and however many upper voice chordal  extensions may be added or flat five substitutions are employed, you're still talking about a gussied up V7 chord.  
All best,
Johnm        
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 08:51:27 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2009, 02:07:34 PM »
Hi Uncle Bud,
I think you answered your own question in your most recent previous post.  I would characterize a chordal progression at the conclusion of a blues form that starts on the I chord and concludes at the end of the form with the I chord as a tag, rather than a turn-around, since it doesn't end up producing the harmonic tension needed to send you back to the beginning of the form.  A tag functions simply as a final instrumental response to the tagline of a blues verse, and is fully contained in that verse's pass, whereas a turn-around's function spans the form break, generating musical momentum from one pass through the form to the next. 
A lot of the spectacular riffers of the earliest generation to record Country Blues, like Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and Furry Lewis particularly excelled at these tags, and in their "thriving on a riff" moments could perseverate on them, in some instances, lengthening a pass through the form by several bars.  Furry's "Dryland Blues" offers several examples of this.  I remember when I was transcribing the song, I found that passes through the form on his recording varied in length from 7 to 11 bars, depending on the length of his tag.  Lemon would often conclude his tags, however long he took them, with three downward quarter note strums of the I chord, bringing a pass to a close.  I don't think of any of these moments of Lemon's or Furry's or Patton's as turn-arounds, because they are harmonically circular, starting on I and resolving to I, yielding no concluding tension to push into the next verse.
All best,
Johnm       

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2009, 08:35:10 AM »
Thanks John. More than the riff-like tags you refer to, it is the chordal progressions that have had me confused then, in particular those that are nearly the same as typical turnarounds but are lacking a final V chord. So if a musician plays a C7/F/Ab/C at the end of a twelve bar form but does not then go to a G chord to finish the chordal sequence, the form is in effect "closed" and therefore one can't call the sequence a turnaround. The resemblance of the progression to a classic turnaround and its place in the form explains why I have heard some guitar players refer to it (or comparable chord progressions at the end of a form) as such.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 08:36:20 AM by uncle bud »

Offline waxwing

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2009, 09:15:35 AM »
The thought occurs to me that non-players might benefit from some examples of both various turnarounds and tags. I'm out the door right now and am not sure I would have time to make such a recording before the weekend sometime. Anyone else with the inclination to either record themselves playing a few examples or edited cuts from various artists with a little identifying explanation, text or recorded?

Wax
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Offline Richard

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2009, 01:14:06 PM »
Wax, good idea  :)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Turnaround
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2009, 03:07:56 PM »
I can't believe no one has mentioned Tampa Red yet...

Well... my work here is done.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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