Most blues players have a grip on the basic I-IV-V twelve bar blues progression and also have a few turnarounds under their belt. Part of what makes the blues so much fun to play and jam over, is its relatively simple format. But what separates the men from the boys and makes the blues fun to ""listen"" to are the endless variations of turnarounds, progressions and rhythmic patterns that great players have a handle on.
In our Turnarounds series, we covered many blues turnaround variations and more importantly, showed you how to construct your own. In this series, we'll cover 29 twelve-bar major blues progressions and also show you how to construct your own variations on the fly.
Michael Bloomfield, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and hundreds of other top blues players mix up their blues progressions with substitutions, alternate voicings and interesting turnarounds. The thought of memorizing all of these variations may seem daunting at first, but once you start working through the lessons with the charts we've prepared, you'll appreciate just how easy it is to mix up your blues progressions. So print out those charts and let's get busy playing the blues.
In this first lesson, we'll review this series' charts and then discuss some of the most common blues rhythms such as the shuffle, swing and straight 8ths.
NOTE: We've prepared ten jam tracks for you to practice with. See the charts for the listing of jam tracks and their structure. Each lesson bank features one of the ten tracks, although the jam track may not necessarily correspond with the video.