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Hey UUers!

Adding to your already awesome arsenal of ukulele blues techniques, today we break down for you the basic format for a 12-bar blues progression. From Uke Minutes 51 (“Blues Ukulele Chords”), you know that if you make the 1, 4, and 5 chords of any major key into 7th chords, you’ve got the basic chords for blues.

For example, in the Key of A, the 1 chord is A, the 4 chord is D, and the 5 chord is E. So you would use the chords A7, D7, and E7. Now for a 12-bar blues, we’ll use those chords in a specific patern:

For Bars 1-4, play A7 (or the seventh of the 1 chord)
For Bars 5-6, play D7 (or the seventh of the 4 chord)
For Bars 7-8, play A7 again (seventh of the 1 chord)
For Bar 9, play E7 (or the seventh of the 5 chord)
For Bar 10, play D7 (seventh of the 4 chord)
For Bar 11, play A7 (seventh of the 1 chord)
For Bar 12, play E7 (seventh of the 5 chord)

And that’s your basic 12-bar blues structure! You can use it on any musical key to get a very classic blues progression. Check out the video to play along and if you need any help, we’re always in the Forum, just chillin’ and shizz. Summer is slowly coming to an end – why not uke it up!?

Aloha,
-UU Staff