A few months ago, I began attempting to learn a new music instrument.

Bass guitar is an odd instrument. Like the electric guitar, it's hard to practice without an amplifier. Unlike an electric, it is fairly hard to play more than one note at a time.

It's also an instrument that is noticed, but not directly, when it is part of a larger musical ensemble.

Anyway, I find the combination of rhythm and tone available to be alluring.

One odd pleasure: I found a way to pipe YouTube videos through to my TV and the big surround-sound system attached to it. And if I know the song, I can figure out how to play a bass-line along with the recorded music.

Sometimes, it's songs like a Bob Seger classic, Old Time Rock'n'Roll.

After a few attempts, I realized that Bob Seger had used a fairly simple three-chord progression. It had lots of room for walk-downs between changes, and a pattern that seemed familiar.

After a few listens through, it suddenly hit me. The pattern is close to, but not exactly, a classic 12-bar blues riff. The blues riff would be something like this, where each vertical line represents one measure of music.
| E | " | " | " | A | " | E | " | B | " | E | B |
The riff used by Bob Seger is more like this. I guess the drop-to-root chord, followed by return-to-dominant-chord, was what reminded me of the old blues standard.
| E | " | " | " | A | " | " | " | B | " | " | " | E | " | B | " |
Come to think of it, I've probably heard dozens of songs that ran with the simple root/subdominant/dominant progression.

One thing that surprises me: this guy was singing about Old Time Rock...before I was born. Which makes it recursive: an old song that reminisces about older songs.

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