Vamping

Timbuck

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After watching Prof Chris singing and playing his wonderful humorous ditties I was fascinated by his vamping technique... You know what I mean “ The quick progression of chords 4 to a bar usually in intro’s …Also was done to great effect by Cliff Edwards in old videos... does anyone know any good ones that I can practice.

see Prof Chris here.
 
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Hi Ken, what kind words!

In that song I'm playing C, Gdim, Dm7, G7 as the vamp.

Another I use is C, Cdim, Dm7, G7.

Also C, C#dim, Cdim, G7.

Someone mentioned C, Am, Dm7, G7, which is I think the parent of all these.

Spot the theme? The pattern is I (root), X, Y, V7 (dominant 7). What you choose for X and Y depends on what sounds good, but all my examples are related to the circle of 5ths. That gives I, VI, II, V, and you can choose major, min or 7th for any except the I. In all my examples, the dim chords contain two notes from the VI or II, as appropriate.

I didn't construct 'em this way, just used trial and error. But there does seem to be a pattern here.
 
I don't have any formulae for vamping but what I do is find a progression like a I IV V or a II V I and find a place on the fretboard where the chords are similar and don't require a lot of movement. Then I'll add a dim7 into the mix. Then I have my four beat vamp.
 
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