30 September 2015

Post 265: SIXTEEN-BAR TUNES

Just as it is a good idea to include an occasional 12-bar blues in a jazz programme and just as it is a good idea to include a tune or two in minor keys, so it adds variety to include a 16-bar tune (in some cases 16 + two-bar tag). Many 16-bar tunes also offer the advantage that they can be played using little more than three-chord tricks.

Unfortunately, we certainly can't lump 16-bar tunes together as one type, however. Just like 32-bar tunes, they come in a variety of structures.

My own favourite is the type that allows for 'breaks' in bars 9 to 12. This is how the chord progression often goes:
  I     |    I      |    II7:V7     |   I
  I     |   I       |    II7           |   V7
  I     |    I7    |    IV           |   IVm    
  I     |   I       |   II7:V7      |   I
(Examples: Don't Go Away, Nobody and If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It)

Or it can go like this:
 I:IV7 |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7  | I:V7
 I:IV7 |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7  | IIm:V7
   I      |    I7     |    IV       |  IVm
 I:IV7 |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7  |   I
(Examples: How Come You Do Me Like You Do Do Do? and If You've Got a Friend, You'd Better Treat Him Right)

In more detail, here's another example of such a tune:
That one is called You Gotta See Mamma Every Night. Similar tunes (using 'breaks') are Keep Your Fingers Off It, Droppin' ShucksRolls-Royce PapaPut it Right HereDrop it on YouWang Wang Blues [first theme], and Get 'Em from the Peanut Man.

This structural pattern was very common in the 1920s. Four more examples from that era are Oh Miss Hannah (1924) and Black Eye Blues (1928) and Red Hot Mama (1924), It's Right Here For You (1925) and I'm Watchin' The Clock (1928).


For a very good example of what I am trying to describe, watch this YouTube video of If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It. This has it all: clear structure, tag (on most choruses), and fine uses of the all the breaks in bars 9 - 12 (note the lovely one taken by the tuba at the end!):

It's also possible to put a break in Bars 7 and 8, rather than 9 to 12. You need three lots of the Sweet Sue Progression (dominant to tonic) ending with a break on the tonic in those two bars - 7 and 8:
V7         |   V7      |      I        |     I
 V7         |   V7      |      I        |     I
 V7         |  V7       |     I         |    I
  IV:IVm  |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7   |  I
(Examples: Gatemouth - first theme; Do What Ory Say, South - main theme, Mamma's Baby Boy, Get It RightUp Jumped the Devil, I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate)

But now let us look at some of the many other 16 bar progressions. Here's a very common and simple one:
  I      |    I       |    I      |   I
  I      |    I       |   V7   |  V7  
  I      |    I7     |    IV   |  IVm
  I       |   V7   |     I     |    I
(Examples: We Shall Walk Through the Gates of the City & When The Saints)


Even more simple (only two chords needed):
  I    |     I   |     I   |     I
  V7 |  V7   |    I    |     I
  I    |     I   |     I   |     I
  V7 |  V7   |    I    |     I
(Example: Walking With The King)

   I          |    I         |     I      |    V7
  V7      |   V7       |    V7    |     I
  I          |   I          |    I       |    V7
  V7      |   V7       |    V7    |    I
(Example: Rum and Coca Cola)

Now the    I  -  IV -  I - V - I  pattern:
  I    |     I   |     I   |     I7
  IV |  IV   |    I    |     I
  I    |    I    |    I    |    I
 V7 |   V7 |   I     |    I
(Example: Lord Lord Lord)

Somewhat similar:
   I    |     I    |    I    |    I7
  IV  |   IV   |    I    |    I7
  IV  |    IV  |    I    |   IVm
  I     |   V7  |    I    |    I
(Example: You Are My Sunshine)

Then there are some that do something striking with the 12th bar (for example, an unexpected diminished chord):
  I      |    I      |    I    |   V7
  V7  |    V7  |  V7   |  I  
  I     |    I7    |   IV   |  Io
  I     |   V7   |     I    |   I
(Example: Faraway Blues)

  I          |   V7    |      I      |     I
  I          |   V7    |      I      |     I
  VI7     |  VI7   |     II7     |    Io
  I          |  V7    |     I        |    I
(Example: Farewell Blues)

