14 May 2013


If you are interested in jazz chord progressions, here's a curiosity for you. Take a standard twelve-bar blues chord sequence, for example (in the Key of C):
    C | C | C | C7 | F | F | C | C | G7 | G7 | C | C

(This was the basis of so much rock 'n' roll and all that followed.)

Then chop off the first four bars, leaving you with this sequence of eight bars:

   F | F | C | C | G7 | G7 | C | C

And what do you have?

It's the sequence 4 - 1 - 5 - 1  (IV - I - V7 - I), because it is based on the fourth note of the scale (F major) followed by the 1st note (C major), etc. It is known by some musicians as The Blueberry Hill Progression.

The structure can lend itself to some exciting if riffy rocking music, especially with Redwing and Uptown Bumps.

It is the chord sequence for:

Blueberry Hill (1st, 2nd and final 8s)
Bucket's Got a Hole in It
Come on and Stomp Stomp Stomp [A]
Down By The Riverside (chorus)
Ice Cream (middle eight)
It is No Secret (the chorus)
Make Me a Pallet on the Floor
Marie (I. Berlin 1928)
New Orleans Hula
Redwing (the chorus)
The Girls Go Crazy
Uptown Bumps (chorus)
When It's Sleepy Time Down South

If the tune is written in the key of F, this means the first chord would be Bb major. Here's an illustration of how it works. The tune (second half of Down by the Riverside) is in the key of F.