Friday, February 20, 2009

More Blues Analysis

Here's the next article concerning the Fats Domino, et
al clip that you can find at

Last installment you learned about the Twelve Bar Blues
Chord Progression. I mentioned there were 17 full
choruses of the progression played. Here's a rundown of
who played what.

The clip started with just Ray Charles and the rhythm
section. Ray played three full choruses by himself, and
then Jerry Lee came on about 56 seconds into the clip.
You heard Jerry Lee play one full chorus of piano
improv. Then he sings the next chorus. The chorus after
that, he's back to taking a piano solo. If you look
carefully, you'll see him pound the keyboard with his

Better take your Suzuki trained children out of the
room when that comes on. After the "shoe" chorus he
plays another chorus that demonstrates a redundant
style, playing the same short phrase repeatedly, not
even changing it when the chord changes. Talk about

I believe on the following chorus Ray takes over on the
solo duties. It's hard to verify that for sure since
the camera moved around a lot, and it wasn't in stereo.
Finally, Jerry Lee comes back in for another vocal
chorus, "Lord I Love to Boogie."

And that sets everything up for Fats entrance. We have
just heard nine choruses of the Blues Progression. Fats
starts on chorus 10. He will go on to play five
choruses before he starts singing. Again there is an
ambiguous sound situation, and I'm not sure I hear Fats
until his third time through. After the five
instrumental choruses, Fats starts to sing, "I ain't
gonna be your low down dog no more." Then he does
another chorus of ooooohh oooooohs, and the song ends.

So that's the general road map to the sequence. If you
are enjoying these posts, please comment, and if there
is interest, I'll continue with the analysis. It's fun
for me, and who knows, you could soon be playing along.


  1. What a wonderful, fun video this is with three of the all time great rockers boogie-ing down together! As Robert says, not only is the 12 bar blues progession doable you can see how much fun Ray, Jerry Lee and Fats are having playing it...and you will, too! Not only is blues fun to play, it is therapeutic -- forget about the economy, forget about your troubles, just learn to play blues piano! People will wonder why you are so darned happy and have a smile on your face.

    Carry on Robert, I would love to hear a breakdown and analysis of some of the right hand riffs of each player.

    Thanks for presenting this classic refreshing video and your tutorial!

    Certified NSAM Piano Teacher

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