A Fun 12 Bar Blues Progression with Riff

Here’s a fun yet easy progression you can jam with in A pentatonic minor. The chords are simply Am7, Dm7 and Em7.

Try experimenting with your own riffs in between chord changes, or replace one of the changes entirely with a 1 bar solo.

Don’t be afraid to go nuts with it!

Watch 12 Bar Blues on Youtube

Leave a Reply 34 comments

rod campbell - November 8, 2009 Reply

would probably enjoy these lessons and learn something from them if they would stream smoothly. I find them more annoying than informative due to the fact that they are so chopped up and don’t stream worth a darn.

    Jonathan Boettcher - November 9, 2009 Reply

    Hi Rod, thanks for the heads up. I’ll change up the embedding settings on the videos; hopefully that will clear things up a bit. One other thing you can do is pause the video before it really gets going and let it buffer (you can see the faint red line filling up). Once it is buffered then you should be able to play it smoothly. If not, then it would be some sort of computer problem on your end, I’m afraid.


      warren - April 9, 2011 Reply

      Hi Jonathan

      I just thought I.d mention this I saw you had a complaint about your videos. I found that you need to let it download totaly before it will run properly.
      If you try running the video before the red line is to the end it will be stopping and buffering every couple of seconds . I just put the start button at the beginning and pause the video let it load and they work fine . Maybe Rod is just dealing with a computerproblem or a slow connection speed . Just thoughth you would like to know that . I have no problems if i let it load up .
      Thanks for all the great lessons


        Bri - September 25, 2011 Reply

        Simplest way is simply to download the whole thing and run it real time on your PC whenever you want to.

James - January 28, 2010 Reply

hi. i think your great. i play by ear but when i was younger my parents made me play clarinet. I won many awards because i was taleted but i hated having fun. Im a great bass player cause its easy/.I so much like your coolness of teaching gtr I think your great and tell all about you. love and full notes. James ps 2 and a half and 3 a half are scales/ start anywhere. root 1 two and a half 1 2 3 and a half. try it i figured out by myself. James

carl - February 17, 2010 Reply

great lesson and nice ideas like the sound of those chords

James - February 17, 2010 Reply

Hi. i think your videos are just fine. they play fine on my laptop. Heard Oriathi yet. Keep rockin Love and 8th notes. James

Gene - May 7, 2010 Reply

I really like what you are doing here but would like a tab, guess I must want the lazy person’s free lesson.

Thanks, Gene

Olin - May 13, 2010 Reply

Hey Jonathan,

Just wanted to throw in a quick note on how much I enjoy your videos.

I can’t imagine how they could be any better . . . they are


Again . . ., Thanks A Lot


    Steve B. - October 13, 2014 Reply

    As noted by the comment immediately above, they would be improved, immensely, by the addition of tab. For me, this is usually the distinction between watching an instructional video, or not, no matter how good the content.

James - May 19, 2010 Reply

Keep on doing, just what your doing!! The videos are crystal clear on my laptop. Just a lot of fun and not too serious like some of the other guys out there. I see you have started to relax a little more, and you look more confortable doing the the lessons. Keep them comming and don’t change a thing.

Have Fun Live Life !!! PEACE James

Nick108 - August 11, 2010 Reply

Nice and clear, better job than some others out there, great thats all I can say, at least you do what so many critiques just ‘talk about’, for that its perfect. Keep at it and brilliant A1 job. I will recommend you to anyone who asks me where to learn this from.
Thanks, best of health and spirit,
Nick in Ozz Land

John - September 6, 2010 Reply

Great work. No problem with the videos. I too would welcome tabs to accompany the lessons is it possible to offer the option of downloading a pdf file with the tab? I know it would make more work for you and I really value your input and help.

Mike S. - November 30, 2010 Reply

The videos stream just fine on my machine. Just to let you know.

wes - April 17, 2011 Reply

your teaching technics are so right on. you exlain and really give us alot to work with. thank God theres people out there that really care like you do!!

Bob Matthews - April 20, 2011 Reply

I have a question. It’s, now that we’ve learned (hopefully) pentatonic scales, could yuo tell me which notes a (box) you play during the 1, 4, 5 chords?

    Jonathan Boettcher - April 21, 2011 Reply

    Hi Bob – easy answer for you – stay in that same box during ALL the chords… 1 4 5, it doesn’t matter… that box will work fine over any chord in the key.

ozzy - May 5, 2011 Reply

great thing you got going on here,Johnathan. I really enjoy your videos cuz I always learn something from them. I also like the fact that you use an acoustic majority of the time.Anyway keep up the good work and I hope you’re ablt to do this for a long time.A lot of them out there don’t usually last that long but I hope you’re not one of them….I actually like you.As long as I’m learning, I’M loving it. Thank you for your time doing this for us. God bless you and your family.

    Jonathan Boettcher - May 6, 2011 Reply

    Hey Ozzy – thanks much πŸ™‚

    I plan on sticking around for a while… πŸ™‚

ElusiveRick - June 18, 2011 Reply

Jonathan, you are reaching out as far as south east remote rural Tasmania, down under down under & teaching people all over the world how to improve their playing & understanding music for FREE & I would like to thank you personally.

    Jonathan Boettcher - June 20, 2011 Reply

    Wow – Tasmania! Cool… πŸ™‚

"Manhattan Mark" - October 12, 2011 Reply

Jon: I am just plain so pleased with that little bitty…
Thanks … Mark…

Irving Falter - October 29, 2011 Reply

wow thats mint

BluesImprov - November 2, 2011 Reply

I just found this. Coming late to the game, I guess. How would you relate this exercise to the dorian scale on A instead of the minor pentatonic? Thanks for the demo and keep up the good work.

    Jonathan Boettcher - November 7, 2011 Reply

    Just curious why you’d want to do that, rather than using the minor pentatonic?

dwayne oxner - December 7, 2011 Reply

hey Johnathan, i really liked this 12 bar progression with riff i think its pretty cool,im not working right now but i click on the google adds to help you out . i guess that helps .i heard it does but i dont know. how about some slide stuff.

Tres Strikes N ur OUT! - October 11, 2012 Reply

3rd or 4th time I’ve REALLY been interested in the content only to have it BLOCKED by some stupid GoogleAd Popup. FU Google! If Google were interfering with my site… I’d sue!

    Jonathan Boettcher - October 11, 2012 Reply

    Β Can you describe the popups you’re experiencing? There are Google ads on the page, but they definitely should not be popping up…

Frenchie13 - January 16, 2013 Reply

may we have the tabs for the 12 bar blues progression with the riff. I cant see the fingering.

newf - May 24, 2013 Reply

can’t open this at work. can you give me the tab

insydney - June 21, 2013 Reply

nice clip but really NEEDS an accompanying TAB (or better camera use) to be of any use to a lot of students

Douglas.allen120@gmail.com chi - April 23, 2014 Reply

some tabs might be useful. I’m not the fastess learner but I’m making headway

glo - October 22, 2014 Reply

I have all your coursed…love your detail
Jonathon I need Tab…..so want to learn this but cant figure out your chord fingering .Please Help us thst need tab to learn

Sue - April 20, 2015 Reply

Hi Jonathan, could you tab out some of of those riffs? I’m old and don’t get it unless I see it. Still learning with your I IV V and G riff DVDs

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