Learn Guitar Online – Play Blues Progressions on Guitar by Ear

Learn Guitar Online – Play Blues Progressions on Guitar by Ear


Dominant seventh chords will always be good substitute chords to utilize when you are searching for a blues sound on guitar; the printed music will present the chords of an song as major chords adhere to what they the tune carries a blues ‘feel’ the chords almost certainly will be dominant seventh chords.

blues progression guitar

Let’s take a look at a sample 12 bar blues progression written exclusively as major chords.

Progression #1:

C /// | F /// | C /// | C /// |

F /// | F /// | C /// | C /// |

G /// | G /// | C /// | G7/// || C (before)

Now here is the same progression using dominant seventh chords:

Progression #2:

C7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

F7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

G7 /// | G7/// | C7/// | G7/// || C7 (last time)

Because there is so many ways to alter dominant seventh chords it’s really a difficult choice to decide the very best type of dominant seventh for your musical application.

In this next blues progression I’m featuring the dominant seventh which has a sharpened ninth. (one of Jimi Hendrix’s favorite sounds).

Progression #3:

C7#9 /// | F7#9/// | C7#9/// | C7#9/// |

F7#9 /// | F7#9/// | C7#9/// | C7#9/// |

G7#9 /// | G7#9/// | C7#9/// | G7#9/// || C7#9 (last time)

The dominant seventh which has a sharpened ninth generates a lot of musical tension and therefore can be very useful for blues based material.

This time around I’m only going to use the C7#9 to create musical tension in bar five introducing the ‘F’ chord.

Progression #4:

C7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7#9/// |

F7 /// | F7/// | C7/// | C7/// |

G7 /// | G7/// | C7/// | G7/// || C7 (before)

How about a dominant seventh using a sharpened eleventh?

This chord can be written as: C+11 or C#11

The C+11 would contain the following 1, 3, natural 5, b7,9,+11

I’ve specifically revealed that the fifth is a natural fifth since the +11 (sharp 11) is also thought of as a flattened fifth note.

And so the notes in a C+11 chord will be: C,E,G,Bb,D & F#

C+11 = C,E,G,Bb,D,F#

F+11 = F,A,C,Eb,G,B

G+11 = G,B,D,F,A,C#

Progression #5:

C+11 /// | F+11/// | C+11/// | C+11/// |

F+11 /// | F+11/// | C+11/// | C+11/// |

G+11 /// | G+11/// | C+11/// | G+11/// || C+11 (last time)

You may find some of these sounds usual to start with but as your ear becomes acquainted with the new harmonies I’m sure you will find them very useful for creating interesting musical backgrounds for your tunes.

blues progression guitar