JAMMING A SLOW MINOR BLUES (...WITH STYLE)

Guitar Lessons

The Basics

The first thing we need to understand about a minor blues is that it is still a 1,4,5 progression using the same formats as your normal 12 bar blues. The difference? We use minor chords instead of dominant chords. This means that we have a different set of rules we can apply when playing over the 12 bar. In this write-up, we will take a look at the 12 bar structure, how to play in 12/8 and the scales we are using.

The Slow 12 Bar Chords & Rhythm

The main structure in the key of B minor looks like this (remember that you can use minor 7th chords / minor 9th or any other minor chord extension you like... These are just the base triad chords):

Bm ///// Bm ///// Bm ///// Bm /////
Em ///// Em ///// Bm ///// Bm /////
F#m ///// Em ///// Bm // Em // Bm // F#Aug //

As for the basic rhythm, we are using a 12/8 time signature. This means that you count in '6', like you would do in 6/8 time, but we fit two sets of 6 into one bar. It is a very typical time signature for a slow blues. Here is the essential rhythm pattern (the 1 is a held strum, and the 4 is a snap!)

Suggested Scale Shapes

To play over this track, we suggest a combination of the B minor pentatonic scale and the B minor full scale. There are many other options if you start treating each chord separately, but if you like the sound of Dan's lead on the video, this is all he is using! To help you out, here are the five shapes of each scale across the neck.

B Minor Pentatonic


B Minor Scale


Want to take your learning further?

There are a number of themes that come up in this lesson apart from the blues. We talk a little about CAGED chords in minor and the full minor scale. If you want to expand your knowledge on these, then check out these courses: Minor CAGED Chords Course and Pentatonic to Full Scale Course.

Slow Blues, Minor Blues, Blues Guitar, Licks And Chords

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