Watch the Alternate Forms online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Blues Bass Survival Guide
There are several alternate forms to our standard 12 bar blues. Here are a few common ones. The first one involves going to the 4 chord in the 2nd bar, often referred to as quick 4 or quick change. Another alternate form would be to stay on the 5 chord for bars 9 and 10 instead of going to the 4 chord in bar 10. Another might be to use the 5 chord as a turnaround, a way to transition back to the top of the song. This chord can be placed at the start of bar 12 or on beat 3 of bar 12. These are just a few standard alterations in a 12 bar blues and the substitutions listed can be used in any combination. Knowledge of these forms will help you react with instincts when playing the blues in spontaneous, unrehearsed settings.