Tag Archives: blues chords

Spice up your Blues playing Pt 1 – 6 + 2 chords

Hi there,

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

You can find Js Music School on twitter via @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic



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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in The Blues


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