1 April 2015


One of the delightful videos of Tuba Skinny put up on YouTube by the generous and indefatigable film-makers codenamed digitalalexa (Al and his wife Judy) - to whom we should all be deeply grateful - is a song called All I Want is a Spoonful, played in Bb. It is essentially a simple eight-bar theme.

Erika plays the drum and sings the words, accompanied by five members of the band and their dog - and another dog who seems keen to make friends with Robin. Shaye plays both the fiddle and the cornet. And there is a fun chorus nicely played by Todd on the tuba, against stop-chords. You can get to this video by clicking:

It's a new song to me, though I have found it was recorded in 1925 by 'Papa' Charlie Jackson, who probably also wrote it.

It's a tune firmly demonstrating the popular progression known as The Salty Dog Chord Sequence.

Tunes with this sequence begin (usually two bars) on the chord of the 6th note in the scale (e.g., a tune in the key of Bb starts on the chord of G or G7th). This is normally followed by the chord on the 2nd note of the scale, and then on the 5th note of the scale, thus continuing the ‘circle of fifths’.

Examples of tunes following The Salty Dog Chord Sequence are:

A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Alabamy Bound
All I Want Is A Spoonful
Any Time
At The Jazz Band Ball [main strain]
Balling The Jack
Friends and Neighbours
Good Time Flat Blues (also known as Farewell to Storyville) [chorus]
Jazz Me Blues [main strain]
Put and Take Blues
Rose of the Rio Grande
Salty Dog [the archetype]
Seems Like Old Times
Shine On Harvest Moon
Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down
Sweet Georgia Brown
Tailgate Ramble
There’ll Be Some Changes Made
Up A Lazy River
You've Got The Right Key But The Wrong Keyhole