Blues Again

Here is a video lesson on the basics of the blues.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iZGQDNA7qI   This is a three minute video of the 8 bar blues. 

 
We started with 12 bar blues last time we had a blues theme and my understanding was and is very basic.If you know what a 1 4 5 progression in major chords means you can play any 12 bar blues as follows:1 1 1 1      for the first 4 bars   4  4   1  1  for the second 4 bars  and either  5  4  1  5   for a turnaround or 5  4 1  1   to finish the song.   The “rule of 41” means   1111   4411   5  41 5  and helps to remember the pattern.


Since then I’ve learned that most blues are played with a dominant 7th chord which just means a major 7th with a flat 7th.Stoo pointed out at out last session that jazz chords like  the 9th, 11th, and 13th  are all built on top of the dominant 7th.


We can take the basic 12 bar pattern and just play all 7th chords or we can play any mixture of major triads and dominant 7th chords.   I like the basic pattern because if you vary the right hand technique you can amuse yourself for hours just running the numbers, strumming and playing arpeggios.  We can even Jazz it up by introducing 9th chords.   The variations are endless and I’m learning something every day.


So what can we learn from the video?  First, 8 Bar is another common form.   This is useful as a basis for practicing chords and right hand technique.  It can also be used for song writing and for improvised performances.  Second it is a very good example of what I’m looking for as video footage for instruction.  Third it introduces some interesting chords both the 7th and 9th.   The shapes are basic I’m sure most of us know them.

The progression is just 1 5 4 4 for the first line followed by 1 5 1 5 for the second line with 1 5 1 1 to finish. The video uses A7 for 1, and D9,E9 for 4 and 5 but you can use plain ole major triads A D and E and it will still sound OK.


When we started this adventure I was trying to produce both workshop and performance videos.   I ran out of time.   These days the video focus is on performance.  That way we can all track improvements.   If anyone would like to offer a workshop please let me know off line and we can create the workshop video apart from the regular circle then we can share the workshop with the circle and have a brief Q&A.  This is pretty much the format we had with Stoo’s excellent workshop on non-standard tunings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s