The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
The diagram below shows you the form of 12-bar blues.
Each bar (or measure) contains 4 beats - those are the slashes.
The main 3 chords typically change in the same bar each time.
Here is a blues song that shows you the 3 chords used.
12-bar blues form is used in country and rock songs also. It's everywhere!!
Now try some interactive composition!
I'm gonna lay my head on some lonesome railroad line. (make a statement) "A"
I'm gonna lay my head on some lonesome railroad line. (say it again) "A"
And let that 5:15 train pacify my mind. (add a punchline and make sure the last word rhymes) "B"
This is sometimes referred to as AAB form
Here is an example of one verse from a BLUES CHICK
(Remember - your assignment requires 3 verses: see your Course Outline)
OK, your turn. For this assignment, you will compose your own blues song (no music, just words).
For fun, if you'd like to try singing your song, click on the Desktop Blues again and sing along with the fellow playing the guitar -
he is playing correct 12-bar blues form and your lyrics should fit!
Note that you should be able to say your blues words with the music if you have written it properly. It should flow (not have too many or too few words per line). That's what the 'rhythm' refers to in the rubric below.
Here's how your assignment will be graded
Blues Lyrics Rubric
Sounds like the blues are composed of feeling, finesse, and fear.
Go ahead and play the blues if it'll make you happy.
There was one emotional outlet my people always had when they had the blues. That was singing.
It is from the blues that all that may be called American music derives it most distinctive characteristics.
James Weldon Johnson
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson