How To Convert A 12 Bar Blues Into A Jazz Blues In 5 Easy Steps

by Simon Candy

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression Article PicIn this video lesson, you learn how to play a 12 bar blues jazz chord progression on guitar.

We first begin with the standard 12 bar blues progression that forms the basis of a lot of music.

From here, you learn step by step how to convert this 12 bar blues into a standard jazz blues progression.

All it takes is 5 simple steps.

 

• Step 1: Quick Change

We begin by making the progression a quick change blues by introducing the IV chord in bar 2

• Step 2: ii V Progression

Next, we include the ii V chord progression in bar 4 that leads to the IV chord in bar 5

• Step 3: Diminished Chord

This step involves adding a diminished chord in place of the IV chord in bar 6 for a very cool jazzy sound

• Step 4: I VI ii V Progression

This chord sequence is added next in bars 7, 8, 9, and 10 and leads beautifully to the turnaround in bars 11 and 12

• Step 5: Turnaround

The last step is about adding a cool jazzy turnaround to bring the tune back to the start

All in all, jazzing up the blues is a lot of fun and sounds great! It’s also a great introduction to some common jazz chords and progressions if this is new to you.

Watch the video below to learn more:

 

 

Standard 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression:

Here is a standard 12 bar blues in the key of G from which we will build our jazz blues:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression

 

Step 1: Quick Change 

First step is to add the C9 chord in the second bar for a quick change blues:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression 1

 

Step 2: II V Progression

Next, we add the Dm7 (II) and G7 (V) chords to bar 4 that lead to the C9 in bar 5:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression 2

 

Step 3: Diminished Chord

This step involves adding a C# diminished chord in bar 6:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression 3

 

Step 4: I VI II V Progression

Next, we add the movement of G7 (I), E9 (VI), Am7 (II), and D9 (V) chords to bars 8, 9, and 10:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression 4

 

Step 5: Turnaround

Finally, to complete the jazz blues we add the G7 (I), E9 (VI), Am7 (II), and D9 (V) chords in bars 11 and 12 for the turnaround:

 

Jazz Blues Chord Progression 5 

Learn how to play fingerpicking blues on acoustic guitar