This chord lesson is all about the blues. We all know the chord progression for a typical blues, but there are so many variations that it’s hard to know them all.
The blues originated in the USA and evolved from African, European and Latin influences. The blues had a very big influence on jazz. Nowadays every jazz musician has some blues in his repertoire.
There are many many different sets of blues progressions, going from the basic original blues to the more modern variations like the bebop and Coltrane blues changes or the changes played by Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk.
The foundation however stays the 12 bar blues with a set of 3 chord changes.
Here are some characteristics of the blues:
- Most blues chord progressions are 12 bars long, although there are also 8, 14, 16, 24 or more bar blues changes. There are many different 12 bar blues forms though.
- The tonic chord of a blues is a dominant 7 chord, a fact that doesn’t fit very well in traditional music theory.
- The blues is not only about chord changes and scales, but is also about a certain sound, afeeling.
Responsible for that sound are the blue notes: a lowered 3rd note and a lowered 5th note.
- The 3 basic chords of a blues are all dominant 7 chords.
Here’s a list of possible sets of blues chord changes:
|Count Basie Blues Changes||F7||Bb7 Bdim||F7||Cm7 F7|
|Bebop Changes||F7||Bb7||F7||Cm7 F7|
|Gm7||C7||Am7 D7||Gm7 C7|
|Tritone Substitution||F7||Bb7||F7||Cm7 F7|
|Bb7||Bm7 E7||F7 E7||Eb7 D7|
|Gm7||C7 Bb7||Am7 D7||Gm7 C7|
|Charlie Parker Blues||Fmaj7||Em7b5 A7b9||Dm7 Db7||Cm7 F7|
|Bb7||Bbm7 Eb7||Am7 D7||Abm7 Db7|
|Gm7||C7||F D7||Gm7 C7|