Slow Blues In F
In this lesson we will create a slow 12 bar blues progression in the key of F and we will explore ways to ornament and reharmonise the basic chord changes.
The Basic 145 Changes
We start with the basic 1-4-5 version of the blues and we outline a descending walking bass line pattern to move smoothly between the 1 and the quick 4 chord. We then continue this walking bass lines down to get back to the 1 chord.
Passing Chords & Reharmonisations
We enhance the basic 145 changes with passing chords and substitutions. These passing chords incorporate diminished chords and slash chords which are used to create step-wise relationships between the chords.
The final 2 measures can be voiced as a traditional blues turnaround or alternatively a 1625 progression which takes us smoothly back to the top of the form.
Right Hand Technique
A useful trick when playing the blues is to keep your right hand pinky finger and thumb an octave apart. This gives us the facility to play single note melodies, octave melodies with inner voices, and also block chord style voicings. See the demonstrations in the video.
12 Bar Blues Lesson Notation File Type: pdf
If the left hand 10th intervals are too big of a stretch, voice the left hand bass line with an octave interval.
Experiment in the upper and lower registers of the piano to add textural variety when playing the blues.
Locking the right hand in an octave shape opens up possibilities for secondary melodies inside of the chord voicings.