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The Greatest Blues Chord Progression

Updated: Feb 1

Stormy Monday by T-Bone Walker

We all know the 12-bar blues form, but here's a great old blues song that alters the form in so many ways, turning into a true blues masterpiece. It's as old as 1947 and it was written by T-Bone Walker, though it was also famously played by the Allman Brothers on their famous "Live at the Fillmore East" album. The song is full of 9 chords, giving a real jazz feel to it. And it's in 12/8 time.

I've been teaching this song to my students here in Vancouver, and so we made a "Guitar Lessons Live" video on YouTube for it. Below is the song form:

As you can see there are a lot of chords in only 12 bars. Certainly a lot more than our standard I - IV - V 12-bar blues. Below are some chord grids that will show you how to play each of these chords:

You can learn how to play the song in detail by watching the video guitar lesson below.

How do we solo over this? G Minor Pentatonic works. G Major Pentatonic works over most of it. But that Cm doesn’t quite work for the major. My favourite thing to do is play Major Pentatonic up until the Am chord. Then, on that Am chord, I change to minor pentatonic and ride that for the rest of the form.

Below is a jam track you can use to try soloing on the form, or just practice playing the chord shapes.

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