Want to add some variety to your blues chord progressions? Thought so 🙂
If you are used to just playing the traditional 1, 4, 5 chords in a 12 bar blues (usually with dominant 7,9 or 13 chords) you’re only sticking with 3 possible chords.
There are some cool chords you can add to make the traditional 12 bar sequence more interesting.
So are traditional 12 bar blues in D could be:
D7 D7 D7 D7 G7 G7 D7 D7 A7 G7 D7 A7
2 really classy chords you can add are the 6th and 2nd chords from the key. So in D major the chords would be:
D Em F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim
Now for a really bluesy sound we’re going to make the 6th chord Dominant 7th and the 2nd chord a minor 7th.
The 6th dominant 7th chord can be seen as a secondary dominant (please refer to my blog on secondary dominants for an explanation of this)
The 2nd chord is diatonic (belongs to the key)
Here is a suggested chord progression using these chords.
In roman numerals they would go like this . I IV I I IV IV I VI IIm7 V I IIm7 / V
1.D7 2.G7 3.D7 4.D7 5.G7 6.G7 7.D7 8.B7 9.Em7 10.A7 11.D7 12.Em7 / A7
(in the 12th bar you can split it between the 2 chords – this bar is often referred to as the turnaround)
Have a play around with the above then have a go in different keys. So in A the progression would be:
1.A7 2.D7 3.A7 4.A7 5.D7 6.D7 7.A7. 8.F#7 9.Bm7 10.E7 11.A7 12.Bm7 / E7
Hope you’ve found this blog useful
Thanks for reading
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