 IV   |   IV   |      I     |     I
 IV   |   IV   |      I     |     I

  I     |  III7  |     IV   |    Io

  I     |  V7   |    I:IV  |    I

(Example: Make Me a Pallet on the Floor)


  I        |   V7    |      I       |     V7:I
  I        |   V7    |      I       |     V7:I
 VI7    |  VI7    |    IV7    |     IVo
   I       |  V7     |     I        |    I
(Example: Weary Blues - final theme)

Or the 12th bar surprise can be a III7th:
       I       |    I        |    IV7   |   I
       I       |    I        |    II7     |   V
       I       |    I       |    IV7     |  III7
 IV:IVm  |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7  |  I
(Example: Rip 'Em Up, Joe)

Three-chorders can be not only easy to play but also make very pleasant listening:

  I        |    I    |     IV    |     I
  I        |    I    |    V7    |   V7
  I        |   I     |    IV     |    I
  I        |  V7  |     I       |    I
(Example: When I Move to the Sky)

  I          |    IV       |     I   |    I
  V7      |   V7        |    I    |    I
  I          |   IV        |    I    |    I
  V7       |   V7       |   I     |   I
(Example: Sometimes My Burden)

  I          |   V7    |      I      |     I
  V7      |   V7    |      I      |     I
  IV       |  IV      |    I        |    I
  V7      |  V7     |     I        |    I
(Example: Mary Wore a Golden Chain)

  I           |     I7    |      IV    |     I
  I           |     I      |     V7    |     I
  I           |    I7     |     IV     |     I
  I           |    V7   |      I       |     I
(Example: Precious Lord Lead Me On

 IV     |   IV    |    I     |    I
 V7    |   V7   |    I     |    I7
  IV    |  IV    |    I     |    I
  V7   |  V7   |    I     |    I
(Example: Redwing - chorus. Down By the Riverside, 2nd part, is the same))

  I          |    I      |     V7    |    V7
  V7      |   V7    |      I      |     I
  I          |   I       |    I 7     |    IV
  IV       |   I       |    V7     |    I
(Example: Royal Telephone)

But the permutations are endless. Here are a few more.

  I     |     I     |   VI7   |   VI7
  II7  |   V7   |     I      |    V7
  I     |     I     |   VI7   |    VI7
  II7  |   V7   |     I      |     I
(Example: That's a Plenty - final theme)


  I    |    I7    |    IV:IVm   |   I

  I    |   VI7  |    II7           |   V7

  I    |    I7    |    IV:IVm   |  I

  I    |   V7   |       I           |   I

(Example: By and By)

   I    |    II7   |     I      |    I
   I    |   II7    |   V7    |    V7
   I    |    I7    |   IV     |   IVm
   I    |   V7   |     I      |    I
(Example: Saturday Night Function)

  I          |   V7    |      I       |     I
  I          |   VI7   |      II7    |    V7
  I          |  I7       |    IV      |    IVm
  I          |  V7     |     I        |    I
(Example: Careless Love)

  I      |    I       |    V7        |   I
  I      |    I       |  VII7       |  V7  
  I      |    I       |    V7       |  I7
  IV   |   I:VI7 | II7:V7    |   I

(Example: Climax Rag - final theme) 

  I        |   V7    |      I       |     V7
   I        |   VIm |      II7    |     V7
   I        |  V7    |    II7    |     V7
   IV:IVm  |  I:VI7  |  II7:V7  |  I
(Example: Shimme Sha Wobble - final theme - note Sunshine Progression in final four bars)


  I       |    VI7    |    II7:V7    |   I
  I       |   VI7     |    II7          |   V7
  I:Io   |    V7     |    I:Io         |  V7
  I       |   VI7     |  II7:V7      |   I
(Example: Ja Da)


  I           |     I7    |      IV    |     I
  V7       |     I      |      II7    |    V7
  I           |    I7     |     IV     |    III7
  IV:IVo |  I:VI7  | II7:V7   |     I
(Example: Ol' Miss Rag - theme - Sunshine Progression again)

16-bar tunes can be very effective. Consider, for example, this one on YouTube, which is no more than the the 8-bar Four-Leaf Clover Progression played twice: