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Study of a 12 Bar Blues Progression

#1 User is offline   Yukon Icon

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 04:23 PM

Here is a post about musical phrase patterns in a
song. We're going to be using a 12 bar verse.

First, I'm sure all of us are familiar with the
traditonal blues 12 bar phrase pattern.

It can be thought of as 3 phrases, each 4 bars in
length. The first and second phrase often use the
same lyric with a variation of the melody. The 3rd
phrase sort of
winds up the melody.

Also note that each 4 bar phrase is 2 bars of melody, with bars 3 and 4 just chording.

Such as:

I I I I
IV IV I I
V V I I
There are obviously countless progression variations for this.

Phrase 1:
Boy I really feel so bad today
Phrase 2:
Man, I mean I REALLY feel bad today
Phrase 3:
I feel so bad, I think I'll take 2 aspirins

Listen to Rober Johnson here. He adds a few bars
here and there. But the basic form is clear.
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Yd60nI4sa9A

Here is a another 12 bar verse musical phrase pattern.

Progression:
I I I I
IV IV I I
V V I I

An example form Garth Brooks:

I I
Yeah she's my lady luck hey I'm her wild card man
I I
Together we're buildin' up a real hot hand
IV I
We live out in the country, hey she's my little queen of the south
V V I
Yeah we're two of a kind, working on a full house


Note that the 1st 2 phrases are 2 bars in length and rhyme.
The 3rd and 4th phrases are 4 bars in length, with the first 2 bars of each phrase containing melody.

It's best just to listen to some songs to hear how
the phrase pattern works in a few songs.

Listen Here:
Two of A Kind Working On A Full House - Garth
Brooks
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=TjtnmaVe3IQ

Other examples:
I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=zxDh2sYQRpo

In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
http://www.youtube.c...j9pKXJ8&ob=av2n

Sombody Like You - Kieth Urban
http://www.youtube.c...GLXVHKk&ob=av2e

Just some examples of how some common
musical/lyric patterns are used in songwriting.
Posted Image Just one man's opinion ...

#2 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 02:20 PM

It's an interesting illustration of how the same rhythmic template can be used differently in different genres.
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Posted 08 April 2015 - 09:02 PM

Hullo Yukon,
Man I just love the blues. I remember when learning guitar, I just wanted to play the blues over and over, all night long. I started getting beat up by the guys though. I guess they didn't share my appreciation for it. Blues- the roots of rock, man...
:0)

I totally like that you're giving kudos and digging into the early masters also. They should not be forgotten. I think I like the blues so much because of the feeling and emotions. You can hear it in the VOX and in the guitars. Hat's off to you for going down this road man. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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