ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guitar Chords, Blues in C

Updated on June 30, 2014

Guitar chords and Blues Guitar

  • The simplest blues tunes use only 3 chords, the 1,4 and 5 chords in the key you are playing in - in the key of E these would be E7 A7 and B7.
  • Same chords in A would be A7, D7 and E7
  • Same chords in C would be C7, F7, G7.
  • The intervals between the chords remain the same for every key.

This article is going to show some more interesting harmony, a jazz influenced way of playing a 12- Bar Blues. You can add chord extensions to some of these chords, and also use C7, C9 and C13 and mix them up any way you want.

There are two examples, one of a major 12 - Bar and one of a minor 12 - Bar.


Chords and scales for C Blues, Cm Blues

Playing tips

The loop symbol shows a barre type chord - here your third finger covers the top strings in a barre shape. Think of a B7 chord shape - the root note is on string 5. You can play all 9th chords with this shape, just moving it up and down the neck.

The descending chords are shown as three - note chords for ease of playing, but also for improved sound. From the C7 chord shown, just move down one fret at a time to A7.

You could also use the standard barre shape chords - barre in fret 8, with an E7 shape. The main disadvantage is that they are more difficult to slide around - this becomes a problem at faster tempos.

Every bar has 4 beats. (1,2,3,4, etc)

The scale notes shown can be used for playing riffs and improvising over the chords. Note that there are alternatives - the standard blues scale is shown, but you can also use the notes in the other two diagrams. try starting on string 3 for the first scale, string 1 for the second scale, and play the notes in ascending or descending order at first.

C minor blues

The second chord chart shows a C minor Blues. Again, it's a 12- Bar Blues, but the minor chords give it a great moody quality, fairly close to The Thrill Is Gone.

  • The Ab maj7 chord is played with the thumb over the neck, which also mutes the 5th string.
  • The Blues scale shown in the third box diagram will work with these chords, but the first two will not, as they contain the major third, which clashes with the Cm7 chord. If you are not used to improvising, you will probably find that the minor Blues is easier to play over.

Blues guitar players

Most guitar players play this kind of blues, and the following players are worth checking out:

  • BB King
  • Eric Clapton
  • Robben Ford
  • Larry Carlton (see my other blues guitar hub)

Eric Johnson - a bit good!

I went to a Eric Johnson gig last summer - though I had some reservations about the material it's easy to appreciate his huge talent as a guitarist - and his acoustic set playing April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel was an unexpected highlight.

Here he completely nails one of the best Dylan songs, in an exact replica of the Hendrix version.

His slightly obsessive nature (hearing the difference between different batteries in his effects pedals!) is on display here, as he plays a lap steel solo! Great technical ability and great feel here.

Also, the guitar tone is fantastic. After faithfully copying the Hendrix solos, the final solo is Eric's own style, which is possibly even better!

Blues music theory

I find it very useful to split music theory into two distinct areas:

  • Standard theory - pop, folk, classical, reggae, and diatonic music.
  • Blues theory - Blues, Jazz, Soul, Rock.

The reason for this is that I will classify music as mainly diatonic (major scale based) or 7th based, as in the blues, and the whole African - American music tradition. For Blues and 7th based music pentatonic scales work better, although adding the flat 5 note is an option.

Most Blues songs use 7th, 9th or 13th chords (Major key) or m7 and m9 chords (Minor key) and these can be used in any combination. For instance, if a chord chart has C7 chords, you can use C9 instead - essentially the same chord, with one extra note added to it.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      5 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Cheers Tony - never get tired of playing that one, even though it's very easy!

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      5 years ago from Yorkshire

      HI

      enjoyed the hub, especially the version of 'All along the watchtower' which is a new one for me. It is one of my favourite all time songs.

      regards

      Tony

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)