Now I'm no expert at theory. Far from it. I know a bit about chord progessions (I-IV-V, II-V-I... etc), but with some of Clapton's songs, I've noticed (at first glance) that they stray from the key.


Bell Bottom Blues.

Progression goes - CMajor, EMajor, AMajor, Cmajor, FMajor, GMajor, FMajor, G7.
It sounds great, but surely all these chords aren't in the same key? How did he come up with this? Did he put it together just because it sounds good... or is there some progression rule that I don't know about yet.

Something similar happens in Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out. Another of my favourites.

CMajor, E7, A7, Dminor, A7, Dminor, FMajor, F#dim7, CMajor, A7, D7, G7.

Now, on a website I was looking at (http://12bar.de ... or something like that) the guy offered an explanation...

"This chord progression uses the cycle of fifth: E7 is the fifth (V) of A7, A7 is the V of Dm and D7, D7 is the V of G7, and G7 is finally the V of C."

Does this sort of thing happen often? Is there any other techniques you use similar to this? Use some 4ths maybe? Let me know.

I know that The Blues is built around the release of tension, major/minor ambiguity... etc. How could I expand my knowledge of Blues progressions? Because I'm clearly missing out by know only the most common progressions (I-IV-V, I7-IV7-V7).

I'd appreciate if anyone could fill in the gaps for me, because I really want to be able to play (and more importantly...) WRITE, songs similar to that on the Layla Album.

I, too, am no theory expert, but I think he comes up with some of those chords via substitution.

To me, Am sounds like C just as Em sounds like G.
And D9 sounds similar to D7.
And Dm9 sounds kind of like D9.
Cmaj7 sounds like a bunch of things like G, Cmajor, etc.

I'm trying to learn the terminology for all of these phenomena (like "relative minors" in the case of G = Em, etc).

Hope that was a help...
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I'd probably take a small amount of offense to this if I cared about being Jewish, but I don't.

Good intentions yeah, but expect either your heart to broken, or a slap in the face, because this song will end in disaster."
Whatever way, them songs are superb! It just goes to prove that the blues are from the soul, not a theoretical equation, maybe that's what makes it so beautiful, and metal is my music of choice.

I don't know if anyone has the remastered version of Texas Flood by SRV, but there's a track called 'Stevie Speaks' or something, and he says something along the lines of 'the second I start thinking of what I am doing I'll mess up, I think when you get into theory that's when you stop playing with your heart and start playing with your mind'. Sums it up perfectly I think.
I dont really know why Clapton does that, but I do know that he's really an amazing guitarist and that I too would like to know how to write thigns similar to this. I think that it's incredibly important to play from the heart, as the blues are rooted in feeling, but theory can't really ruin your ability to play - only when you start focusing on playing inside theory.

Theory is realyl only a guidleine to how and why things sound good together - don't be afraid to stray from what you are taught.
Yeah, I've heard many times that theory is only a guideline, and I agree.

Can anyone explain chord substitutions, etc? I want to be able to write songs like this.
I tihnk the website you lised telling you about this chord being a dominant 7th of this chord...blahblahblah is probably correct.

I guess I shuldn't call it blahblahblah cause it's probably a great new way to understand things. Sorry I can't be of much more help on this topic though.
CMajor, EMajor, AMajor, Cmajor, FMajor, GMajor, FMajor, G7.
C E A C F G F G7

its much easier to analyze something when I dont have to read words and can just visualize the chords. lol
C E A C F G F G7

well, all the notes have something in common with their setting.
C E G is C, the next chord has the E in it
E G# A is the E, has the A of the next chord
A C# E, has the E of the next chord and leads chromatically in with the C#
C E G again
and by that point its just I IV V IV V7.

basically, he's just doing a revolving door of keys until he lands back at C and then he does something similiar.
If you're wondering as to how, off first glance I wanted to guess it was the relative minor's parallel major (or the parallel minor's relative major), but that would've been C to Eb major.

which is why I analyzed it so simply.

I'd say he's just using major chords that have shared notes.

to the 2nd, yes it happens often. They're called circle progressions & circle regressions - one refers to going aroudn in 4ths, the other in 5ths.
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