12 Bar Swing in G

In this lesson Charlie is going to show us how to play a 12 bar blues with a swing feel in the key of G.

The diagrams below show the position of the fingers on the fret board to play the basic chords used in this lesson.

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Hello there, today we're going to look at a little swing pattern in the key of G. I'm going to use a couple of different chords. We are going to look at a major 7th chord, a ninth chord and maybe a diminish chord or two. Basically it is a 12 bar blues pattern in the key of G, and let's have a look at some of these chord shapes.

The GMaj7 (G Major 7) chord: we just simply put our first finger up on the E string. That's on the third fret. Our second finger goes also on the third fret, but on the B string, our third finger goes on the D string, fourth fret, and our fourth finger goes on the G string fourth fret.

Notice I am kind of laying that first finger back. I just want to touch that A string so I get a muted A, and I also want to mute that top E string. Sort of doing that by laying your first finger across that E string as well. So we get that kind of a sound: GMaj7.

Next chord in our progression is a C9 chord. It gets its name from the A string. I'm going to put my second finger on the A string third fret. First finger goes on an E note, which in on the D string second fret. And my third finger, sort of bend that back a little bit flattening on those bottom three strings. So I'm now getting the C9 chord.

Quite simply, if I want to move that up to a C# (C sharp), take the whole thing up one fret. Likewise, the D9 chord, C#9 chord, C9 chord.

Ok, the next chord I need in the progression is a Dm7 (D minor 7) chord. Quite simply, I'm going to bar the fifth fret. My second finger down on the second string, in the sixth fret, the third finger it's going to go on the D string, seventh fret. Strumming that one from the A string down: Dm7.

Next chord of the progression is going to be a CMaj7 (C major 7) chord. Also takes its name of the A string. So I'm on the third fret. I'm going to bar the third fret. Second finger on the G string, on the fourth fret. Third finger on the D string fifth fret and fourth finger on the B string, also on the fifth fret. Strumming from the A string down: there it is: CMaj7.

To achieve the C#dim (C sharp diminished) chord, all I have to do, to achieve a nice 'voicing' here, is to bring that second finger up onto the C# (note) , so we get our CMaj7 to a C#dim.

The next chord I need in the progression is a Bm7 (B minor 7). I'm going to take that up onto the seventh fret, bar the seventh fret right across. Third finger goes on the A string. That's up on the ninth fret, and there is my Bm7.

My Bb7 (B flat 7), take it down a fret onto the sixth. Put the second finger on the G string, that's in the seventh fret there and that gives me my Bb7 chord.

And now my Am7 chord, drop down again, now onto the fifth fret. Take my second finger off to achieve a minor: Am7.

Bm7, Bb7, Am7, then we go underneath for our D9.

And the final chord is G#dim (G sharp diminished). We achieve that by putting our second finger on the G# note, which is on the fourth fret of the E string. The first finger is going to lay flat over the D, the G and the B strings on the third fret. And my third finger is going to end up on the fifth fret and on the G string. I also want to make sure I mute that A. I don't want that A string ringing through at all.

GMaj7, G#dim.

Let's take a little look at our right hand, and check out the way I'm comping these chords.

Ok, so pretty much what's happening here if I play my GMaj7 chord. I'm playing the bass note with my thumb, and (I'm missing the A string completely), playing the D, G and B strings with an upward pick with my first, second and third fingers. So I get that kind of a motion there.

So what I suggest you do is just get used to the feel of that motion. The way we are comping this is we are playing on the '1' and on the '& (and)' of the two count in a bar. So if I count a bar simply, 1, 2, 3, 4. I'm playing:
"1", 2 "and" 3, 4,
"1", 2 "and" 3, 4,
"1", 2 "and" 3, 4

Let's just put that right and left hand together, just counting through nice and slow and easy on the changes... a 1, 2, 3, 4... GMaj7, C9, GMaj7, Dm7 (half bar), C#9 (half bar), CMaj7, C#dim, GMaj7, Bm7 (half), Bb7 (half), Am7, D9, GMaj7 (half), G#dim (half), Am7 (half), D9 (half), [Gmaj7 (half) (slide)].

Ok, that's pretty much it. Really what you need to do is just work on the chord changes individually, make sure you know those chords and you are comfortable getting from one to the other. Practice the right hand comp just on maybe one or two chords, just going from the GMaj7 to the C9 will do, and then work through the progression. For those of you that get onto our website, you'll see the chord diagrams there and also the chart for the swing feel that we've got here. Good luck with it! Have fun! I know you will.

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