12-bar Blues Shuffle

by Dejan Farkas

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  • Hi there and welcome to 12-bar Blues Shuffle :)

    The 12-bar blues is one of the most popular chord progressions in modern music. This progression has twelve bars cycle and that explains the name. It is also called I-IV-V (one-four-five) progression since we have tonic (I), sub-dominant (IV) and dominant (V) chords, another words, the progression is built on 1st, 4th and 5th intervals of a scale (intervals are marked with roman numerals), so it can be E-A-B, A-D-E, etc.

    There are many variations of 12-bar blues, this one is 'quick-to-four' variation, with IV (sub-dominant) interval in the second bar, so the progression goes as following:

    01 E I
    02 A IV
    03 E I
    04 E I
    05 A IV
    06 A IV
    07 E I
    08 E I
    09 B V
    10 A IV
    11 E I
    12 B V

    The shuffle rhythm is based on eight-note-triplets, and it's quite powerful in combination with a walking bass and added root/sixth and root/flat seventh chords.

    Key signature: E Major
    Time signature: 4/4
    Tempo: 100 bpm

    Just add some drive and let's shuffle, enjoy this lesson. Feedback is welcome :)

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