Eight bar blues

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An eight-bar blues is a typical blues chord progression, taking eight 4/4 bars to the verse. "Heartbreak Hotel", "How Long Blues", "Trouble in Mind", "Ain't Nobody's Business", "Cherry Red", and "Get a Haircut" are all eight-bar blues standards. One variant using this progression is to couple one eight-bar blues melody with a different eight-bar blues bridge to create a blues variant of the standard 32-bar song. "Walking By Myself", "I Want a Little Girl" and "(Romancing) In The Dark" are examples of this form. See also blues ballad.

Eight bar blues progressions have more variations than the more rigidly defined twelve bar format. The move to the IV chord usually happens at bar 3 (as opposed to 5 in twelve bar.)

"Worried Life Blues" (probably the most common eight bar blues progression):

About this sound Play eight bar blues progression in C

"Heartbreak Hotel" (variation with the I on the first half):

"Key to the Highway" (variation with the V at bar 2):

"Get a Haircut" by George Thorogood (simple progression):

"Walking By Myself" (somewhat unorthodox example of the form):

(The same chord progression can also be called a sixteen-bar blues, if each symbol above is taken to be a half note in 2/2 or 4/4 time—blues has not traditionally been associated with notation, so its form becomes a bit slippery when written down.) Ray Charles's original instrumental "Sweet Sixteen Bars" is an example.


See also

ii-V-I turnaround · V-IV-I turnaround · Eight-bar blues · Twelve-bar blues · Sixteen-bar blues · Passamezzo moderno

50s progression · Andalusian cadence · Folia · Montgomery-Ward bridge · Passamezzo antico · Pop-Punk · Romanesca

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