How to Play the Blues In All Keys

blues

A recent question from a reader inquired about the blues in all keys:

I’m a sax player and have been working through the blues in all keys for the past few months, and was wondering if you guys had any tips, tricks, or any advice?

We’ve all heard it time and time again: Learn the blues in all keys. It seems like a daunting task, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way.

Understand and Visualize the components of a Blues

Before you even learn to play on a blues in one key, it helps immensely to understand all the components of a blues. What do I mean by components? By components, I’m pertaining to the harmonic building blocks of the progression. For a typical blues, they consist of:

  • I dominant
  • IV dominant
  • ii V
  • iii Vi
  • iii Vi ii V (which is essentially covered by the previous 2 components, but lets be thorough)

The next step is to visualize each one of these components in relation to its tonic, in all keys. Here’s the process…Read More

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