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Blues in Ab

mp3: Blues in Ab Guitar/Lead Jam Track
wma: Blues in Ab Guitar/Lead Jam Track

mp3: Blues in Ab Bass Jam Track
wma: Blues in Ab Bass Jam Track

mp3: Blues in Ab Drums Jam Track
wma: Blues in Ab Drums Jam Track

Time/size: 4 mins 20 secs/6.1mb. 70 beats per minute/bpm

Blues jam track: An 8 bar blues jam tracks in the key of Ab.

Backing track instruments: electric guitar, fretless bass and drums.

Progression: Ab7, Db7, Ab7, Db7, (D7), Eb7, (D7), Db7, (D7), Eb7, (D7), Db7.

Suggestions: The Ab blues scale sounds great over this blues progression in Ab.

Blues in Ab Chords and Progression

Blues in Ab uses Dominant 7th chords (b7th chords) I7 (Ab7), IV7 (Db7) and V7 (Eb7) in the key of Ab. There is also a D7 passing chord played when we moved between the Db7 and Eb7 chords.

Dominant 7th chords consist of the chord tones: Root, Major 3rd, 5th and b7th from the Major scale that the Root note of the chord comes from.

The Ab7 chord has its Root note on the 6th (low E) string. The Db7, D7 and Eb7 chords all have their Root notes on the 5th (A) string and all use the same chord shape that we just move up and down the neck.

Ab7

E|--x--
B|--7--
G|--5--
D|--x--
A|--6--
E|--4--

Db7

E|--x--
B|--2--
G|--4--
D|--3--
A|--4--
E|--x--

D7

E|--x--
B|--3--
G|--5--
D|--4--
A|--5--
E|--x--

Eb7

E|--x--
B|--3--
G|--6--
D|--5--
A|--6--
E|--x--

Chord Progression

In the 8th bar turn-around the guitar is also playing a walking bass line to bring everything back up to the Ab chord. The walking bass line starts on the b7th which is the Gb located on the 2nd fret of the 6th string and walks one fret (or semi-tone) up to the G and one more semi-tone to land back on the Root note Ab, ready to play the Ab7 chord again in the 1st bar.

E|----------x-
B|----------7-
G|----------5-
D|----------x-
A|----------6-
E|-2-2-3-4-4-

Blues in Ab Scale Suggestions

1. Ab Blues Scale - 4th Position - Two Octaves

Here is the guitar tab for two Octaves of the most common blues pattern. All of the notes from the blues scale sound good over a blues progression.

E|-----------------------------4-7-4-
B|------------------------4-7--------
G|-----------------4-6-7-------------
D|------------4-6--------------------
A|-----4-5-6-------------------------
E|-4-7-------------------------------

2. Ab Blues Lick - 7th Position - Bending to The Blue Note

Put your index finger on the 7th fret so that you are in 7th position and play the 8th fret of the 3rd string with your middle finger. This is the 5th note of the Ab blues scale: Eb. When you get to the 9th fret of the 1st string, instead of fretting the 10th fret, bend the string up (bu, bend up towards your face) until the note has the same tone as it would if you were fretting the note at the 10th fret and playing it and then bend it back (bd, bend down away from your face) down so that your are playing the note at the 9th fret again.

The note you are bending to is the 'blue note'. The note at the 9th fret is Db and is the Perfect 4th. One fret up from that is the note D which is the b5th (flat 5th) and is what gives the blues scale its unique bluesy sound. When you bend from the 4th to the b5th you will hear the blues.

E|--------7-9-(10)-9----7---
B|---7-9------(bu)-(bd)---9-
G|-8-------------------------
D|---------------------------
A|---------------------------
E|---------------------------

3. Ab Blues Scale - 11th to 13th Position - Two Octaves

With this pattern of the Blues Scale we are starting one Octave higher than we did in pattern 1 and move two Octaves up to the Ab located at the 16th fret. If you then move your little finger up to the 19th fret you will be in 16th position.

16 - 12 = 4!

16th position minus one Octave (12 frets) puts you back in 4th position. So if you play the same pattern from 4th position (pattern 1 above) in 16th position you are playing the Ab Blues Scale only each note is one Octave higher than it is in 4th position.

Start with the below and work your way up so that your finger ends on the 19th fret and then play the same pattern from pattern 1 back down to the Root note which is on the 16th fret in 16th position.

If that sounds confusing then it's because you are reading this without your guitar in your hand and your fingers on the fretboard.

Pick up your guitar and play!

E|-----------------------------------------14-16-
B|--------------------------12-14-15-16--------
G|-------------------11-13-----------------------
D|--------11-12-13------------------------------
A|-11-14-----------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------

Blues in Ab Bass Tab

The bass guitar line is a shuffle rhythm that is played on the Root note of each chord that has a walking bass line to lead into each following chord in the progression.

The walking bass to the I chord are the notes b7 (flat 7) and Major 7th notes (relative to the Ab Root note of the I, Ab7, chord) on the E string located on the 2nd and 3rd frets. The walking bass into the IV chord (the Db7 chord) are again the b7 and Major 7th notes (relative to the Db Root note of the IV chord). Lastly, the walking bass between the Root notes of the IV7 (Db7) and V7 (Eb7) chords is the passing note D located on the 5th fret of the A string.

That's spelling it out in detail. All you are doing is stepping either two or one fret to each Root note of the chord you are about to play over. They are small walking bass lines - you could call them lead in notes if you wanted to but you are walking the bass none the less.

See what other walking bass parts you can come up with. Instead of leading from two or one note below each Root note, lead one or two notes higher down to the Root notes. If you start doing this pretty soon you'll get the feel for walking bass.

G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-----------------2-3-4-4-4-4-4-4-4----------------------2-3-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-5-
E|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4----------------------2-3-4-4-4-4-4-4-4---------------------------

G|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-5-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-5-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-6-5-4-4-4-4-4-----------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------2-2-3-4-

Blues in Ab Drum Chart

Play a nice solid beat with a triplet feel

Web page with drum instruction: Blues in Ab Drum Chart

Download: Blues in Ab Drum Chart

Blues in Ab Drum Instruction

Jam on!

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