Lesson 18: The 12 Bar Blues

The single most important chord progression in popular music, and the basis for countless songs. You really need to know this. Here I show you how to play a very simple blues in the key of A (meaning an A7 chord is the "home chord" that we start and end on). I sing a little bit of Robert Johnson's Crossroads Blues, just to show you how words would fit in, but you could really sing any blues lyric you like over these chords. I hope to film some more blues based lessons at a later date when I'll talk about some more advanced ways to treat this chord progression. For now, just memorise this basic version. Start playing it with 4 simple down strums per bar, then have a go at a down-up strum with a swing feel.

Downloadable, printable version of these lesson notes available here