Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/blues


Let's say I find a nice blues melody  "hook" in the A minor pentatonic scale. It would be easy to leave it like that. Now, if I'm writing a blues song for only piano it would be kind of boring if I just had: a melody and A-E and A-F# (that classical shuffle) in the left hand.  Questions: 1. How can I make the right hand more interesting and still keep the "hook" that I came up with? 2. If I have a song with a minor pentatonic scale will that become a major or minor blues (is the terms major and minor really blues terms?)? 3. Can I use other scales as well, eg the blues scale, for this song?
4. Should I just play with my heart or should I follow stric blues theory?

hank: (im sorry about the delay of my answer) I was notified by the ''site'' that I had a question pending - but I had no notice of the question when it must have come in to the ''site''

  You ask about BLUES, a) strict 'FORM BLUES '' do have ''style rules'' ''(form rules'') and the first many years of its existence, all the rules were in place.. (they were called 12 bar blues)
   b) ''blue notes'' were using ''crushed notes'' (a tone somewhere between the 3rd and flat 3rd and so ON PIANO they were both crushed - sung? it would be a semi-tone)
    c)(I have no idea how you'd find a blues melody ''hook'' in a pentatonic scale, since those two terms - BLUES/ pentatonic -IN MY EXPERIENCE aren't used in the same style.
    d)  you can CALL a song a blues (eg. SAINT LOUIS BLUES, blues in the night, SAN FRANCISCO BLUES, DIPPERMOUTH BLUES, I FEEL BLUE, )AND IN AMERICAN CULTURE of songs, many songs the PUBLICE knows might have the word BLUES in the title and it might be or MIGHT NOT be a real blues.. (so you may do as you wish for title and song style, but if it IS A BLUES IT DOES FOLLOW GUIDE LINES to make the ''song a blues''

         IF YOU HAVE OTHER / ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BLUES, I'LL BE HAPPY TO FOLLOW UP ON THEM (MY e-mail address- in case it gets lost again IN THE SHUFFLE- is     (address it to ''all - experts follow up question"")

chuck thanks for the question  

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I am a professional musician, I can play by ear, I arrange music write music, teach music in the public school system, and teach privately. My father was a school music teacher, and I have written three volumes for teaching beginning string players, taking them from scratch to high school level. I have performed in a local production of Music Man (musical) with celebrities John Davidson/Susan Watson and have my masters degree in education. I retired from the classroom in 2004 with 38 yrs. experience-now still substituting for music- and writing arr. for my cello trio(with two audio cd's and one dvd of a performance) I have directed church choirs and am principal cellist in our local community orchestra. I really love to arrange music for the groups I perform in and sing and have music in my life every day. A day without music, is a mistake, like having a day without sunshine.


Employment history: I have been employed by our local school district since 1967 as a music teacher from grades 1-12 Organizations: I play cello principal chair in the local community orchestra, and sing in a chorus,and perfom in a barbershop quartet

Education: My early life in high school and college was summer workshops in choral conducting with founder of Westminster Choir College (N.J.) Dr. John F.Williamson (in Who`s Who in Music) and summer workshops with Robert Shaw in San Diego Grad. of Sacramento STate Univ.and masters from Univ. of La VErne, ca

Awards: awarded the Bank of America award in my high school senior year for music

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