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Chord Shape Improvisation, Part 1
On this page, we'll look at a minor 12 bar blues progression. Usually, 12 bar blues uses major chords, but one variation is to use minor chords with the same relationship of i-iv-v. 4 bars of i, 2 bars of iv, 2 bars of i, then one bar of each respectively: v, iv, i, v. In this case (and usually it will be the case to have a more tense chord at the end of the turnaround), I will make that last chord a V7, or a dominant7 chord (major chord with b7).
This progression is not far removed from the one on the previous page, and the transitioning ideas will be the same. Realistically, one should not have to venture far from the 5th position to find good tones to play over these chords, but transitioning is where all the good stuff is! I will use the minor chord shapes we have been looking at to create melodic lines over this progression.