The Jazz Blues Progression Tutorial
Now that you have a good understanding of basic blues form, it’s time to enhance it to create the more interesting and sophisticated jazz blues progression.
Whilst the basic 12 bar blues just contains 3 chords, the I, the IV and the V, the jazz blues also incorporates the most common progression in jazz music… the 251 progression.
In this lesson, we will cover what is commonly accepted as the jazz blues form. If you are at a jazz jam night and someone calls the “blues in F”, this is the chord sequence or chord progression that will be played for the 12 bars.
The jazz blues progression has been used as a template for some of the greatest tunes in jazz history so by understanding and memorizing this progression, you will also have learnt the blueprint for a good number of very common jazz standards.
In the next lessons we are going to delve straight into blues improvisation and so our left hand needs to have its act together. We will start by exploring the importance of chord tones, and how they are an essential element of your improvised lines.
“Straight No Chaser” – Jazz Blues Form File Type: pdf
12 Bar Blues Lesson Supplement File Type: pdf
Jazz Blues Voicings File Type: pdf
Memorise this progression down so that you can play through the voicings with your eyes closed.
Spend the necessary time to practice it so that you don’t need to think of the notes your left hand should be playing.
Pay attention to smooth voice leading between the chords.
Alternate the alterations and extensions you choose to play to add variety to your left hand.
Where can i find the sheet music for this tutorial?
Hi Ronny 👋
I have uploaded the lesson notation to each lesson page in this course… hope this helps.
If you need anything else let me know 🙂
Hi Hayden. Towards the end there is a D7 b9 but I saw you playing F natural and saying “sharp 9”. Wouldn’t the flat 9 be E flat? Thanks.
Yes when you see and altered dominant chord, you have the creative freedom to choose different alterations.
The b9 & #9 are both present in the altered mode and so both of them will work.
The b9 has a ‘softer’, more subtle sound, and then #9 has a much more tense and dissonant sound. You can choose between these alterations depending on the sound you want to create.
It’s also a nice technique to play both of them. Try playing the #9 and then fall to the b9. This creates internal movement and interest in your dominant chord voicings.
Try experimenting with this Josh and let me know if you have further questions 🙂
Happy New Year!
Hello Hayden! Good video! However it would be a MUST in my opinion that the sheet music comes with the full notation for this lesson (aswell as others). Not just the chords name above the measure but also the notes aswell as fingerings!
Otherwise, we have to re-launch the video multiple time !
I am a relatively new student of yours from New Delhi.
I have a very basic question. Why should we learn the “rootless” stuff? Is the assumption here is that the root note will be taken care of by the complementing musicians. If its so, then in case its a solo performance, who and how to make up for the root notes?
Sorry to ask a very rudimentary question.
How can i make a bluesy walking bass line with thos chord like this guy?04:24
Why are you playing two different voicing for D7(b9) in the 8th and 11th bar?
Should i learn this on all the 12 Keys?
A very interesting lesson, thank you!
I have analysed the chords as they are played, and, according to standard notation, they are:
F13 Bb9 F13 [Cm9 F13]
Bb9 B07 F13 [Am9 D7(b9)]
Gm9 C9 [F13 D7(#9))] [Gm9 C7(b9)]
However the notation above the keyboard is somewhat sloppy as F7 Bb7 etc. Why ?
I have noted that the root is only played with the diminished B07 chord. The 5ths are only played with the minor chords. Otherwise, the root and the 5th are omitted, and only the 3rds and 7ths together with the 9th or 13th are played, which gives a cool sound to it.
Hi hayden thank you for those wonderful lessons
I ask a pleasure, if you can post also left hand voicing sheet, Like the jazz blues chord pdf for the other two main blues tonality Bb and Eb. Just to be sure the position of left hand voicing is ok, not too hight or too low.
And related tothis, do you advice to finish those lesson in f, or start as soon as possible to study in different tonality? Thank you ciao Alessandro