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Watch the Back Pedaling online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Lab: Blues Progressions

The strongest movement in music is a V-I cadence of any kind. This next blues progression takes that idea and runs with it big time through a concept called back cycling (we looked into this back in For The Bird, remember?). But, first dig this: You have a target chord you're going to and you want to add a passing chord of some sort to create more movement as well as to sound cool. A good first level approach is to play a V7 chord of the chord you're setting up. Easy enough, right? In short yes, but here's the catch: The blues is basically one big recurring V-I! For example, the change from the I7 in bar 4 to the IV7 in bar 5 is at the same time a V-I in the key of the IV chord. OK, fine, then how about sticking a V7 of the I chord in front of *it*? Now we're getting somewhere.

Just look at what happens in the first four bars here in Back Pedaling and you'll see back cycling in full force starting at bar 1, beat 3 where an Eb7 (D#7) sets up G#7, which sets up a C#7 that sets up the F#7 that follows and ... you get the picture. Back cycling is a very cool tool that doesn't take much work and can be played at high tempi with ease.

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