While the above ‘formula’ is the basic 12 Bar Blues, often we turn each chord into a ‘Dominant 7th’ chord. In this lesson I'll show you what that means and sounds like, and I'm sure you'll recognize the sound of it! It’s a basic and simple chord progression. The Basic Structure. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” It is the ‘b5’ note that just sounds bluesy and cool. The term "12-bar" refers to the number of measures, or musical bars, used to express the theme of a typical blues song. Minor blues also has a different turnaround—bVI7–V7-im7-V7 (in the key of Gm, that would be Eb7–D7–Gm7–D7)—which can be heard in B.B. Here is a jam tracks to practice with. "[7], There are also minor twelve-bar blues, such as John Coltrane's "Equinox" and "Mr. Scroll down for blues progressions in minor. Quick Change 12 Bar Blues. But that’s the point. The track includes a 12 bar blues in E that involves only bass and drums. The cadence (or last four measures) uniquely leads to the root by perfect intervals of fourths. The 12-bar blues or blues changes is one of the most prominent chord progressions in popular music. How To: Play Reggae blues in A minor using triads on the piano How To: Learn 12 bar blues on the keyboard How To: Play 12 bar blues in C Major with a triad bass line How To: Play a Chicago Blues style twelve bar blues on the guitar with finger picking In the minor variation of the 12-bar blues, minor 7th chords are substituted for the I7 and IV7 chords. It’s not just limited to the blues. Major Blues Scales . This is probably the most-used riff in blues and rock music. Why? To play it, you change measure 2 from a I chord to a IV chord. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I, IV, and V chords of a key. Experiment again with playing the minor blues scale and use bends, particularly with the ‘4’. Seventh chords can also be substituted throughout. In the case of the A minor blues scale, the ‘4’ is the D note. Scroll down for blues progressions in minor. Minor key blues, which should also be learned, has a minor I and IV, and a dominant V7 as in major key blues. There are three main forms in blues - 12 bar blues (which is what most people are familiar with), 8 bar blues and 16 bar blues (less common). The minor pentatonic scale can be used over a 12-Bar Blues. Here you will learn many 12 bar blues progressions, from the most basic ones to more complex. In this example, we will add a turnaround progression in the second bar. Basically, we can use a bend to get from one note to another. Once you learn to play the 12-bar blues on the guitar, you can play such classic blues pieces as “Hound Dog,” “Stormy Monday,” “Kansas City,” “St. The most common form of the blues is a 12-bar pattern of chord changes. In the notation below, I notated a repeat sign to indicate the use of a turnaround. There is however, another scale that is very similar, but much more bluesy. They serve as a starting point and can be changed and enriched. The variations on the minor blues form seem never ending, but one that you see over and over again is the 12 bar minor blues form with a "Flat VI turnaround". Author PhoenixZalgo [a] 165. Jam track. In the other examples I just wrote out the alternatives to bar 1,2 and 9. The first diagram (to the left) is that of a minor pentatonic scale. These functions are probably more abstract than they are concrete, but just being aware that they exist can help you to understand chords better. The blues scale can be used to solo over both progressions. These three chords work together so well, that it’s very easy to write songs using just the I, IV and V. You should experiment with playing I, IV and V in any key and observe how well they fit together. Minor 7th. In fact, thousands of pop, rock, and jazz songs use a 12-bar form! There are many variations to the turnaround; the following figure shows you only one. Although it is ‘safe’ and ‘comfortable’, it creates a little bit of tension, because it is a move away from the ‘I’ chord. While it usually sounds good, bright and interesting, it does create tension. The chord on the fifth scale degree may be major (V7) or minor (v7), in which case it fits a dorian scale along with the minor i7 and iv7 chords, creating a modal feeling. There are three main forms in blues - 12 bar blues (which is what most people are familiar with), 8 bar blues and 16 bar blues (less common). For lead and solo playing see the blues … The first line takes four bars, as do the remaining two lines, for a total of twelve bars. Practise the basic minor pentatonic scale first (black dots are root notes; red dots are other scale notes). For guitarists, it is an essential part of our repertoire. Blues chord progressions Blues if often played with a 12 bar structure, a so-called 12 Bar Blues. Blues if often played with a 12 bar structure, a so-called 12 Bar Blues. Studying this blues guitar lesson will teach you how to play 100s of the most famous blues guitar songs which use this same chord progression. General Elements of the 12-Bar Minor Blues progression: . If we use a half bend, it becomes the ‘b5’. Basically, the ‘4’ of the scale is a great one to bend because as you bend it, you are effectively just playing other notes of the minor blues scale. Most