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I need someone to please explain the 12 bar blues and how to read a chord chart

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Lowend4s, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Lowend4s


    Jan 2, 2001
    Somebody please give me a hand
  2. jazzcatb17


    Dec 27, 2002
    Louisville, Ky
    well as far as 12 bar blues goes its 3 lines each with 4 bars, totaling 12 bars. it generall follows a note pattern of I, I7, IV, IV7 and V7, an example in E would be 3 bars of E, One bar of E7, 2 bars of A7, two bars of E, One bar of B7, one bar of A7, and two bars of E. The first two lines of it( first 8 bars ) are the general groove and the last line (last four bars) is the turnaround, then it starts again. you basicaaly improvise a walking line over these chords. Now that does you no good unless you can read basic chords so lets see about that. First make sure you know what note each fret on your bass is, example would be your third fret on the E string is a G. Now to play most basically, everytime ayou see G on the chord sheets, hammer out straight G's, same with any other notes. with this approach you dont need to worry about magor or minor or 7th or anything else, but its boring as heck to. A simple way to spice up the lines is to learn your major scales for every note, it's not tough, they all are exactly the same pattern. Now when the chart says G you can run around the scale, but focus on root, third fifth and octave, they are the preeminent notes in a chord, if the chord is minor only play the root fifth and octave, or, preferably, learn the minor scales and swing over them. Finally if the chord says 7th, just make sure you play the seventh flattened. It sounds overwhelmimg, but honestly its not that difficult. keep practicing, and learn your theory
  3. Lowend4s


    Jan 2, 2001
    Thank you
  4. jazzcatb17


    Dec 27, 2002
    Louisville, Ky
    no problem... but if your having any question on this chord stuff you should really get a theory book, Serious Electric Bass is a excellent book for learning basics of therory to some very complex things, It is written in music though, but its retty simple and if you have the slightest clue how to read music it shouldnt be a problem figuring the rest out. Going through it actually taught me to read music. Or if you want a easier route, most any music place will have a book on arppegios of chords for bass, you could just fgrab one of those.:D :D :cool:
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I really suggest you purchase the book/CD set "Mel Bay's Complete Blues Bass Book by Mark Hiland.

    Here's why. Walking lines are just one way of playing basslines to a 12-bar blues. There are many other common patterns played with the 12-bar blues besides walking patterns. This book introduces you to them and to walking also.

    But more importantly, Hiland explains the most common chord structures of the 12-bar blues, describes turanarounds, intros, outros, and describes the scales and chords most commonly used in blues.

    He also differentiates among the different types of blues such as shuffles, boogies, minor blues, "jazz blues", Texas swing, blues rock, and early rock and roll.

    If you can get a hold of this fine book you will see the most common blues chord progressions and some of the more sophisticated ones with chord substitutions.

    See, it isn't enough just to know how to structure a 12-bar blues chart. You have to know what to do with it. Walking lines are great, but no all blues have a walking line.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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