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Lesson 11 - 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression


I. Index


1.  Introduction
2. Explanation of the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression
3. Playing the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression in the Key of C
4. Playing the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression in All 12 Keys
5. Conclusion


II. Content


1. Introduction
In this lesson, you will learn about the chords used in the 12 bar blues chord progression. When you see a group of blues musicians play together, everyone magically seems to know what to play. This is because they are following the format of the 12 bar blues chord progression. The blues have been used as a basis for many types of music such as pop and rock.


2. Explanation of the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression
Let's explain what the 12 bar blues chord progression refers to. 12 bar refers to the number of measures used in playing the blues. If you remember, another name for measures is bars. So in the blues, musicians just repeat these 12 measures or bars of music over and over again. Chord progression refers to the order in which chords are used in these 12 bars. In blues, the three primary chords are used. Below is the chord progression for the 12 bar blues.

1st four measures, or bars: I, I, I, I

2nd four measures, or bars: IV, IV, I, I

Last four measures, or bars: V, IV, I, I


3. Playing the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression in the Key of C
Let's take a look at the chord progression for the 12 bar blues chord progression in the key of C.

1st four measures, or bars: C, C, C, C

2nd four measures, or bars: F, F, C, C

Last four measures, or bars: G, F, C, C

Below is an animation of the chords used in the 12 bar blues chord progression in the key of C.










4. Playing the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression in All 12 Keys
You can play the I, IV, and V chord in the 12 bar blues chord progression in all 12 keys.

Below is a list of the I, IV, V chords of the 12 bar blues chord progression in all 12 keys.

A, D, E

Bb, Eb, F

B, E, F#

C, F, G

Db, Gb, Ab

D, G, A

Eb, Ab, Bb

E, A , B

F, Bb, C

F#, B, C#

G, C, D

Ab, Db, Eb


5. Conclusion
The 12 bar blues chord progression is used by blues musicians to play the blues. The 12 bar blues chord progression is the basis for many pop and rock songs.

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