Have the Same Old Blues Chord Shapes Become Stale and Boring? Here’s How to Avoid Sounding Predictable

If you’re at all intimidated by the term dominant voicings, relax – they’re only nominally tough, and their alternate cousins contained here amount to little more than a few fancy blues chord voicings.

In classical theory, the chord (V7) formed from the 5th degree of the diatonic scale is dominant; that is, it contains a b7th. The blues, though – as a form of folk music which casts aside theory as though it were wheat chaff­ – also tends to favor dominant rather than major voicings of the I and IV chords.

Blues guitar progressions, because of their repetitive nature, provide a sturdy foundation over which to jam infinite melodies and riffs. That said, blues forms that rely too heavily on the same old chord shapes can grow boring and predictable. Thankfully, you can avoid this trap by getting command of a few alternate domi­nant voicings.

© guitarplayer.com


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