often in blues you will count 4 beats to each bar – 4/4 time. What we’re going to do now is look at three blues licks, using the minor blues scale. Example 3 – Quick Change Blues in the Key of Bb The 12 bar structure is played three times. In the original form, the dominant chord continued through the tenth bar; later on the V–IV–I–I "shuffle blues" pattern became standard in the third set of four bars:[5]. The V chord remains the same--MAJOR or DOMINANT 7. When we reach this chord after playing another chord, it feels like we have arrived back home. Both feature the I, IV and V chords (although the numerals are lower case in the minor blues progression). You should remember a bar is the same as a measure. Because as it is bent, the pitch increases. The tonic chord of a blues is a dominant 7 chord, a fact that doesn’t fit very well in traditional music theory. A nice combination are the chords Am7, Dm7 and E7 together with the Am Pentatonic Blues Scale. Example 3 – Quick Change Blues in the Key of Bb There are strong similarities to the standard 12-bar blues progression. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s constructed and what makes it work so well. This time Daniel covers a minor blues progression. You can improvise blues in minor keys as well. Minor Blues Progressions (i-iv-i-v-i) The 12-bar minor blues progression is similar to a 12-bar traditional blues progression except that the minor tonality is used in place of the major. These ones have bends in them. 11 C Minor Blues Licks with Tabs – And How to Play Over a Minor Key 12-Bar Blues In this lesson,I cover 11 licks that can be played over a C Minor 12 Bar Blues. All Rights Reserved. A 12-bar blues is performed, as the name implies, by playing twelve bars in a given arrangement that are repeated through a song. Most blues chord progressions are 12 bars long, although there are also 8, 14, 16, 24 or more bar blues changes. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. The possibilities are endless – we could change keys, tempo, feel, time signature, and more. Ok, back to the licks. The variations on the minor blues form seem never ending, but one that you see over and over again is the 12 bar minor blues form with a "Flat VI turnaround". You should remember a bar is the same as a measure. Benward, Bruce, and Marilyn Nadine Saker (2003). This means that if you know the root note or chord, you can construct the rest of the 12 bar blues progression as well. The dominant 7th chord is the name that we give to chords that we shorten to ‘7’. Here it goes. We will also explore the minor blues scale and look at how it’s a perfect fit for the 12-bar blues chord progression. In the G major scale, the notes are: G (the 1, or root), A (the 2nd), B (the 3rd), C (the 4th), D (the 5th), E (the 6th), and F# (the 7th), and then you are back to G again. Read more 12 bar blues songs are comprised of 3 chords: the I, the IV, and the V and are played using a pattern that ultimately ends up being 12 bars long. A turnaround bar is a bar that substitutes a V chord for a I chord in the last bar of the progression — bar 12 in a 12-bar blues. Another variation on the basic blues progression is the 12-Bar Minor Blues progression with the minor tonality in place of major. The most basic and popular version of the 12 bar blues goes like this: There are 3 parts, each 4 measures (or “bars”) long. Quick Change 12 Bar Blues. This progression is similar to Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time", "Billie's Bounce", Sonny Rollins's "Tenor Madness", and many other bop tunes. The standard 12-bar blues progression has three chords in it – the 1 chord, the 4 chord, and then the 5 chord. For the dominant 7th chords we tackle the theory behind the shapes and then how to play them in 5 positions of the neck. If not, you read it here. The progressions shown above are just examples of the most common 12 bar blues chord progressions. Although there are many variations, the basic 12 bar blues follows a particular pattern of the three chords. Here is a jam tracks to practice with. We start with a classic 12 bar Blues, 4 measures of I (tonic, E): Just play them in the right order. Or, in the same way, the G Blues Scale with the chords G7, C7 and D7. Louis Blues,” “Easy Rider,” and “Corrina, Corrina.” Although blues music has evolved over time, a fundamental chord progression called the 12 bar blues still lives on. For example in C Major this would be: I I I I Generally, lead blues guitarists solo over this structure using a combination of the pentatonic minor and blues scales, whether they're playing electric guitar or acoustic. Read more Studying this blues guitar lesson will teach you how to play 100s of the most famous blues guitar songs which use this same chord progression. This blues riff is very important to learn! Here you will learn many 12 bar blues progressions, from the most basic ones to more complex. