Tip #192 – Understanding a Cliché Blues Ending

While it might be wise to avoid clichés, you can certainly learn a lot from them. Musical clichés are what helps group the idioms of certain genres/styles together. Trying to emulate a particular style might mean using a musical cliché – but adding your own unique twist.

Take for example this bluesy melodic ending over a I7 – V7 – I progression:

Let’s dissect into this.

One thing that pops out in an instance is the use of a chromatic line against the upper tonic drone that leads down towards the fifth of the V chord.

Try that for yourself. Build a chromatic line that alternates in pitch between a drone. Now, lead the chromatic line toward the next chord, and after that to the following chord. Listen to how the contour and dissonances shape the forward moving motion towards a cadence.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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