Lesson 56 Video

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Lesson 56

Lesson 56 - 12 Bar Blues

12 Bar Blues Progression


Lesson Goals:

♦ Review the E7, A7 and B7 chords
♦ Learn what a 12 bar blues progression is
♦ Play "Before You Accuse Me"

In this lesson you will learn what is known as a standard "12 bar blues" chord progression.

In order to demonstrate a real life example we will use the song "Before You Accuse Me" as done by Eric Clapton.

The most common chord progression in blues music is the "12 bar blues" progression. The "bar" refers to the number of measures in the progression (not a Delta honky tonk!). Look at the chart below.

55 accuse me score 01

You can count out  a total of 12 measures in this progression.

Another thing that defines a "12 bar blues" song is that the chords themselves are in what's known as a:

I, IV, V (1, 4, 5) chord progression

You have heard the term I, IV, V chord progression a number of times throughout this course and in the next lesson we will dig a little deeper into how to define and identify one.

For now, let's work on playing this song and getting used to it. This progression probably sounds pretty familiar to you. Give it a try and we can nail it down in the video.

Lesson 56 Summary

Play through the "12 bar blues" chord progression a few times and get a feel for it. This is one you will use a lot in the future so feel free to experiment with some different rhythm patterns and see if you can name some songs you can remember that use this progression.

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Jam Tip!

The "12 bar blues" progression had a heavy influence on early rock and rock. The progression can be heard in early hits like "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, "Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog" by Elvis and "The Twist" by Chubby Checker. The progression has stuck throughout the years and can be heard in rock, country and blues hits today.

E7 Chord

9_e7 chord pic

A7 Chord

49 a7 pic

B7 Chord

3_b7 chord pic