In this lesson we venture into jazzier territory with a look at a swing blues in the style of the great rhythm guitarist Freddie Green. Often when jazz players play a blues tune they will throw in a few more chord changes than you would find in a traditional 12 bar. The blues form I’m using for this lesson looks like this in terms of basic Roman numeral notation:
I play through these changes using 3 note open-voiced chords. There is a bass note on the low E string, the A string is muted, and a pair of notes on the D and G strings. Fingering is important here. Keep your third finger on the 3rd string throughout the piece, and play the other two notes with either your first and second fingers. That way your third finger guides you through the changes smoothly and quickly. Find sheet music to the piece below. (Download here.) I play two 12 bar choruses, which differ only in the last 5 bars, when I take an alternative root to the VI chord and into the turnaround.