3 simple 12 bar blues forms

10 Nov

I am quite a big fan of the blues, and I definitely advice studying no matter if you like it or not, as the majority of modern music originates or relates to this genre.

The most popular blues form is based around 12 bars. The first four are usually filled by the I7 chord. So this is the first characteristic of the blues: when we talk about a ‘blues in C’ we don’t strictly mean C major. The center of gravity of the whole structure is based around a Dominant 7th chord (the chord that sits on the 5th degree of the Harmonized Major Scale, so to speak) instead of a major7th chord. The following two bars are filled by another Dominant 7th chord, but this time on the fourth degree (IV7). Two bars of I7 follow. The last four bars are made up by one bar of V7 (the dominant chord on the 5th degree), one bar of IV7, one of I7 and finally another bar of V7 to ‘turnaround’ back to the top.

| I7     |         |        |         |

| IV7   |          |I7    |         |

|V7     |IV7    | I7    |V7      |

In the video I suggest two more advanced forms. Just download and print out the PDF file, learn the chords and go to the next step, the pentatonic.

Printable PDF: Three Basic 12 Bar Blues Forms

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Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by . Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country's finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree "Magna cum laude" in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States' east coast as a freelance musician. Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”. After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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