Blues chord progressions have a long way of history. This kind of progression began with the Africans in which music was a vital form of expression.
When they were brought by colonies as slaves, their musical traditions came along with them. The main characteristic of common blues chord progressions is the bending of guitar tones. It has an exaggerated use of the slur or slide because the tone is bent upward or downward.
These bends occur in by bending a minor third up to a major third or by bending the fifth down to a flatted 5th.
12 Bar Notes
One of the most common blues chord progressions in the 19th century is the 12 bar notes. Lots of songs have been constructed in this kind of progression. The general elements of the 12 bar blues progression include 12 measures. The 5th measure is the subdominant chord, based on the fourth step of the tonic scale. The 9th measure begins a cadence moving ahead to the tonic scale.
Another variation of the 12 bar blues progression is the basic blues chord progression, named after the count basic band. This is very similar to the standard 12 bar blues progression. In fact, it has the same elements of a 12 bar blues progression, including a 12 measure long, 5th measure as the subdominant chord, and the 9th measure begins a cadence progressing to the tonic.
12 Bar Minor Blues
The 12 bar minor blues chord progression is another common blues chord progression. It also has a strong similarity to the 12 bar blues progression. The general elements of this progression include a progression of 12 measures long, 5th measure as the subdominant, and the 9th measure begins a cadence progression to the tonic scale.
8 Bar Blues
The 8 bar blues progression is also a popular blues chord progression. It is actually a variation of the 12 bar chord progression with a shorter pattern. The 8 bar blues progression has a measure of 1 to 3 and 8 to 12, similar to the basic blues chord progression.
16 Bar Blues
Another common blues chord progression is the 16 bar blues chord progression. This is another variation of the 12 bar blues progression but with an extended pattern. The structure of this progression is the same as the 12 bar blues with measures 9 and 10 for three times.
These are some of the most common progressions for blues chord. Practice each one of them and be able to get an exciting sound on your guitar.