12 Bar Blues Progressions

Time to learn how to play 12 bar blues progressions using those open 7th chords!

View the full lesson at 12 Bar Blues Progressions | JustinGuitar

I must be missing something. Re the standard 12 bar blues progression - the fifth chord in E is B not D(?)

Hi Roger. You are correct. Looking at the lesson text you are playing in the keys E A and G. So the chords, played as 7th chords, would be:


Can you be specific where the reference to the D was?


Hi David
In the video when Justin is demonstrating the first 12 bar blues progression he plays E, A, D and says the names of the chords. You can see he’s playing the D7 chord 'cause I followed along as he played.
It sounds better with B, to me anyway.

When Justin demonstrates the first 12 bar blues progression he is playing in A
He plays A7 D7 and E7.
The chord are even on the screen when he’s playing,

The second time he demonstrates he plays in E using E7 A7 B7
The third time is in G. G7 C7 D7

First progression @ 1:40 is in Key of A and Justin’s calls the chords A7 D7 E7 as shown by the graphics.
At 5:03 he does the quick change pattern in the Key of E chords E7, A7 B7 @6:23

Slow change blues at 7:40 in key of G, chords G7, C7, D7


I’m a little confused here. He does indeed play those 3 chords but he is in the key of A. So A7 is I, D7 is IV, and E7 is V.

When he introduces the Quick Change in the key of E, he definitely plays E7 A7 and B7.


Do the several clarifications above not answer and ease your confusion?

It may be due to the fact that E and A are both in the 12-bar in the keys of E and A. But their function in each is very different.

Key of A 12-bar uses: A, D, E (which are the I, IV and V respectively.
Key of E 12-bar uses: E, A, B (which are the I, IV and V respectively).

Sorry Richard, my confusion was with the question above by Zedred claiming that the first progression was in the key of E when it is in A, so wasn’t sure where he thought the B chord came into it.

Everyone gave him sound advice and no I don’t have a problem understanding The Blues at this beginner level, but thanks for the feedback.