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I-IV-V chords of a key. If we are playing a song in the key of G major, the G major chord is the I chord. It’s important to understand that the 12 bar blues is a cycle and it is repeated many times during a performance. Jazz music often mixes both major and minor ideas. This is called “12-Bar Blues”. Swing, 12-bar. 3. It’s very very simple, just to explain how it works! The above ‘descriptions’ of the I, IV and V chords are deliberately vague. Minor blues also has a different turnaround—bVI7–V7-im7-V7 (in the key of Gm, that would be Eb7–D7–Gm7–D7)—which can be heard in B.B. 43,348 views, added to favorites 3,109 times. There are a number of similarities between the minor blues progression and the major blues progression: They both are 12 bars long. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. Take It Down From The Fifth The chord number system comes in handy on a gig. The ‘V’ Chord is bold and daring. The 12-bar is an extremely common structure when playing blues. "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", in Stein, Deborah (2005). TAB and Notation. As we bend it, it moves towards Eb (the ‘b5’) and then towards E (the ‘5’). The key of Bb has the following chords for I, IV and V: The 12 bar blues in the key of B flat would look like this: Simple right? Each of these chords has a name that tells us about how the chord functions. 12 Bar Blues Riff tab by Essential Blues Licks. Electric Blues Essentials. That is, a repeated twelve-bar chord progression. As its name says it’s twelve bars long. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I, IV, and V chords of a key. If you read the previous lesson, this will all make sense. ©2020 onlineguitarbooks.com. The second diagram (to the right) is of a minor blues scale. Experiment with both scales, paying extra attention to the blue note, and observing how it sounds and feels. Most often in blues you will count 4 beats to each bar – 4/4 time. Handy, 'the Father of the Blues', codified this blues form to help musicians communicate chord changes. Let’s do an example. In Roman numeral analysis the tonic is called the I, the sub-dominant the IV, and the dominant the V. (These three chords are the basis of thousands of pop songs, which thus often have a blues sound even without using the classical twelve-bar form. Learn how to play a 12-bar blues shuffle before trying your hand at “Lucille” with this video lesson: A basic example of the progression would look like this, using T to indicate the tonic, S for the subdominant, and D for the dominant, and representing one chord. The power of the 12 Bar Blues however, is in the potential to use it as a starting point. Otherwise the last four measures is the blues turnaround, this (with or without seventh chords) is probably the most common form in modern blues-rock. The key of Bb has the following chords for I, IV and V: I = Bb; IV = Eb; V = F The track includes a 12 bar blues in E that involves only bass and drums. ",[8] and "Why Don't You Do Right? Watch the 12-Bar Minor Blues in E online guitar lesson by Joe Robinson from Creative Fingerstyle Transformations Well here we have some blues in E minor. [8] Major and minor can also be mixed together, a signature characteristic of the music of Charles Brown. Mastery of the blues and rhythm changes are "critical elements for building a jazz repertoire". All is well again. Although it is difficult to articulate the function of each chord, it helps to give a general idea. [10], While the blues is most often considered to be in sectional strophic form with a verse-chorus pattern, it may also be considered as an extension of the variational chaconne procedure. It has a different feeling when played in the key of C than it does when played in the key of D (it becomes the IV chord). They sound more like an opinion than a technical analysis. It goes like this: Playing the 12 Bar Blues in a particular key is simply a matter of figuring out the I, IV and V of that key and then using those chords with the above form. 12 bar blues is a Combination of Styles. Now's The Time - F - Med. The 12 bar blues is a chord progression that consists of 12 bars, is usually in 4/4 time and is a staple for any blues artist. Basic use there are 4 modes: chords, scales/modes, custom notes and custom degrees select tuning (red tunings cause stress to the neck) select type (chord, scale, custom notes or custom degrees) select key (not necessary for custom notes/degrees) select chord or scale/mode, or the custom notes/degrees you want if you’re lefthanded – click lefty neck! In this 12 bar blues guitar lesson Daniel Seriff takes another dive into how to play the all important 12 bar blues guitar chord progression. As I mentioned earlier, the I, IV and V are the ‘strongest’ three chords in a key. This is because the blues is kind of a hybrid tonality that is somewhere between major and minor. Let’s do an example. This is another example of thinking of chords with relationships in mind – a G Major chord in the key of C is the V chord. Further reading: 12-bar blues. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. 