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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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