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Chord Progressions - 8, 16 and 24 bar blues

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Previous page: Chord Progressions - Basic 12-bar blues Next page: Chord Progressions - 12 bar blues revisited

Not all blues-tunes follow the familiar 12-bar pattern. There are other forms you should know, and you should also know that some tunes don fit into any of these schemes. You should get to know - in this sequence - the 8, 16 and 24 bar blues.

The 8-bar blues

The 8-bar blues is another standard progression. The most well known song with this progression is probably Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway. Other songs are Crow Jane and Sliding Delta.

The progression has two lines, with the following chord structure:

I V7 IV IV
I V7 I V7

In E this will be:

E B7 A(7) A(7)
E B7 E B7

In A, another favorite key for this progression, it will be:

A E7 D(7) D(7)
A E7 A E7

If you go to the 8-bar blues lessonin my Blues Guitar Series you will find some typical arrangements of this progressions in the keys E and A.

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Another 8-bar blues progression can be heard in I Hurts Me Too. There the progression is E - E - A - A- E - B7 - E - E or I - I - IV - IV - I - V - I - I.

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16-bar blues

There are (at least) two variations of the 16-bar blues. You get the first one if you repeat the second line of a 12-bar blues:

I I (IV) I I7
IV IV I I7
IV IV I I
V7 IV I I (V7)

You should be able to figure out what this will be in several keys. In my Blues Guitar Series you will find one arrangement of See See Rider as a 16-bar blues in E

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Another variation of the the 16-bar blues is simply the 8-bar structure explained in this lesson, with all chords divided into two.

I I V7 V7 IV IV IV IV
I I V7 V7 I I V7 V7

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24-bar blues

We can divide the bars of a 12-bar blues in two, just as we did with the 8-bar blues. The result is a 24-bar form.

I I I (IV) I (IV) I I I I(7)
IV IV IV IV I I I I
V7 V7 IV IV I I I (V7) I (V7)

Once again I leave it to you to figure out the chords in several keys. Go here for more.

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Some Progressions Blues - books

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12-Bar Blues
Book of the Month 2002-07
This book/CD pack is solely devoted to providing guitarists with all the technical tools necessary for playing 12-bar blues with authority.
RefNr: HL695187
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Other Books


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All Blues for Jazz Guitar
Book of the Month 2003-02
Comping Styles, Chords & Grooves
RefNr: MB96842BCD
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Essential 12-Bar Blues (Book/CD)
Now you can play the most famous guitar styles and patterns of all time used by artists from Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
RefNr: AM91211
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Gig Savers - Blues Changes for Serious Players
The blues is one of the most played styles and forms of music. This booklet presents alternate changes and many chord substitutions for the blues in a way that allows them to be transposed into any key.
RefNr: MB20030
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101 Essential Blues Progressions
This user-friendly book and CD shows how to transform standard three-chord blues changes into harmonically sophisticated jazz-blues progressions.
RefNr: MB98339BCD
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Progressions Blues - videos

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