Watch the Minor Blues online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Blues Bass Survival Guide
When we talk about a minor blues we are talking about the chord progression having a minor tonality versus a major one. We are not talking about the feel of the song. A number of different grooves or feels will work with these progressions, some of the common ones you may encounter are straight 8th, R&B, jazz, or rhumba. The bass lines over the minor chords should incorporate the minor 3rd and 7th when musically appropriate. Just like the standard 12 bar blues, there are a number of variations in these minor blues forms including using a quick 4 and several dominant chords mixed in with the minor tonality. Here we will play a C minor blues and use a straight 8th R&B feel. The progression has a quick 4 and focuses on the minor 3rd and 7th to emphasize the minor tonality. I emphasize outlining each chord with the bass line so you hear the harmony even without guitar or piano. There are also quite a few chromatic leading tones throughout. Rhythmically we will use 8th and 16th note rhythms combined with space to create dynamics in our bass line.