Previous page:

Turnaround - Lesson 1, part 1

Next page:
Previous page: Blues Guitar Turnarounds Next page: Turnaround - Lesson 1, part 2

The turnaround takes you from the end of one verse to the beginning of the next. It will typically end on a V7-chord, which will be resolved by the I-chord at the beginning of the next verse.

Before going more into turnaround, we have to recapitulate, in case you have not been following the Blues Guitar Series. As pointed out in the Blues Guitar - Lesson 3: An introduction to turnarounds - the turnaround chord - lesson, the blues turnaround usually has two parts: The first part takes place from the first beat of bar 11 to the first beat of bar 12. We start from a I-chord, do some melodic and/or harmonic embellishments, and return to the I-chord. From there the second part goes to the V7-chord.

You can find one example of a turnaround chord sequence in E in the lesson Blues Guitar - Lesson 8: A Turnaround Chord Sequence, and a turnaround lick in Blues Guitar - Lesson 9: Turnaround licks in E. We will start from where we ended in these lessons, so it might be an idea to review them before you continue.

Here I will start with a few chord sequences that can be the basis for many turnaround licks. We start in the key of E-major. The chords we will be using in addition to the E, are three diminished chords: G#dim, Gdim and F#dim.

E G#dim Gdim F#dim E

Written in tablature, the sequence will be:


You may ask why I call them diminished, and give them these strange root notes. Isn't the G#dim just the E7 in a D7-shape moved up two frets? The answer is a kind of yes and no. If we take the root out of the E7, we are left with a G#dim chord. But it will often function as an E7, and it will often be notated as E7. Play the same sequence of chords as real 7th chords with the root, and listen carefully. The chords will then be E7, D#7 and D7.

E E7 D#7 D7 E


I think they sound better as dim chords, which means that I do not want them to function as 7th chords in this context. If I should make them into some kind of 7th chords, I prefer the dim7 in this contxt. It will then be E#dim7, Edim7 and D#dim7.

E E#dim7 Edim7 D#dim7 E


There is no right or wrong here. I am telling you what kind of chords I prefer to use in this context. Your ears decide what you like. What is right for you is right. But listen carefully to the subtle differences between the three chord sequences E - E7 - D#7 - D7 - E, E - G#dim - Gdim - F#dim - E and E - E#dim7 - Edim7 - D#dim7 - E.

Some Turnarounds Blues - books

Top Seller


More >>
Blues Turnarounds
A Compendium of Patterns & Phrases for Guitar. Includes instructional book and examples CD. With introductory text, instructional text, musical examples, standard guitar notation, guitar tablature, chord names and guitar notation legend.
RefNr: HL695602
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Other Books


More >>
Guitar Axis Masterclass: Turnarounds
This lesson is aimed at giving you usable ideas for improvising over turnarounds.
RefNr: APGA002CD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
All Intros and Endings for Jazz Guitar
Bebop, Swing, Latin, Ballads
RefNr: MB99532BCD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Blues Turnarounds
A Compendium of Patterns & Phrases for Guitar. Includes instructional book and examples CD. With introductory text, instructional text, musical examples, standard guitar notation, guitar tablature, chord names and guitar notation legend.
RefNr: HL695602
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
101 Razor-Sharp Blues Guitar Turnarounds
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.
RefNr: B000PHU7J2
Order From:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Go here for full list of Turnarounds Blues books

Turnarounds Blues - videos

Go here for full list of Turnarounds Blues videos

Previous page: Next page:
Previous page: Blues Guitar Turnarounds Next page: Turnaround - Lesson 1, part 2