Lesson 9: The Blues
The blues form is 12 bars long and goes something like this ( in C):
|C7 | | | | |F7 | |C7 | | |G7 | |C7 | |The V-I cadence in bars 9- 11 has evolved into two versions.
In the "rock/ r&b version" an F7 chord is thrown in after the G7 making the cadence a V-IV-I. The rock/ r&b version goes like this:
|C7 | | | | |F7 | |C7 | | |G7 |F7 |C7 | |
In the "jazz version" a Dm7 chord is thrown in before the G7 making the cadence a II-V-I. The jazz version goes like this:
|C7 |F7 |C7 | | |F7 | |C7 |A7 | |Dm7 |G7 |C A7 |Dm7 G7|
Beware, however - the rock/ r&b version with the V-IV-I cadence is about as common in jazz as the jazz version...
The Blues Scale
This is a C blues scale:
Scale Choices for a C Jazz Blues
bar 1: C7 - C Mixolydian
Check out Janne Hyöty's transcription of Mike Stern's Bruze solo as a great example of jazz style blues soloing.
Minor blues is also very common. Here's the changes for a 12 bar minor blues ( in C):
|Cm7 | | |C7alt | |Fm7 | |Cm7 | | |Ab7 |G7 |Cm7 | |
The following version of the changes is commonly referred to as "Parker Blues" or "Bird Blues". They originated from Charlie Parker's Blues for Alice and are almost always played in F. Some versions have a Bb7 chord instead of Bbmaj7 in the fifth bar. Other tunes written on these changes are Tommy Flanagan's Freight Trane and Charlie Parker's Laird Baird ( in Bb) and Si Si. Jean "Toots" Thielemans' Bluesette ( Bb) and the A section of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Wave ( D) are also "in this ballpark"...
|Fmaj7 |Em7b5A7|Dm7G7|Cm7 F7| |Bbmaj7|Bbm7Eb7|Am7D7|Abm7Db7| |Gm7 |C7 |F D7 |Gm7 C7|
Three Different Types of Blues Themes
A blues theme can be:
Listen to the following tunes:
Check out some blues clichés that you should be familiar with. They are to be used in the last two bars of the blues form ( the turn-around) but moderately and with taste...
Check out my etudes
Check out my written example solosminor blues solo. You can to listen to Bob playing this solo here - thanks, Bob, for letting me use material from your great solo!
© 2004 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.