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Lyle Ronglien >> Jam Sessions - All Blues Styles >>

Jam Sessions - All Blues Styles

Lesson 5 - Bm Blues

Lesson Sample

Lyle: This jam is a slow blues in the key of Bm. The chord progression has 4 chords in it:



Lyle: This chord progression almost has a jazz sound to it, probably because of the added Gmaj7 into the F#7alt chords.

Lyle: Here's the chord progression and your looping jam track to play along with:

chord chart

Jam Track - Bm Blues

Lyle: The F#7 alt. (alt. means altered dominant) is really an F#7 #5#9.

weasels: How do you come up with the chord arrangements, is there a pattern like the 12 bar 1 4 5 chord progression?

Lyle: This is a 12 bar blues progression. There are MANY different ways to play a blues chord progression. The V chord is mostly used at the end of the progression. How you get form the I chord to the V chord in the inside 12 bars is another story.

luckyex: How can I do the F#chord, it is really hard for me?
Lyle: Here's are a few other ways to play the F#alt. chord:


ZZ: What makes it an alternate?

Lyle: alt = altered, the 5th may be lowered or raised, same with the 9th.

Donna: I like this F#7alt, feels like it leads to something else.

weasels: So on the 12 bar, 1 4 5, it can be in any order as long as it a 1 4 5 chord right?

Lyle: Weasels, depends on how you want it to sound. I suggest you learn and analyze a dozen or more 12 bar blues progressions and see where they use the 1 - 4 - 5 chords within the 12 bars. You'll see a common theme: The 1 chord during the first 4 bars, the IV is introduced at bar 5, the V chord is introduced at bar 9 or higher.

ZZ: Altered dominant chords sounds like a Steve Ray V. chord

Eric: It's the Jimi chord!

Lyle: The altered dominant is a very colorful chord to use. The E7#9 chord is also known as the Hendrix chord yes! He used it in the song Purple Haze.

Lyle: Here's how I played the rhythm guitar part for this jam:

rhythm riff

Lyle: This uses a very loose rhythm, very laid back. When you play the Bm7 you don't need to play all the strings. Examine the tab.

Lyle: You'll be muting each chord again by lifting off the frets slightly after each hit. Look close at my left hand in the video to see this technique.

rhythm riff

Lyle: If you were to improvise over this jam in B minor, I suggest using the B natural minor scale, which sounds more melodic than the plain minor pentatonic:

B natural minor scale

Lyle: Here's the first solo from the lesson sample. It is made from the notes in the B natural minor scale:

solo 1

solo 1

Lyle: When I improvised this solo, I started in the middle of the scale pattern, worked my way to the low notes, and then worked my way back up to high notes for the end of the solo.

Lyle: A fancy scale to play over just the F#7 alt. chord is the B harmonic minor. This is because of the A# note that is in the F#7 chord and not found in the B minor chord or scale. Playback this example:

B harmonic minor compare

Lyle: Now I want to show you a pattern for the B minor pentatonic. Playback the TAB so you see it on the fretboard.

B minor pentatonic

Lyle: Here's a solo using the B minor pentatonic. It has a B.B. King style and sound to it:

solo 2

solo 2

Lyle: The first solo used the natural minor scale, the second solo used the minor pentatonic.

Lyle: This is a good jam to work with for any of you who don't have the speed riffs down yet. The slow, laid back tempo gives you time to explore the different sounds of the notes in the scales you use when improvising.

Lyle: Hope this has been a fun blues jam for you. Thanks and see you next time!
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