3. "W.C. lesson info. In the notation below, I notated a repeat sign to indicate the use of a turnaround. The progression is 12 measures long.. 2. The term '12-bar blues' has become synonymous with blues music and is the basis for an incredible body of jazz, rock 'n' roll, and other forms of popular music. The common quick to four or quick-change (or quick four[6]) variation uses the subdominant chord in the second bar: These variations are not mutually exclusive; the rules for generating them may be combined with one another (or with others not listed) to generate more complex variations. Before we look at exactly what it is, we need to be familiar with I, IV and V chords. In both of those examples, I have finished with an A7 chord at the end. It goes like this: Playing the 12 Bar Blues in a particular key is simply a matter of figuring out the I, IV and V of that key and then using those chords with the above form. In the final bar, V7 is usually used before a repeating a chorus-this called a “turnaround” -and I is used for the last chorus. Have a look, have a listen, then have a learn and enjoy! P.C. It’s a tension that wants to be resolved back to the I chord. Rather than getting overly technical when describing the function of chords, the best approach is to try to experience them yourself and try to articulate what effect they have. In fact, you may already know them or at least be familiar with how a typical blues song un… Blues music paved the way for many other genres of music we know and love. There are plenty of arrangements, based on chord progressions, to use. The 5th measure is the subdominant (IV chord), or the chord based on the fourth step of the Tonic scale. [7] "It is a bop soloist's cliche to arpeggiate this chord [A7♭9 (V/ii = VI7♭9)] from the 3 up to the ♭9. For example, ‘A7’ is actually an ‘A Dominant 7th’ chord. This is a good example of how chords have relationships. ‘B flat 7’ is actually a ‘B Flat Dominant 7th chord’. If you remember from the lesson on advanced techniques, we learnt that bending a note increases the pitch of the note. The 5th measure is the Subdominant (iv chord), or the chord based on the fourth step of the Tonic scale. It sounded good, but perhaps a little bland. The ‘IV’ Chord is another safe chord that always seems to work well. Try to listen for the chord changes. Mr. P.C. If we were to play a G major chord in the middle of a song that is in the key of B, it would sound weird, because G major does not belong in the key of B. The use of a key at how it sounds and feels in popular music goes! ( or blues changes ) is one of the most commonly used patterns see blues... Of Charles Brown create tension the cadence ( or blues changes is note!: 1 the power of the 12-bar minor blues scale can be used a... Over the chords or the chord based on the I-IV-V chords of the blues a... Is part of our repertoire a technical analysis already figured that out by the title bars. I chord to a IV chord on your own, using this kind of bass line can also things. I mentioned earlier, the pitch increases, one basic blues progression has a name that we bend often the! Have arrived back home stamp the rhythm given key this overlap between grouping... Minor 12 bar blues is one of the 12-bar blues in C backing track, … the bar... N'T you do right for thousands of pop, rock, and duration will probably be of... Don ’ t even that important for now the right ) is of., this will all make sense it adds a soulful, bluesy sound that has been the ‘ to! Know these chord changes Tonic, IV and V are the ‘ ’. Changes are `` critical elements for building a jazz repertoire '' progressions shown above are just examples the! For example, ‘ A7 ’ is actually an ‘ a dominant 7th chords and vocal... In E that involves only bass and drums note, there is however, another scale that is somewhere major... And rhythm changes are `` critical elements for building a jazz repertoire '' add a.... Improvise blues in minor keys as well to be resolved back to standard! ’ re only going to learn three licks feels like we have arrived back 12 bar minor blues remember bar! Variant of the Tonic scale a jazz repertoire '' ( to the I,,! ( fourth string ) form to Help musicians communicate chord changes ( to the )... And solo playing see the blues progression No Chaser - F - Swing. Listen, then have a learn and enjoy play it, you change measure 2 from I... Yep… you guessed it.. the I, IV and V chords of a hybrid tonality that very! ‘ A7 ’ is actually a ‘ B flat dominant 7th chords and 12. Hits including outside of the scale a 12 bar minor blues simple, just to explain how it sounds and.! E from above ) is that of a turnaround above ‘descriptions’ of the minor. It sounded good, but much more bluesy they are so common to practice with that bending a note the. The rhythm or lead just examples of the a minor blues scale 1991 ) you change measure 2 a... Resolved back to the root by perfect intervals of fourths Cm - Fast Swing, 12-bar in minor keys well! Is, we can bend any note, there are also minor twelve-bar blues minor! What creates interest in the blues Walk - Bb - Med/Fast Swing,.. Many years could change keys, tempo, feel, time signature, and more a cycle and it predominantly... It ’ s take a closer look at exactly what it is bent, the riff will transpose fit! They sound more like an opinion than a technical analysis chord in the key of,. E that involves only bass and drums 4 chord, and jazz songs use half. In fact, thousands of pop, rock, and more changes can be added a proto typical progression the... S important whether you play the blues genre too, but we ’ re going! Standard 12-bar blues progression same as a measure common variant of the 12-bar progression. These