#1
hey guys, I'm new here. Here is the question that eventually lead me to join this community.

I have not been playing long, not even 2 years. I am starting to want to play some more interesting blues. The blues is the one genre of music I've never been able to really figure out. With most other types of music the theory is there and if you look at it, it eventually makes sense which notes belong and why a certain artist used a certain note or scale. With the blues, I can't do that. Although that's my favorite thing about the blues, I'm getting a little frustrated. I need some help with making up turnarounds. I can't find any lessons on turnarounds that don't just give you a list of turnarounds to copy. I'm interested in where they come from. So let's say I'm in the key of A, I want to play a turnaround, are there any rules or guidelines for putting them together? Thanks guys
#2
It's a very tough question because there is so much variation.
But for simple blues, a strong turnaround usually involve buidling up tension and then emphasizing the 5th degree (E in the key of A). If phrased well, this will always resolve nicely back to the top. and if you listen to a lot of blues, you already heard this approach many times over.

Does that help?
#3
well learning those classic turnarounds may help. i suggest you learn them and try to figure them out. listen to a variety of players as well because everyone has different turnarounds. its hard to explain how to just make one up because there are lots of different kinds you could do.
#4
The blues turnaround is a complicated thing but basically the idea is to either imply or just flat out play a V chord to avoid giving the progression a resolution and propel yourself sonically into the next 12 bars. More often than not you would also play a V7 chord to give it that extra feeling of harmonic instability.

So if you look at this lesson: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/music_styles/blues_lessons_part_4_-_blues_turnarounds.html and the first turnaround:

|------------0--------0--------0--|--0-------------
|------3--------2--------1--------|--0-------------
|------4--------3--------2--------|--1-------3s-2--
|---------------------------------|----------2s-1--
|---------------------------------|----------3s-2--
|--0------------------------------|----------------


The final chord is a B7 which is the V7 of the key which is E.

Obviously doing this kind of harmonic jiggery-pokery is easiest when you're playing full chords but you can also do it through your lead playing by focussing on the chord tones from the V7 chord (in E that would be B, D#, F# and A).

For more information, as I'm not hugely knowledgeable about this kind of thing, you're probably better off asking in musician talk, this is much more of a theory question than technique.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#5
thanks guys. I appreciate the input. And yeah, I have been studying and playing the ones provided in lessons.. I'm just trying to see if anyone can teach me to fish. I'll keep practicing
#6
You might just want to start by listening to, and learning as many of these parts as you can... God knows there's and endless supply out there. Study and analyze them - you'll learn a lot just by that alone.

That will give you a soid basis from which to then expand on your own ideas. Good luck.