Watch the 8 Bars and a Bridge online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Rhythm Revolution
In a situation like this, an eight bar blues with a bridge, there are a couple of ways that you can go with it harmonically. This is kind of a jazzy thing, it's not quite your Chicago style, certainly not Mississippi Delta style. This is a little more sophisticated, more like something you could hear from Count Basie or The Duke Ellington Orchestra. To me, the feeling and the sound is sort of big bandish in a way. This never gets loud but its got that sensibility to it, Kansas City maybe. It's a series of seventh chords. You could use one voicing throughout the entire thing. In my case I've tended to use the nine chord and then I use a chord voicing on the third chord. The reason being, not just because it works, which it does, because it keeps this consistency with this note. One of the themes that I harp on in rhythm playing a lot - one note on top isn't changing. These are my chord voicings from the very beginning. For some reason on this particular pass, I didn't feel like playing all those chord voicings. I think my intuition there was basically about keeping it kind of lowdown, kind of grounded. On my second pass through those chords I think I played B flat on top. So it's the same B flat nine chord but I'm accentuating the B flat on the E string. So it's the same concept. So there's been a progression, within two choruses of eight bar blues there's been this very subtle but simple progression in terms of the intensity of it, the harmony of it. I'm not even really changing my chord voicing I'm just adding the B flat on top. Then I play these same little nine chord turnaround things. I do this stuff automatically now. It's interesting how much you can do with just a nine chord. You could play one chord voicing throughout this entire piece of music. Not a ton of harmonic information in these chords, I'm playing very basic seventh chords and I'm adding the ninth in some of the voicings that I'm playing. The rhythm aspect of it is very important. Just keep it going. The consistency is important.