The twelve-bar blues (or blues changes) is one of the most prominent chord progressions in popular music. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I, IV, and V chords of a key. ), Using said notations, the chord progression outlined above can be represented as follows.[3]. 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]. This overlap between the grouping of the accompaniment and the vocal is part of what creates interest in the twelve bar blues. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. Measure 1: C7 rooted on the 6th string, 8th fret. 12 Bar Blues. The 12-Bar Blues Chords. 12 bar blues is the most commonly used blues form. The 12 bar blues is the most basic blues chord progression. https://www.guitarlessons.com/.../the-12-bar-blues-progression So 12 bars would be 12 x 4, before the sequence repeats. You should remember a bar is the same as a measure. In example 1 below, a 12 bar blues progression is shown in the key of G, using open position dominant 7th chords, the type of chord typically associated with a bluesy sound. It’s the most common blues music progression. Flat Five, LLC owner of Blues Guitar Institute, Create a Rocking 12 Bar Blues Tune You Can be Proud Of, How to Play 12 Bar Blues Progressions Anywhere on the Neck. The first line takes four bars, as do the remaining two lines, for a total of twelve bars. 12 bar blues is a chord progression that defines the number of bars or measures in a typical blues song structure. From stripped down acoustic sound of the Delta blues to the very electric Chicago blues sound, tons of blues music is based on 12 bar blues progressions. It’s so popular: Thousands and thousands of songs are made from it! Handy, 'the Father of the Blues', codified this blues form to help musicians communicate chord changes. If you ever want to learn to play the blues on any instrument, you have to know these chord changes. This chord progression is based around the most important chords in a key I, IV & V (1, 4 & 5) and is repeated over and over for the duration of the piece. Mastery of the blues and rhythm changes are "critical elements for building a jazz repertoire". So 12 bars would be 12 x 4, before the sequence repeats. The 12 bar blues progression is the framework that so much of the blues is built upon. They serve as a starting point and can be changed and enriched. However, the vocal or lead phrases, though they often come in threes, do not coincide with the above three lines or sections. [2] (For the most commonly used patterns see the section "Variations", below. As it's name would suggest, it is made up of 12 bars (or measures), which are laid out in a very specific order: The progression uses the I, IV and V chords of the major scale. It’s a basic and simple chord progression. All are common voicings that you should learn. The cadence (or last four measures) uniquely leads to the root by perfect intervals of fourths. 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. Most often in blues you will count 4 beats to each bar – 4/4 time. "W.C. I think it has a more “funky” feel. [1], In the key of C, one basic blues progression (E from above) is as follows. Covach, John. In it’s most often imitated form, a blues chord progression can be built by using chords built on the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of any given major scale, producing a “12 bar blues” progression in that key. 12 Bar Blues Chord Progressions. [11], Prominent chord progression in popular music, Standard twelve-bar blues progressions variations, in C. (Benward & Saker, 2003, p. 186), Tanner and Gerow 1984, p. 37, cited in Baker 2004: "This alteration [V–IV–I rather than V–V–I] is now considered standard.". This lesson will use dominant 7th, dominant 9th, and dominant 13th chords. ), Chords may be also represented by a few different notation systems such as sheet music and electronic music. In most 12 bar blues progressions, the band plays one measure of the dominant seventh, then steps down to one measure of the sub-dominant (G major) and then finally back to the original tonic (D major). Bars (also called measures) in blues can best be described as consisting of a count of four. 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. 12 Bar Blues Chord Progressions. This is called “12-Bar Blues ”. "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", in Stein, Deborah (2005). [8] Major and minor can also be mixed together, a signature characteristic of the music of Charles Brown. 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 length of sections may be varied to create eight-bar blues or sixteen-bar blues. Mastery of the blues and rhythm changes are "critical elements for building a jazz repertoire". In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I, IV, and V chords of a key. A progression of chords used to lead the ear back to the tonic - used in the last bar of the 12-bar blues structure - usually chord ii to chord V Swing rhythm / shuffle rhythm A rhythm where quavers are interpreted as a crotchet-quaver triplet rather than as even 8ths. The 12 bar blues is a 12 bar long chord progression that solo blues musicians can easily improvise over the top of because the chord progression is familiar to them. Jazz music often mixes both major and minor ideas. Basic Blues Chords. No Rules. In fact, you may already know them or at least be familiar with how a typical blues song un… As its name says it’s twelve bars long. Below are some common dominant chords that will be used in this lesson. "Jazzin' the Blues with Charles Brown", Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Transformation in Rock Harmony: An Explanatory Strategy", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Twelve-bar_blues&oldid=987063568, Articles lacking in-text citations from August 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The standard 12-bar blues is a I-IV-V chord progression most typically divided into three four-bar segments. To help get the progression ready for a repeat, employ a turnaround that sets up the repeat. [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. Van der Merwe (1989) considers it developed in part specifically from the American Gregory Walker, though the conventional account would consider hymns to have provided the repeating chord progression or harmonic formulae of the blues. Benward, Bruce, and Marilyn Nadine Saker (2003). Most of the time you repeat the progression to play additional verses and solos. "[7], There are also minor twelve-bar blues, such as John Coltrane's "Equinox" and "Mr. This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 17:57. In this lesson we are going to learn the standard blues progression, listen to some famous examples of 12 bar blues songs and learn to play some blues on the piano. The most common form of the blues is a 12-bar pattern of chord changes. 12 bar blues is a chord progression that defines the number of bars or measures in a typical blues song structure. Seventh chords are often used just before a change, and more changes can be added. ", made famous by Lil Green with Big Bill Broonzy[9]. It’s important whether you play the rhythm or lead. P.C. 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 blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. Blues progressions are almost exclusively played in 4/4 time and dominated by the root (I Chord), with the IV and V chords providing that extra bit of …