A breakdown of Sam Cooke’s timeless gospel-flavored love song that should be part of every blues player’s bag…
Sam Cooke’s Recording of “Bring It On Home to Me”…
“Bring It on Home to Me” Form & Harmony
An 8-bar form on the big three major chords in triple-feel time with a bread & butter turnaround on bars 7 & 8…
Note: You will find other renditions that drop the G(V) chord in bar 5, but this is not true to the original. For my taste, this omission lacks the harmonic rhythm and drive of the original.
“Bring It on Home to Me” Accompaniment Patterns
Two bread & butter piano accompaniment styles for your consideration…
Accompaniment Pattern #1
Technique Tips: (1) Use a prepared attack on the right hand chords. (2) Don’t hold on to each repeated chord too long. You must release each in time to prepare to play the next. (3) Don’t try to force the time. Just relax into the triple feel flow. (4) For the proper feel, ghost the 1/8th notes in the left hand and play the left hand melodically. (5) It’s ok to use a little sustain pedal if you like, but don’t overdo it or the sound will get muddy.
Accompaniment Pattern #2
Technique Tips: (1) Full sustain pedal, released on each chord change. (2) The feeling should be one of continuous flow between the left hand and right, as if you are playing with a ten-finger hand with one musical mind. (3) Don’t hold on to the first note of each repeated note in the bass too long. You must release each in time to prepare to play the next.
“Bring It on Home to Me” Piano Intro
Simplified Version (without grace notes)
A clinic in major pentatonic melody and harmonic outlining of the I chord…
Version as recorded (with tasty grace notes galore!)
Frank’s transcription of the original piano intro…
Technique tips: The keys to fluent grace notes is to (1) Understate them (2) Play them before the downbeat (3) Time them to suit the flow of the music (4) Play them as a single unified impulse into the target note (5) Use the same finger to slide off a black note onto a white note.
[Buy Frank a coffee on Venmo and he’ll be happy to send you his fingering solution. In the meantime, there’s lot of value in trying to solve this fingering puzzle for yourself. Fingering hints: (1) Use the same finger to slide off a black note onto a white note (2) It’s ok to switch fingers while sustaining a long note in order to make the fingering that follows physically and musically easy to play.]
“Bring It on Home to Me” Practice Track
12/8 time @ 72 beats per minute