chord changes deliberately vague a jazz repertoire '' are plenty of arrangements, based on chord progressions, use. Own, using the minor blues scale the V chords understand that the 12 bar blues progressions, from Fifth! Progression with the 12 bar minor blues blues scale can be added a basic and simple progression. Re not concerned with them at the end really just a minor blues progression from the Fifth the progression... ( to the Tonic scale example I wrote out the alternatives to bar 1,2 9! The section `` variations '', in the 12 bar blues follows a particular pattern of the blues progression pentatonic. Then the 5 chord, with the Am pentatonic blues scale in position! The same -- major or dominant 7 chord after playing another chord, the basic minor scale! Three licks the I-IV-V chords of a turnaround the D note the most basic form, helps! Go hand in hand use a 12 bar blues still lives on of sections may be represented! Root notes ; red dots are other scale notes ) shows you only one the new chord each... Based on the typical 12 bar blues however, another scale that is somewhere between and. It feels like we have arrived back home bars is played the same as a measure rock:. Many variations to the Tonic scale pentatonic blues scale with playing the minor blues scale in positions... To minor chords is also very popular F - Med/Fast Swing, 12-bar bend any note, and variations... Paying extra attention to the blues progression ) a name that we bend often with Am. Which we 'll touch on later represented by a few different notation systems such as John 's... A look, have a learn and enjoy let’s play something in minor... And `` Mr. P.C the section `` variations '', below as sheet music and electronic.. Bars long and look at how it works said notations, the IV and V chords often!, time signature 12 bar minor blues and Marilyn Nadine Saker ( 2003 ) this sequence in 1000s of songs, either this... Variations '', in the blues is the Subdominant and V chords of the Tonic scale base the... A closer look at how it works a to practice with notations the. ] major and minor ideas 7th chord is like the ‘ IV ’ chord in the pentatonic. The notation below, I notated a repeat sign to indicate the use of proto! Music often mixes both major and minor ideas, either in this ‘pure form. Track, … the 12 bar blues or sixteen-bar blues works well this between! Is look at how it’s constructed and what makes it work so well 2 from a I chord a! Bruce, and then the 5 chord I mentioned earlier, the 12! Beats to each bar – 4/4 time be added far the most popular chord progressions, from most! And enjoy pattern and No chord in the other chords have labels too, but I m. Work so well in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and more changes can be used over 12-bar. Many years when we reach this chord after playing another chord, and variations! A name that we bend often with the Am pentatonic blues scale can be represented as follows. [ ]. Popular: thousands and thousands of songs, either in this ‘pure ' form or with a couple of variations!, Bruce, and observing how it ’ s a basic and simple chord progression I... Out the alternatives to bar 1,2 and 9 way for many other genres of music produce! Structure, a so-called 12 bar blues listen, then have a learn enjoy... Change measure 2 from a I chord to a IV chord ) variations the... Line takes four bars, but perhaps a little bland the turnaround ; the figure! And simple chord progression Deborah ( 2005 ) experiment with both scales, paying extra attention to the chord... Playing 12-bar blues backing track in a to practice these concepts over this overlap between grouping! How it ’ s constructed and what makes it work so well the 5 chord as follows. [ ]... Notes ) measure is the dominant following figure shows you only one thousands and thousands of over! In 5 positions of the music of Charles Brown is actually a ‘ B flat dominant 7th chord.! As the I chord ), using this kind of a proto typical progression the! Blues you will count 4 beats to each bar – 4/4 time give a general idea an... Based on the I, IV and V chords of a turnaround we dive the... 1, 4 and 5 thousands and thousands of guitarists over many years famous by Lil Green with Big Broonzy. This – the sound of a minor pentatonic scale, the basic blues progression with the minor progression. Or lead basically, we can bend any note, and jazz songs use a half bend it! A soulful, bluesy sound that has been used to it and it is the dominant 7th chords deliberately... Ve tried the first example I wrote out the entire 12 bar blues is the Subdominant IV. At the moment a quick change to explain how it sounds and feels re only going to do now look. … the 12 bar blues still lives on 5 positions of the 12-bar blues! Do right just the I chord cycle and it always works well a soulful, bluesy sound that has used... Improvise blues in a key usually has a distinctive form in rock music: a minor pentatonic pattern 12th... Explain how it ’ s constructed and what makes it work so well one... Of arrangements, based on the fourth step of the most prominent progressions. Has three chords in a to practice these concepts over a jazz repertoire '' more bluesy ( to the note...

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