The 12-Bar Blues

Learn about the Blues

Here are five ways to help you "be cool" and play the 12-Bar Blues.

#1 Watch this clever video created in My Simple Show that gives a VERY brief introduction of the 12-Bar Blues.

#2 Play your own blues with the help of a unique, interactive e-book (to be released soon) targeted for those just starting to play the Blues. It leads nicely into more in-depth instruction that Bradley Sowash  (jazz pianist, author and educator) provides in his books called That's Jazz and his resource title Boogie Lickopedia.

#3 To review the terms that you learn along the way, study the 12-Bar Blues Quizlet flashcard games found below.

#4 Test your knowledge and play a rousing game of Kahoot based on the 12-Bar Blues here.

#5 Get inspired by the pros from the past and the present and watch the collection of videos below.

The videos below will inspire as you jam on the the 12-Bar Blues

Listen for:

The chord changes

How the lyrics repeat and change

How each loop of the Blues is different

Your favorite performance of the Blues.

How to Create a Combo

Jack Black, star of The School of Rock movie showing a classroom how to create a band.

Did you hear the Dark Blues Riff taken from "Smoke on the Water?

Fine Variations of the Blues

Oscar Peterson, a well known jazz pianist, playing the "C Jam Blues."

Eric Clapton, a legendary guitar player and singer/song writer playing his  "Walkin' the Blues."

Three versions of the "St Louis Blues"

Joe Turner playing "St Louis Blues" written by W C Handy. This is was one of the first Blues to be published back in the early 1900's.

Wynton Marsalis, known for promoting classical and jazz music, is on the trumpet playing "St. Louis Blues."

Listen to the pianist "comping" or chording along to support the melody.

Eddie Higgins, respected jazz pianist from Chicago, playing "St Louis Blues" with a jazz trio: piano, bass violin and drum set. Notice his "boogie" left hand at the beginning.

Kansas City Blues--another well-known Blues tune

Charlie Parker, known for his bebop style,  on saxophone playing "Kansas City Blues."

Paul Rishell & Annie Raines with special guests John Sebastian, Harmonica; Chris Rival, guitar; Reed Butler, bass; Billy MacGillivray, drums playing another version of "Kansas City Blues. "

Sweet Home Chicago--another well-known Blues tune

Eric Clapton on electric guitar playing "Sweet Home Chicago."

The Thrill is Gone--another well-known Blues tune

"The Thrill is Gone," live with BB King, Slash, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknall. BB King was legendary and just passed away in 2015.  It was an honor for these artists to team up with him.

Blues are still goin' strong!

"Give me One Reason to Stay Here" is a hit song written by Tracy Chapman, a 21st century singer/songwriter.