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4/28/08: Playing 12-Bar Blues

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12 Bar Blues

Berklee College Of Music






As a guitar player, you've probably heard the term "12-Bar Blues" a thousand times. But do you actually know what it means? If not, today's lesson from the Berklee College of Music will open your mind to the term, and show you how to play one of its many different variations.


Basically, the 12-bar blues are one of the most common chord progressions in popular music, and they're relatively simple to identify once you become familiar with them. The term "12-bar" refers to the number of measures, or musical bars, used to express the theme of a typical blues song. Nearly all blues music is played to a 4/4 time signature, which means there are four beats in every measure or bar. So, a 12-bar blues is divided into three four-bar segments.


Today's instructor, Joe Musella—a Berklee alumni—shows us a common 12-bar blues variation using several jazz chords. It's an excellent tool for practicing scales and jamming.


Click here for today's lesson.


And please don't forget to check back tomorrow for another great lesson from Gibson Lifestyle!

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