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
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Quick lick taken from “The Rubberband Man” by The Spinners. Start a 16th before the new 1 to jam this hook-like riff, repeated multiple times throughout the song (played first right before the vocals, and one octave lower for the last few occurrences), along to the original! Keep an eye on my newsletter for some more analyses and variations. #therubberbandman #rubberbandman #thespinners #theavengers #piano #lick #pianolick #LOTW #hackthepiano #pianolingo
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)
Up to Speed
- Apparently they have a different version of this same song called “Rubber Band Man” (no “the”) too.. strange ↩︎