Diads for Dominant 7 Blues

Diads for Dominant 7 Blues

When playing a 12 bar blues progression using dominant 7 chords (e.g. A7 (I), D7 (IV), E7 (V)), guitarists often use a single minor pentatonic scale over the progression. However some of  the chord tones for the IV and V chords do not always fall within the scale chosen. Extra colour can be gained by using some useful little diads (two notes played together) that can help fill out the sound – especially if you are soloing with just bass and drums.

These small chords can be used for emphasis and can be played in a number of ways. Here is an example:-

These diads can be used to fill out the sound especially for a lone soloing guitarist:

  • Play in 16th or 8th notes to emphasise the chords
  • Bend one or both of the notes to create dissonance
  • Add vibrato to one or both of the notes
  • Slide into and out of the diad – especially from a half tone below
  • Play the notes individually – going between them

Here is a free PDF page showing 3 different diads for each chord: Blues Diads

  • The diads are given in the fretboard diagrams – also shown is the Am pentatonic scale. The scale degrees shown relate the the chord being played.

So, give them a go and see how you get on. Have fun!

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