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How To Play a Circle of 5ths within a 12 Bar Blues Progression

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Published on Mar 15, 2011

I did a tuning machine install on my S6 Cedar Original Seagull acoustic guitar and wanted to show one of the ways to incorporate a circle of 5ths into a chord progression.

This actually back cycles the circle of 5ths so it is travelling as a circle of 4ths. The substitution starts in the 11th bar at the I chord E. Treating that as the starting point the next chord in the circle of 5ths is B and that is used instead of the IV chord in 10th bar. The next chord in the circle of 5ths is F# and that is used instead of the V chord in bar 9. The next chord in the circle of 5ths is the C# and that is used instead of I chord in bar 8. This creates a chord motion that can add some interest, especially to slower paced blues.


The last 12 bar blues section reverts back to the simplified 1-4-5 type of blues progression.

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