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Quiz answer: The “E Power Chord” is played on the open “E” string.
The “A Power Chord” is played on the  open “A” string.
The “D Power Chord” is played on the open “D” string.

“12 Bar Blues (12 Bars of 4 Counts per Bar)”

-The Structure of a typical 12 Bar Blues song from the previous lesson is A-A-A-A-D-D-A-A-E-E-A-A.

-It consists of 12 Sets (Bars) of 4 counts.  The chord is played on the 1st count only.

-Each “Bar” has 4 counts.
In order to understand this simple concept simply tap your foot and count aloud the sets of 4 Counts in each “Bar”.
1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4.

-Chord Changes are played in relation to the Sets (Bars) as follows:

12 Bar Blues

Fig.1. Example of Chord changes of the “Basic” 12 Bar Blues.

Practise playing the chords on the 1st count of each Bar only (the Blue coloured 1).

Play at a speed which is comfortable for you and try to tap your foot to the beat.
This will give you a good feel of the “12 Bar Blues”.

Note: The example of Fig.1. is in the “Key of A” because the “A Chord” is the “I Chord” in this “I-IV-V progression”.

Video 1. Count out the beats of each Bar in the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression and play the Power Chord on the 1st beat of each Bar.
The I-IV-V arrangement shown in Fig.1 is used as an example (A-A-A-A -D-D -A-A -E-E -A-A).
Other arrangements of the I-IV-V may be used as shown In Video 4 below. 

Video 2.  12 Bar, I-IV-V Power Chord Progression Strummed.

– Try a strumming technique of your own.  Remember to follow the 12 Bar beat.

– Different techniques may be incorporated into the 12 Bar Blues such as the addition of the Ring finger to create the Boogie shown below:

Video 3. 12 Bar, I-IV-V Power Chord Boogie Strummed.

– It is important to note that it is not necessary to strictly adhere to the previous chord arrangement of I-IV-V chords.  There are many variations of the above chord arrangement, one of which is given as an example below.

Video 4. An alternate Power Chord arrangement of the 12 Bar Blues using the common I-IV-V chord progression (again in the Key of A).   The Chord Sequence has been changed to: A-A-D-A-D-D-A-A-E-D-A-A.

– Another popular 12 Bar Blues arrangement places the V chord of the I-IV-V arrangement at the end to create a Turnaround.  The Turnaround creates a sense of expectation that the tune will repeat.  Try the following 12 Bar Chord combination:

A-A-A-A -D-D -A-A -E-E -A-E

Video 5. 12 Bar,alternate I-IV-V Power Chord Progression of Video 4, Strummed.

Video 6. 12 Bar, alternate I-IV-V Power Chord Boogie Strummed.

Quiz: How many counts are there in each Bar in the example of Fig.1. above?


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