Blues Chords

A look at the chords used in playing blues, and an easy way to play them, and progressing through.

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Alright. There are five "easy" blues chords to memorize, that shouldn't be that hard. In fact, all of these are ridiculously easy, and with a simple progression, can produce a hit. [Chords] - E5 - - E6 - - A5 - - A6 - - B5 - E|x E|x E|x E|x E|x B|x B|x B|x B|x B|x G|x G|x G|x G|x G|x D|x D|x D|2 D|4 D|4 A|2 A|4 A|0 A|0 A|2 E|0 E|0 E|x E|x E|x And now you're thinking. Ha! This is ridiculously easy. And you're right. From here on in, it's simple, and fun (hopefully you'll find it entertaining). [Try this!] On this little chord progression, I want you to play it in Eighth notes, and quite fast. Two down strums per chord. E5 E6 E5 E6 A5 A6 A5 A6 See that wasn't hard at all. If it didn't sound bluesy, then you have no ear for blues! Try this one the same way, this time, we're going to add all chords. E5 E6 E5 E6 A5 A6 A5 A6 E5 E6 E5 E6 E5 E6 E5 E6 A5 A6 A5 A6 A5 A6 A5 A6 E5 E6 E5 E6 E5 E6 E5 E6 B5 B5 B5 B5 Yes, that one was a lot longer, but the B5 chord coming from either E6 or E5 really defines a Blues rhythm. You can mix, match, or do whatever you want the five blues chords here, and can easily create songs with them.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    stpd1
    you should talk about doing this moving around the fretboard
    LynkStar
    *Is available to give lessons* Yeah, so the article could've been clearer, and maybe followed the traditional blues shuffle pattern in the 1st example.
    iggy pop
    you needed to talk a bit more about the over 12 bar blues chords used. example . G C D
    Jehuty
    I really hate to hate on a guide (>> but this is really a crap guide imo. But yeah...it's good that you've taken the effort of trying.
    Tony 1
    This artical is about a very simple but necesary blues progresion. since it is alesson for beginers i believe it should be simplified a bit.
    EarlofRock
    Very good lesson for beginners. Whether they are chords or dyads to a beginner its a good start to being able to play some blues. Sevenths, pentatonic scales, B6, palm muting, and swing timing In my eyes would be included in further lessons, However for the beginner this is an excellent start.
    SavRay12
    Could you explain how to do the individual chords? For instance, just put the 6-number chord system. (Ex. D- X00232) I think this would help the people who don't know the chords, they could just look right on here. But, otherwise, great combo!
    joeyramoney
    i clicked the link to this lesson expecting how to use extended chords. all i found was the tab to a very basic blues shuffle with no chords included. it's not even a good lesson on shuffles. strat man, do you even know what a chord is?
    dwnbowden
    it was alright but it should have done more stuff cos everyone knows those progressions should have done sevenths and stuff
    GuerillaCharlie
    Very good for starting the blues, maybe you could have included an explaination on swining the eighth notes, to add some more blusey effect. I had already learned this when i read this, but it was a fairly good lesson, short and sweet...unlike this post : - /
    hendrix69
    it should've had something on sevenths, pentatonic scales, B6, palm muting, swing timing. but besides that it wasn't bad.
    Jimi444
    The X's mean that the strings are not being used in the chord and you don't play them.
    damirault
    blues stuff is used very commonly in AC/DC's music - AC/DC is known as a "blues band with a heavy metal sound"... thats interesting but wont interest most of you
    SilentDeftone
    Needs 7th chords included - at least dom7 and m7s. Also, a 6th CHORD is made up of 1 3 5 6 of the scale. Those are intervals I'm sure you're a bit more knowledgeable now than when you wrote this.
    flyanmyan
    not a bad article, but I have to agree with hendrix69...I use alot of sevenths in my blues rythem..12 bar blues or even a shuffle.
    beckmesser
    A nice lesson, which explained well something cool and useful. Although, these are not chords. They are dyads.
    retjnn4
    if u wanna listen to nice blues download "mariposa pontiac", "un poco de amor frances" and "jijiji" by "Los redonditos de ricota"