The 12-Bar Blues
Or, how to have a fun jam session
Here's a simple way to write a blues tune. Any guitarist that can do a few leads can improvise over it. Some of the stuff possible here will rock your socks off!
It's pretty much all I7, IV7, and V7 chords. Re-arrange and compose your own songs, and have a blast!
Construction of 10-bar blues:
A7, A7, D7, D7, A7, A7, E7, D7, A7, E7
Construction of 12-bar blues:
A7, A7, D7, D7, A7, A7, E7, E7, D7, D7, A7, E7
Transpose these into pretty much any key and you'll love the results.
Play these, and have a bass player, lead guitarist, and drummer follow along. Make sure the bass player and lead guitarist know what key they're supposed to be playing in!
Bass should play notes in the minor pentatonic scale in the key of the chord you are playing. Starting on the root, then playing the fifth degree, then descending in various rhythms works pretty well. Alternate ascending and descending patterns for extra variety.
Lead guitars should play minor pentatonic scales, blues scales, and minor deviations from those scales. It's a lot of fun to improvise over blues progressions.
If you don't have a second guitarist, have the bass player play the root notes while you solo.