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Blues Guitar - A Turnaround Chord Sequence

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We have discussed the turnaround chord. But I am sure you know that there is more to the turnaround than just the ending chord. In this lesson we will look closer at the chord sequence that we used in The Harmonized Shuffle in E. But before we do that, you should know where the turnaround licks takes place. They will "always" (there is no really "always" or "never" in blues) take place in bar 11 of a 12 bar blues. You come down from the V7 -IV7 chords in bar 9 and 10, and land on the I chord in the first beat of bar 11. In E this means that you play B7 - A7 and then land on E. But on the second beat of bar 11 you take off for something to make the ending more interesting, and you once again land on the I chord, this time in the first beat of bar 12. The turnaround lick takes place on 2nd, 3rd and 4th beat of bar 11, it starts form the I chord at beat 1 of bar 11 and ends on another I chord at the first beat of bar 12.

We pick up from where we left in lesson 3, and continue with a sequence of chords in bar 11. These chords are A7, A and Am. Note the fingering of these chords. There is no correct way to finger one specific chord. What fingering to choose depends on where you are coming from and where you are going. In this sequence of chords you are coming from E to E7, and this is easy. We use the same fingering of the E7 as we used in the Treble Shuffle. You change from E to E7 just by adding the 4th finger on 2nd string, 3rd fret.. But when you go from E7 to A, you should finger the A-chord with your 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger, as shown in the diagram. If you to it this way, you only have to move your fingers a little bit. If you finger the A-chord as you would usually do, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger, you will have to reposition the entire hand. When you continue to the Am, you only have to lift your pinky if you finger the chords as described, as indicated in the A / Am diagram. If you finger the A-chord as you would normally do, you will have to reposition your hand once more, by going back to the position you just left. The fingering of the A-chord might feel awkward, but in this particular chord sequence, it makes your playing more fluent.

E7 A A / Am Am

The sequence of chords is (E) - E7 - A - Am - (E). The key to a fluent playing of the sequence is the fingering of the A-chord.

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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
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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
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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
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RefNr: MB99532BCD
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This lesson is aimed at giving you usable ideas for improvising over turnarounds.
RefNr: APGA002CD
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