Review: Musical form refers to the structure of a piece. The 12-bar blues form is the basis for literally hundreds of thousands of blues songs, R&B tunes, jazz standards and rock and roll classics. Some examples include:

  • “Ball and Biscuit” (The White Stripes)
  • “Birthday” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (The Beatles)
  • “Rock and Roll Music” (Led Zeppelin)
  • “Straight, No Chaser” (Thelonious Monk)
  • “The Thrill Is Gone” (B.B. King)

The 12-bar blues is a chord progression that unfolds over 12 measures. The basic 12-bar blues uses only the primary chords – tonic (I), subdominant (IV) and dominant (V).

Play the 12-bar blues chord progression, listening carefully:

In measure 9, a simple G chord is sometimes used instead of G7.