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Blues Guitar - An introduction to turnarounds - the turnaround chord

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You have probably already heard the word turnaround, and I am sure that you have heard many turnarounds played. A turnaround turns you around: It takes you from them end of the verse to the beginning of the next. What you do is to create some tension at the end of the verse, that is resolved when you start the next verse. You do this by ending on a V7 chord, which is dissolved by the I chord in the beginning of the next verse. This creates a V7-I change.

The simplest turnaround is just to end on the V7 chord, giving you a last line that looks like this:

In E, it would be:

You should notice that the V7 chord is played from the second beat of the last bar. You might play it on all four beats of the last bar, but it does not sound as good.

You cannot end on the V7 chord - or at least one usually does not end on this chord. If you end on the V7 chord, you will feel that you have to play another verse. In the last verse, you have to end on a I chord, or a I7 chord.

We can introduce the C7-chord on the second beat in the last bar. You get the C7 just by moving the B7 up one fret. And then you go to B7 by moving the chord down one fret. The open B string will give you a strong dissonance if you let it ring with the C7 chord. It sounds better if you damp it out by leaning your 3rd finger on the 2nd string. But for this very short chord, it is not that important. If you let a strong dissonance ring, then it will sound "wrong", but it might work well as a quick passing chord.

  C7

 

12 bar blues Type 1 in E with turnaround chord

 

The end of the Hoochie Coochie lick

When starting on the turnaround, it is time to turn around to our Hoochie Coochie lick on more time, and look at how it ended. As you see, it is a very simple move ut the the B in bar 9, and another simple chromatic run down to A in bar 10, and then it is the normal route back to E again. In bar 12 there is little chromatic run from A to B, a run I am sure you have heard many times before. And then it is back to the basic lick, and you are ready for another 12 bar.


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Some Turnarounds Blues - books

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A turnaround lick is one that is played in the last two bars of of chord progression; for example measures 11-12 in a twelve-bar blues. The 101 authentic blues turnarounds in this book are in the Chicago, or urban, blues style popularized by Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, and carried on by Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan; the licks can be applied to thousands of real songs. Each lick is written in notation and tablature, and recorded on the companion CD.
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Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
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