The Blues Progress of Process

The End of the One Process

The blues, especially 12-bar blues, is a simple chord progression. However, this one chord progression has many variations. Even in the same key, one could derive different songs entirely through the various manipulations of musical concepts (like time, chord quality, etc.). One practice I personally enjoy is the practice of one song over an extended period of time. In the 12-bar form, I have a few songs that I have recorded multiple times. The reasoning for this is that there are many directions I would like to go in the solo section of the tune. Since all the recordings I've done so far have been one-take recording publications, I had to play each track in its entirety in order to have a different version of the same song. 

This recording process can be achieve through a home studio without much hassle; at least, once one gets into a recording groove... Yet, in a professional studio setting, the one-take recording practice has an added pressure. This added pressure can be beneficial to the artist, or it can be detrimental. As of November 2023, I had my first professional studio recording date after about 10 years of recording at home. While I was nervous, I was able to get some footing on the pressure and delivered about 10 decent, one-take tracks; half with vocals. 

This process was very draining due to the fact I wasn't able to get to all of the tracks I wanted to record. Out of 25 tracks, I got about 10 good ones. 

My Style and Influences

My style of playing guitar is heavily influenced by bossa nova; especially the sound of Joao Gilberto. He is my favorite guitar player and singer. My favorite track by him is Aguas De Marco which is available below: 


This is the first style of music I developed on guitar. After some time learning diverse Brazilian rhythms, I began to dig deeper into the blues. I began to listen to people like Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin' Hopkins, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and people of that style and era. Mostly, my style for the blues is a direct translation of the bossa nova, or more accurately, samba style of playing guitar. The one-note drone on the tonic of the chord with the thumb and alternating fingers for the solo/accompanying line is basically a bluesification of the bossa/samba style. What is interesting, is that Big Bill Broonzy has a similar style as does all of the people recorded during that era. In short, studying bossa nova and various Brazilian rhythms led me back to the rhythms played here in America over the past century. 

Although I've reached a level of proficiency on the guitar, I'm moving into a direction of playing more full band stylings versus the solo project I've been developing for the past 10 years.  

Old Cartoons Rag -> Galvez St Rag

The first track to see the progression of is Galvez St Rag, formerly known as Old Cartoons Rag. I originally wrote the song in 2019 when I had decided to move to New Orleans for a culinary career. While the career didn't last long, I began dancing Lindy Hop more frequently and fell in love with the dancing community there. Shortly after my departure from the Culinary world, I went to teaching mathematics as an interventionist. I had about 10 years of experience teaching at this point, but I was teaching music and never taught math before. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to hone my mathematic skills during my math teaching career which lasted from 2019-2023. During my time as a teacher, I limited myself to "rehearsing" the songs I eventually want to record at a studio. So, I began playing my set list everyday during my free time. This is how Old Cartoons started to transition to Galvez St. 

As I moved from New Orleans to Austin in the summer of 2021, I continued playing Old Cartoons Rag as it was apart of the set list mentioned above. The strange this about the song is that when I wrote the song in New Orleans, I was thinking about Austin. When began the final push for the professional recording, I was reminded of my apartment in New Orleans on Galvez St. 

Here's the first recording, one year after moving back to austin: 


At this time of the recording (April 27, 2022), I had played the song maybe 100 times. I was able to achieve this through the summers busking and some weekends busking as well. I like this version of the recording because it reminds me of the street jams during the shutdown. The guitar used for this track is a Hamer full scale guitar. 

For the most recent recording of Old Cartoons, I used a Les Paul Jr. 7/8 scale guitar which is closer to the sound I've been looking for. 

Here is the most recent recording below, now named Galvez St. Rag:


The sound is much deeper. This was achieved by combining two different amps with a clean sound. Although the tempo is markedly slower, the feel of the dancing element from New Orleans is still expressed in the song. 

In all, this process of playing one song over an extended period of time gives some benefits to the feel and overall production quality of the recording. the trick is for the song to keep the life it has. Or in other words, have the same feeling portrayed as if it were the first time playing the song. 


1. Jobim, A. (2020, April 12). Joao Gilberto En Vivo * Aguas de Marzo (Antonio Carlos Jobim). YouTube.

2. Wesley, A. (2022, April 27). Old cartoons, by Aundre Wesley. BandCamp. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from

3. Wesley, A. (2023, April 29). Galvez Street Rag, by Aundre Wesley. BandCamp. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from