Motown thinking.

So there’s a genre of R&B called Mo-town which came out of Detroit. It was a unique sound that wikipedia explains as:

[The Motown sound] was typified by a number of characteristics: the use of tambourines to accent the back beat, prominent and often melodic electric bass guitar lines, distinctive melodic and chord structures, and a call and response singing style that originated in gospel music. In addition, pop production techniques such as the use of orchestral string sections, charted horn sections, and carefully arranged background vocals were also used. Complex arrangements and elaborate, melismatic vocal riffs were avoided; Motown producers believed steadfastly in the “KISS principle” (“keep it simple, stupid”)

One things they don’t mention is there is often this electric guitar playing a single note (usually the tonic of the chord) on the backbeat. Considering that most blues formats only use 3 or 4 chords, this means the whole song goes by with that guitar playing maybe 3 different notes.

I’ve always had this mental picture that the producers of Motown had a brother or cousin that their family forced them to include in on the albums. Being absolutely incompetent, they wrote this stupid-easy part for him.

Isn’t funny how your mind will build a story around one little thing?

Maybe he was so bad they had to mark on the fretboard in pen where the three notes were.

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