Does a good blues song need a bridge?

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karrie
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Does a good blues song need a bridge?

Post by karrie » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:15 am

I wrote a blues tune that has a lyrical form like this:

V
pre-chorus
C
V
pre-chorus
C
(instrumental break/solo)
pre-chorus
C

I feel like the song doesn't really need a bridge because the meaning of the song is well established throughout the Vs & Cs. What's your opinion: does a good blues song needs a (lyrical) bridge?

The song may be on an album I'm recording this summer - it's not a blues album. I know Taxi & song writing books talk about songs needing bridges and this may be the first song I've written without one.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Karrie

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Re: Does a good blues song need a bridge?

Post by KaelWaters » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:39 am

Who cares. It's your song. If you are good at this, your judgement is enough to know whether or not it needs a bridge .If it feels complete without it then it is complete. If it doesn't feel complete then it's not. That is up to you. If you are supposed to be doing music, you will know without having to ask. Be honest with yourself though. If it's not done, put it on the back burner for awhile and come back and play it when it feels fresh again. It's amazing how easily things pop in your head for something like a bridge once you have taken a break from it for awhile. Could be a few days, could be months, or it could be finished as is. It's up to you. You could post it though if you are unsure. I will answer whether or not it feels complete, as will everyone else I'm sure.
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Re: Does a good blues song need a bridge?

Post by mojobone » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:10 am

Don't know, but I do know a blues needs something to take it out of standard, common 12-bar shuffle territory; it might be a bridge, a simple key change or a complex I VI II V substitution.
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Re: Does a good blues song need a bridge?

Post by Hookjaw Brown » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:55 pm

A lot of blues tunes have just V ...no C or B. The Blues is simple, and mostly about the stress between a man and a woman. Simple songs are the hardest by far since there are not too many tricks one can use except emotional content.

See "Good Bye Baby" or "Parking Meter Blues" or my Taxi page. When my song writing partner got a parking ticket and said he was going to write a song about it, I said .....right...Well, it got done. It has some lines about a woman in it. "People on the streets keep asking for money, I spent it all having a good time with my honey."

Listen to something like "I'd rather go blind" written by Ellington Jordan and sung by Etta James (Chess Records).

Tear your heart out stuff.

Willie Dixon wrote a blues song with a four note riff - "I'm a man" and made Muddy Waters a hit.

Course Beethoven wrote a whole symphony with a four note riff. :D

Repetition builds tension.

Think of the Jaws theme - just two notes.
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karrie
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Re: Does a good blues song need a bridge?

Post by karrie » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:51 am

Thanks everyone for giving me some great tips to work with. I'm excited to comb through my blues tune and see how I can hone it after listening to these examples you've given.

Thank you so much!

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