11 June 2015

Post 218: THE 12-BAR BLUES STRUCTURE AND 'SHAKE THAT THING'

In case you need help with mastering that most quintessential of jazz tune structures - the Twelve-Bar Blues - here is a tune that uses the chord progression in its least sophisticated form.
This is 'Shake That Thing' - well worth having in your repertoire. It was written by 'Papa' Charlie Jackson in 1926.
Born in 1885, Jackson was unusual in creating 'blues' that were
played faster and were more humorous than most.
Play 'Shake That Thing' at a moderately fast speed and if possible have someone singing the words. They are good fun.

There are various sets of possible words. In one of them the first two verses can go something like this:

Down in Georgia there's a dance that's new,
Ain't nothin' to it, it's easy to do.
You gotta shake that thing. [Shake that thing.]
You gotta shake that thing. [Shake that thing.]
I'm growin' tired of tellin' ya,
You gotta shake that thing.

The old folks are doin' it, the young folks too,
The old folks tell the young folks what they gotta do.
They gotta shake that thing. [Shake that thing.]
They gotta shake that thing. [Shake that thing.]
Growing' tired of tellin' ya:
You gotta shake that thing.

You can click on this video to see and hear how effective it can be: