The 145 Gospel Blues Progression
This lesson is the beginning of gospel blues. We create a basic gospel blues progression using the I, IV, and V chords in the key of F.
In this lesson we keep the harmony simple and focus on the shuffle pattern and rhythmic feel that we play in both our left hand and our right hand.
In the next lesson of this course we explore alternate chord changes and reharmonisations that we can play over the same 145 progression.
145 Gospel Progression Bass Line
With the left hand, we play the root and 5th, then the root and 6th, and finally the root and b7th. We cross over with the index finger to avoid awkward positioning of the wrist. This blues shuffle feel is also known as a ‘blues bounce’.
The Right Hand Movement
Our right hand plays the exact same blues shuffle pattern and this works in unison with our left hand bass line to create a 2-handed progression.
In the right hand, we start with our thumb on the 3rd of the chord, and our pinky finger on the root. We then move the bottom voice up to the 4th, then to the 5th, and finally back down again.
This pattern repeats for all 3 chords in the 8-bar gospel blues in F.
The Simplest Form of Gospel Blues
This 8-bar form is the simplest and also one of the earliest gospel chord progressions. The early pioneers of this style were Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blind Willy Jhonson, and Thomas A Dorsey.
145 Gospel Blues Transcription File Type: pdf
Gospel Blues Bass Lines File Type: pdf
Play the progression slowly to achieve a smooth connection between the 3 chords in the 145 gospel blues progression.
Use a metronome to lock into the shuffle pattern and the groove of the gospel blues.
Pay attention to the suggested fingering to achieve proper technique and hand positioning when playing through the 145 changes.
For more inspiration check out the recordings of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blind Willy Jhonson, and Thomas A Dorsey.
Once this basic progression has been mastered, move onto the next lesson where we explore some alternate chord changes, passing chords, and reharmonisations.