Lesson 8 Blues —basic and lead of black music—


  • Feel its soul from 12 bars!


This is the most simple chord progression of blues. As it’s composed of only 3 chords, it’s called “three chord blues”. We deal F key in this lesson, but it’s often played in another key.

F7 nad B♭7 are not diatonic chords of F key. We should think they have changed from FM7 and B♭M7. (They have changed because cooler, feeling bluesy.) Then, F7 is tonic, B♭7 is subdominant, of course, C7 is dominant.

Beginning with I7, and IV is coming in 5th bar. It’s the feature of blues.

  • Jazz blues

Let’s re-create the simple blues noted above!

<9th to 12th bars>

At first, the 9th and 10th bars can be converted to “two-five” onto F7 in the 11th bar. The 12th bar can be changed to “two-five” onto F7 in the repeated 1st bar. In the last half of the 11th bar, we put D7 as V7, thinking Gm7(the 12th bar) as temporary Im7.

<5th to 8th bar>

We change B♭7 in the 6th bar into Bdim. We can do it because the composing tones of B♭7 (B♭, D, F, A♭) are almost same as of Bdim (B, D, F, A♭). And along 5th to 7th bar, B♭7’s root (B♭)→Bdim’s root (B)→F7’s 5th (C), the streaming motion going up halftone is so cool! In the 8th bar, we put D7 as V7, thinking Gm7(the 9th bar) as temporary Im7.

<1st to 4th bar>

As the same F7 through 4 bars is boring, we’ve changed the 2nd bar into B♭7.


It’s finished! Blues like this chord progression is usually played in jazz. There are some other patterns.

  • Point

Know the change from three chord blues to jazz blues.

Let’s remember the chord progression of blues!



All the 8 lessons of “Music Theory for Beginners” is finished.
Good work!

Posted by シロ助