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what scale,key, mode is chuck berry's johnny b goode in?


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#1 fguihen

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:31 AM

hey im tryin to ipprovise over jonny b goode but i cant seem to work out what scale , key or mode the bloomin song is in.can anyone help me?

#2 smokinmojofilter

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:36 AM

i think its a 12 bar blues progression in the key of Bb.

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:43 AM

Hmm I finally found out what you guys mean with bars... hehe where I live we give it a different name.
But uhm you say it is in Bb but its not only in Bb right? At least I have never seen a song completely being in Bb. Like in C its often: C F G F or something.

#4 gusdotcom

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:48 AM

I'd say C...

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#5 smokinmojofilter

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:56 AM

the chords are Bb, Eb and F

why dont you just look up the chord or tab file on GTU, i would think it would be there.

#6 gravity

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 10:45 AM

The key is Bb.
BOOM

#7 dadfad

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 12:26 PM

The key is Bb. The three chords in the 12-bar progression are Bb (I), Eb (IV), and F (V). You would use the Bb Blues-scale (which is the pentatonic scale of the flattened 3rd [D], which is Db. So Db-pent scale.). Other notes (bend-to, grace-notes, walk-through notes, etc) would be added too, but that's the scale you'd use to start from. Note: Chuck Berry probably used that key to accomodate an R&B rhythm section. Bb is a good commonly used key for R&B horn and sax, which is probably why he chose it. Unless you want to play along with the recording, make it easier on yourself and use the Key of A or the Key of B. That was the first "cool tune" I ever learned how to play lead on (I didn't have a clue about scales or any of that, just the record!). Good luck and have fun.

#8 sumpunk

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 02:44 PM

is it really Bb?, i always played it in the key of A, i guess im prolly tone deaf..lol

#9 wordman2000

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 04:17 PM

On 2002-09-10 17:44, sumpunk wrote:
is it really Bb?, i always played it in the key of A, i guess im prolly tone deaf..lol


the best part of these songs is that you can play them in any key and they still have thier integrity

#10 halfmoonbay

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Posted 10 September 2002 - 04:27 PM

The original version was in Bb as people have said, although I have come across later recordings that were played in A. The version that appeared in the film 'Back To The Future' is also in Bb.
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#11 dadfad

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 04:31 AM

I've often thought it possible the tune was actually done in A and sped up slightly to fit it into the alotted time on a 45 RPM record (which was THE MAJOR way teenagers purchased music back then). That has been done before.

#12 halfmoonbay

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 04:35 AM

Could be. I have a few songs on some old '45's that are slightly different key-wise to the versions I have on CD's.
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#13 rocknroll69de

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 11:46 AM

I don't know, but it sounds to me as if its in Bb dorian. But you can play the Db major pent or G minor pent as well.

#14 rocknroll69de

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 12:03 PM

the main riff might be played in Bb mixolydian (i hope its spelled correctly), another scale you could mix in (in addition to those I named) would be Bb major (=F mixolydian).

#15 dadfad

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 12:26 PM

:lol: I played that riff using a Blues-pent scale for almost 10 years before I ever even heard of a Dorian or Myxolidian scale (I'm pretty sure Chuck couldn't play you one if you asked him to!). Trust me, it's a blues-scale pent (pent of the flat 3rd). Not that another mode might not work and sound great in there too, but the actual scale used was a pent rather than a mode of the harmonic major. That's the scale almost all blues and rock'n'roll (not rock) uses.
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#16 gravity

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 01:01 PM

There must be some obscure Jazz version some where
Next it will be in the Bb Whole Tone Scale
BOOM

#17 rocknroll69de

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 11:00 AM

I really want that smartass award...
Important notes of the riff are: D, F, G, G#, Bb, C. The notes of the Bb blues scale: Bb, Db, Eb, E, F, Ab.
I don't know about you, but I would have some problems trying to play the riff using the Bb blues scale...
The riff actually looks a lot like Bb major pent + b7 = Bb, C, D, F, G, G# (=b7).
Major scale + b7 (minus regular 7) = mixolydian, believe it or not. Bb mixolydian = Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, G#

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[ This Message was edited by: rocknroll69de on 2002-09-12 14:02 ]

#18 dadfad

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 03:56 PM

I sort of see where you're coming from, but I don't agree (not exactly). The lick is a mixture of fragments from the major chord (Bb) triad (Bb,D,F) and notes from the pentatonic blues scale (Bb,Db,E,F,Ab). The mixolydian notes (Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G,G#) are largely contained within the combination of the triad and the blues pent, but the mix-scale omits some and adds others. Now mind you, I'm doing this from memory sort of. I have an acoustic guitar hanging on my office wall that I'm looking at for reference, but it's largely from memory of having played this lick for so long. I'm using the intro lick (fairly note-for-note and pretty representative of any Berry-esque lead break). I see all the notes in the mix-scale (plus others) included in passing-figures such as double-stop slurrs, bends, etc, but not as (I don't know what to call 'em...) target notes. The notes you go to and come from with slides, slurs, bends, etc. If I play a lead, and in that lead I use notes or frags from the chord I'm playing against, I don't consider them actual notes of the scale I'm working with. I guess you COULD or you could call it a mixed-scale. But that's not how I conceptualize it. A blues or r'n'r lead might use all the notes from a blues pent scale in addition to walk-down/grace notes (like F in the Bb progression) or double-stop slurs (like Ab/Db slurred to G/C, etc) going through notes that aren't in the EXACT FIVE NOTES of the blues-pent. But the whole lead is based on the blues pent. All the myriad things a creative guitarist can do going to or coming from one note to another doesn't (and this is just my opinion) mean that every passing tone is included in the defined scale. Like on slide guitar (which is where the concept of blues lead guitar came from), if I'm sliding from one fret up three frets on a couple of strings, I don't consider every note I went through on that slide to be part of that scale (if there even is a defined scale in a music made up of half semi-tones, etc). The very nature of blues as a fluid music kind of defies being defined by rules of strict music theory. I think of lead-playing like this. (Sh1t!!! This is going to be a long post, and I wanted to go home!!! Damn :smile:
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#19 wordman2000

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 05:35 PM

holy crap...give me a few minutes to read thru that...im sure its good but damn!!!lol :smile:

#20 rocknroll69de

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 04:39 AM

I know that this is not what blues is about, but fguihen was asking the question "what scale,key, mode is chuck berry's johnny b goode in?" so I tried to fit the notes in a scale/mode.



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