This is one of the most standard progressions of 8 bar blues. A7 and D7 is recommended to play as a barre chord. The blues is most commonly a 12 bar form, though you can find tunes with different variations. When this is the case, the chord change will occur on the third count, in the middle of the four count bar. But the above, 1 4 5 visual relationship is a quick way to determine which chords should be used in any chosen key. Blues influenced many derivative styles, but many stay true to the 12-bar form. Below are some of the most common variations. There are a number of embellishments you can apply during these last two bars to enhance the turnaround function, but we'll cover those in a separate lesson on blues technique. These numbers represent a relationship of chords that reside in a given key. 8 bar blues progressions Standard 8 Bar Blues in E. This is one of the most standard progressions of 8 bar blues. Remember also, for heavier blues styles, power chords are often used in place of full blown 7th chords. It isn't necessary to play E as a dominant chord, it is also possible to play regularly E majors. Here, 9th and 13th chords are used, mostly, which create a jazz feeling as well. The C7-B7 sequence can also be utilized as a turnaround. This is the same as above, but in another key. Tip: The 5 chord root is always one whole step, or two frets up, from the 4 chord root! Every musician should have a good knowledge of the blues. The same progression in A minor: The Bm7b5 chord with short notation: x2323X. We can number these chords 1, 4 and 5. The C minor pentatonic scale can be used to improvise over this 12 bar progression. The F#m7b5 chord with short notation: 2x2210. A variant is to play the V chord also in the 14th bar. Eb7 to Edim7). Always start with the 1 chord and, no matter what that 1 chord is, the 4 and 5 roots will fall into place based on the above relationships. Blues has kept the same overall form since its growth in popularity during the early-mid 20th century. Go back to the main section of Blues guitar. 1 4 5 is essentially the backbone of blues. The basic G blues progression begins with the major root chord, which is nothing to write home about and played by itself, it doesn't scream 'blues'! As you can see, the main difference is that the changes are extended. A typical example of this in the key of E would be: E, A, Am, E, B7, E. You could see this is mixing major and minor key blues. The E7(#9) chord with short notation: X7678X. The C minor pentatonic scale can be used to improvise over this 12 bar progression. Minor key blues uses exactly the same 1 4 5 root relationship from earlier, but with minor chords instead of major/dominant 7th. Try the 50s progression if you want to evoke some classy sadness and nostalgia. In G minor, the 4 chord would be C minor. The audio examples are played at a relatively quick tempo. So far we have only used three chords, but here is a fourthÂ chord (ii7) is added in the ninth bar. If you listen to blues, you'll already be familiar with some turnaround variations. Conveniently, the visual relationship stays the same for any key, a bit like a scale pattern. These tables present the 12 bar structure in 12 bars that you read from measure 1 to measure 12 and with typically four beats per bar: This is one of the most common progressions. Plus, it often adds diminished chords, for example a half step up from the 4 chord position (e.g. This form of the minor blues progression uses 4 chords: the i chord, the iv chord, the v chord, and the V chord. 10 Minor Blues Songs. For example, an A minor blues progression would typically be: Am7, Dm7, Em7 (1,4,5). In other words, we only change the 1 and 4 chords to minor. The C7-B7 sequence creates an interesting movement into the final Em chord. In the below clip, you'll hear two 12 bar runs of a typical blues progression (key of E), with a typical ending. Remember, that root note formation is movable depending on the key in which you're playing. Below are some common variations. Keep these variations in mind as you go through the examples below... 12 bar blues is the most commonly used blues form. For example, in the key of G major, G major would be our 1 chord. Minor Key Blues. These are the changes that one would play if a minor blues were called at a jam session, or if they were playing with a band for the first time. You can learn all about the chord types used in blues in a separate lesson. The last two bars typically contain what is often referred to as the "turnaround". Listen to the examples to get your bearings... Notice how that last variation starts on the 4 chord. 16 bar blues can be seen as an extension of the standard 12 bar form (four additional bars). Take a listen to this "rock and roll" 12-bar example which involves a stop-start section at the start of some of the 12 bars... And a minor key 12 bar blues track. The final chord in typical blues progressions is the 5 chord, also called the dominant. This lesson will introduce you to the blues chord progressions that define the genre, and some common (and less common) variations. This is commonly used as a bridge or interlude in a standard blues progression. This is one of the most standard progressions of blues in minor. The V chord will be a dominant 7th chord, which is the same type of chord used for all the chords in the major blues progression.
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