today I wanted to talk about Blues Turnarounds to use on the twelve-bar blues.
Not to be confused with the classic progression used in Jazz (VI-II-VI), the Blues Turnaround is a V-IV-I cadence that can be used both in closing (generally in the last two bars) and in opening the twelve-bar blues.
Here you can find the recording of the Masterclass I did about this topic:
In the PDF that you can download below, I wrote eight examples to study, memorize and implement in our comping and soloing.
Let’s Analyze them!
In this first example, I’m using descending sixth intervals emphasizing the transition from G (the 7th of A) to E (the 5th of A), with the presence of the root an octave above to underline the main chord (A7).
This is a variation of the first turnaround with a contrary movement of the voices of the chord: we start from the 7th of A (G, see the first note on the pentagram) to arrive at E, with a downward motion, while the upper voice (C #) in the voicing goes chromatically up to E to double the 5th of the root chord (A7).
In this case, we’re using chords. In fact, it starts from a quartal voicing of A7, then arrives on the B7 which anticipates the A7 on the last bar.
This is a “Claptonish” lick, to use at the end of a twelve-bar blues.
In this example, I wanted to stay in the “Rock-Blues” kinda area to give you a turnaround that will remind the Cream’s “I’m so glad” riff.
In these last examples, I wanted to write turnarounds with a more “jazzy” flavor. In this case, I highlighted the passage D – D # dim – E and then close (this example works better as a closure) on the A7.
In this case, I used the same idea moving down chromatically with the Dom 9 chord to create a “piano-like” solution.
The last example starts from the first inversion of A7 to arrive on B7 (as a tritone substitution for F7) and Bb7 (as a tritone substitution for E7).
Try to take memorize these Turnarounds and once “digested” play them in different keys as an intro or as ending on the Twelve-Bar Blues.
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