Blues Chord Progressions.

A chord progression is when you have a series of chords in order that are repeated through a piece of music. They often create the structure of the piece.

Below are a number of chord progressions that are related to the blues.

Basic 12-Bar Blues

This is the basic chord progression (pattern) for the traditional Blues.

Each of the Bars ( | | ) last for 4 beats.

| A                | A                | A                | A                |

| D                | D                | A                | A                |

| E                | D                | A                | E                |

Basic 8-Bar Blues

This is the altered blues chord progression (pattern) that was the basis for Rock ‘n’ Roll. There are many variations but this a starting point.

| A                | E                | A                | D                |

| A                | E                | A    /   D   /  | A    /   E   /   |

Jazz variation

Jazz musicians took the 12 – bar blues and the 8 bar blues structures and added more jazz like chords. By using Dominant 7th (A7) chord for every chord will give a Jazzy feel.

The 12-bar would look like this.

| A7              | A7              | A7              | A7              |

| D7              | D7              | A7              | A7              |

| E7              | D7              | A7              | E7              |

The 8-bar would look like this.

| A7              | E7              | A7              | D7              |

| A7              | E7              | A7   /  D7 /  | A7   /  E7  /  |

Below are examples of the chord shapes mentioned in the chord progressions above.

A Major
D Major
E Major
A 7
D7
E7

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