LOTW – The Rubber Band Man Lick

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This week’s lick comes from the amazing tune “The Rubber Band Man1” – made famous again quite recently by being featured in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.

Lick(s) -and timestamps- are taken from the single version.

A bluesy lick, occurring in the song in two variations. The first is played only once at around 0:13. The second version occurs for the first time at around 0:21 and is repeated, almost as a hook-like riff, multiple times throughout the song.

This lick blurs the lines between F major and -minor, by adding the major third (“a”) to this minor blues-scale-derived lick (which, to make it extra funky, is played over an F major key).

Both “tricks” (1. adding the major third to a minor blues scale; 2. playing minor blues over a major key) are fairly common in blues – but the combination here does add to the juice of this lick – even though it’s in a sense pretty logical that the seventh -which differentiates the minor from the major blues scale (no 7th)- is indeed a minor 7th (“e-flat”), since the key in this part of the tune is in fact in F Mixolydian (same notes as Bb major scale, or – a major scale with a flat 7th) and thus has an “e-flat” in the actual key.

We could then say that we’re actually mixing the F major blues scale (where the minor third is the blue note) with the key of the song (F Mixo).

“Main” lick (the one that is repeated):

Start on the 16th after the 3 (during the last measure) and play the following notes on all sixteenths:

a-flat, a, b-flat+d, a-flat, a, f, e-flat

One-time variation:

Start on the 16th before the 3 (so it’s displaced by one 8th – or two 16th) and play all sixteenths:

a-flat, a, b-flat+d, a-flat, a, f, c, b-flat+f, a-flat, F (chord)

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  1. Apparently they have a different version of this same song called “Rubber Band Man” (no “the”) too.. strange ↩︎