What is A Turnaround Anyway?
In this brief
acoustic blues guitar lesson, I take a glance at the chord sequence
often played in between verses in a standard ragtime tune. When
starting to learn blues guitar chords, it's important to be conscious of the techniques that give this great music it's particular flavor.
Introduction To The Idea and Chord
Composition Of The Turnaround In C.
In the early 1900s, a style of guitar playing made well known by
traveling medicine shows became known as 'ragtime blues', or usually it
was named 'Piedmont Blues'.
The bouncy, joyful sound contrasted
considerably with the slower, more somber feeling of the delta blues,
which was generally performed in E, A or open tuning.
pieces, whose words were typically barely disguised sexual references,
were performed really effectively by some performers, notably Blind
Blake, Reverend Gary Davis (who could perform in any style), Pink
Anderson, Sam Chatmon, Blind Willie McTell, Hacksaw Harney and Blind
Boy Fuller. Various performers, like Big Bill Broonzy, touched on the
ragtime feel, but had a significantly broader range.
these tunes were performed in the keys of C, G and D, which lend
themselves to the alternating bass picking structure common in this
music. As you pay attention to a ragtime song, a couple of things may
possibly strike you.
First of all, they tended to play at a great pace,
which is typically testimony to the skill and precision of the
players. Secondly, there are typical structural elements connecting
tunes in a similar key, which is not too astonishing.
these elements I call the 'turnaround' - that short progression of
chords that is performed between two verses. It supplies breathing space
between separate sets of words, offering space, creating tension and
additionally offering a chance for the guitarist to present his skills.