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Learn Guitar Online - Play Blues Progressions on Guitar by Ear

Learn Guitar Online - Play Blues Progressions on Guitar by Ear

Dominant seventh chords will almost always be good substitute chords to make use of when you are searching for a blues sound on guitar; often the printed music will show the chords of the song as major chords however if the tune has a blues 'feel' the chords most likely will be dominant seventh chords.

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blues progression guitar

Let us take a look at a sample 12 bar blues progression written exclusively as major chords.

Progression #1:

C /// | F /// | C /// | C /// |

F /// | F /// | C /// | C /// |

G /// | G /// | C /// | G7/// || C (last time)

Now here is the same progression using dominant seventh chords:

Progression #2:

C7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

F7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

G7 /// | G7/// | C7/// | G7/// || C7 (last time)

Because there is so many solutions to alter dominant seventh chords it's really a difficult choice to decide the best type of dominant seventh to your musical application.

In this next blues progression I'm featuring the dominant seventh which has a sharpened ninth. (one among Jimi Hendrix's favorite sounds).

Progression #3:

C7#9 /// | F7#9/// | C7#9/// | C7#9/// |

F7#9 /// | F7#9/// | C7#9/// | C7#9/// |

G7#9 /// | G7#9/// | C7#9/// | G7#9/// || C7#9 (before)

The dominant seventh having a sharpened ninth results in a lot of musical tension and so can be very useful for blues based material.

Now I'm only going to use the C7#9 to create musical tension in bar five to introduce the 'F' chord.

Progression #4:

C7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7#9/// |

F7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

G7 /// | G7/// | C7/// | G7/// || C7 (last time)

How about a dominant seventh which has a sharpened eleventh?

This chord could be written as: C+11 or C#11

The C+11 would support the following 1, 3, natural 5, b7,9,+11

I've specifically indicated that the fifth is a natural fifth since the +11 (sharp 11) you may also have thought of as a flattened fifth note.

Hence the notes in a C+11 chord can be: C,E,G,Bb,D & F#

C+11 = C,E,G,Bb,D,F#

F+11 = F,A,C,Eb,G,B

G+11 = G,B,D,F,A,C#

Progression #5:

C+11 /// | F+11/// | C+11/// | C+11/// |

F+11 /// | F+11/// | C+11/// | C+11/// |

G+11 /// | G+11/// | C+11/// | G+11/// || C+11 (last time)

You may find some of these sounds usual at first but as your ear becomes accustomed to the new harmonies I'm sure you will discover them very useful for creating interesting musical backgrounds on your tunes.

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blues progression guitar

Last updated 119 days ago by blues34km