Scott Jones
Tab Contributor
Join date: Nov 2004
954 IQ
Here's an old lesson of mine that I though might be helpful here:

“Spicing up” Blues Progressions:

First: adding to a standard 12-bar blues progression...

A typical blues progression: (I'll do it in F)

(Each chord falls on a downbeat of beat 1 or beat 3, the hyphens in between represent the remaining beats; also the minor chords should be interpreted as minor 7th chords, but for the sake of space I have shown them as minor only)...


Then, begin to introduce ii-V turnarounds and Secondary Dominants within:


Then, more Secondary Dominants, diminished passing chords, Tritone substitutions as ii-V's:


Then still more of the same elements in different places, and change the chord types of the I and the IV to maj7's:


More of the same:


A couple of turnarounds to use through the last 2 measures of each chorus can be:

/F7-D7-/G7-C7-/ top
/F7-Ab7-/G7-Gb7-/ top

When walking a bass line and comping through these, think of this...

To begin, walk each chord that receives 4 beats: 1-3-5, then, each fourth beat, approach the next chord with a dominant 7th a half-step above or below...



Another walking/comping approach is to do whole dominant chords each beat:

F7---/Bb7---/ etc...
F7,E7,F7,B7/Bb,B7,Bb7,Gb7/ etc...

For chords that have only 2 beats per measure, approach each chord from a half-step above or below, playing the chord on the beat in which it occurs:

Cm-F7-/Bbmaj7---/ etc...
C,E,F,B/Bb---/ etc...

Bbm-Eb7-/Am-D7-/Abm-Db7-/Gm-C7-/Fmaj7---/ etc...
Bb,E,Eb,Bb/A,Eb,D,A/Ab,C,Db,Gb/G,Db,C,Gb/F etc...

hope it helps!