F Jazz Blues Chord Progressions

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Basic Blues Chords
The first blues we’ll have a look at is the original 12-bar blues chord progression.
Let’s take a look at how the basic blues changes look from a chord name standpoint:Basic Blues (aka I-IV-V Blues)
Bb7 F7
C7 Bb7 F7
Notice how this simple blues chord progression uses only three chords: the I7, IV7, and V7.
Because of this, they are often referred to as I-IV-V blues chord changes. 1F Jazz Blues Chord Progressions

1930s Blues Changes
Moving on to the next blues form, you will now add a IV7 chord in bar 2 of the blues, as well as a II7-V7 turnaround in the last
four bars.
Here is how those chords look in the key of F:1930s Blues Changes (aka Quick Change Blues)
F7 Bb7 F7
Bb7 F7
G7 C7 F7 C7
Because there is a quick move to the IV7 chord and back to the tonic in the first three bars, this chord progression is often
referred to as a quick change blues progression. 2

Count Basie Blues
One of the innovations Count Basie brought to the blues, or at least popularized, is the use of the #IVdim7 chord in bars two and
six of a jazz blues progression.
You will also see in the examples below that there is a iim7-V7/IV in bar 4 of the tune, as well as a VI7b9 chord in bar 8. These
chords that are now commonly used were popularized by the Count Basie Band.
Here is how those changes look in the key of F:Count Basie Blues Changes
F7 Bb7 Bdim F7 Cm7 F7
Bb7 Bdim F7 D7b9
Gm7 C7 F7 Notice that the II7 chord from the previous section is now a iim7 chord, constructing a ii-V progression in bars 9 and 10 of the

blues, another commonly used change in the modern jazz world. 3

Bebop Blues
Getting into the bebop era
with these changes, you will notice 2 things that showcase the bebopper’s love of ii-Vs and fast-
moving changes:
a ii-V of the iim7 chord in bar 8.
a iii-VI-ii-V progression in the last bar of the tune.
Here is how the bebop blues changes look in the key of F:
Bebop Blues Changes
F7 Bb7 F7 Cm7 F7
Bb7 Bdim F7 Am7b5 D7b9 4
Gm7 C7 Am7 D7 Gm7 C7

Tritone Substitution Blues
You can also apply tritone substitutions
to various bars in the jazz blues progression, as you can see in the following examples:
Bar 6: the Bb7 is replaced with a tritone ii-V (Bm7-E7).
Bars 7 and 8 : here are four descending dominant 7th chords, with the E7 and Eb7 being used to connect F7 and D7b9
Bar 10 : here is a tritone approach chord added to the Am7, Bb7 in place of E7 (the V7 of Am7).
Tritone Substitution Blues
F7 Bb7 F7 Cm7 F7
Bb7 Bm7 E7 F7 E7 Eb7 D7b9 Gm7 C7 Bb7 Am7 D7 Gm7 C7 5

Blues for Alice.
Reflecting the bebop love of ii-Vs, this progression is full of various ii-V progressions
in a number of different keys.
The tune starts and ends with an Fmaj7 chord, which is odd for a blues progression, but it does help to make these changes
stand out from the rest of the jazz-blues you will encounter.
Here is how those changes look in the key of F:
Bird Blues Changes
Fmaj7 Em7b5 A7b9 Dm7 G7 Cm7 F7
Bb7 Bbm7 Eb7 Am7 D7 Abm7 Db7
Gm7 C7 F D7 Gm7 C7 6
Bird Blues
The last blues progression you’ll look into is named after Charlie Parker and is found in one of his most famous compositions,