3 simple 12 bar blues forms

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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