How to Write a Blues Song

How to Write a Blues SongHow to Write a Blues Song: Here are useful tips, techniques and strategies to write great songs in this genre of music.

Table of Contents

About the Music

Blues songs were originally written by African slaves to depict their feelings, which obviously had a sad tinge to it. The main musical instrument used at that time was the harmonica.

Over a period of time, the Blues was developed into Rhythm and Blues (R&B), and then formed the basis of other forms of music.

Here are some more characteristics of this genre of music.

Musical Characteristics

A blues song can be defined in terms of the number of bars or measures used, more common ones being:

  • The 12-bar blues
  • 8-bar and 16-bar schemes
  • In terms of what chord progressions to use, there are a couple of ways to proceed:

  • Standard I-IV-V chord progression
  • Use of flatted thirds, fifths and sevenths (known as the blue notes)
  • As you can see, blues is heavily dependent on the pentatonic scale, and can be written in either a major or minor key.

    Lyrical Characteristics

    In terms of lyrical, the songs can take a wide range of forms.

  • It tells a story
  • Based on a narrative call-and-response structure, where each stanza repeats the first two lines to form the call and concludes with a reply that forms the response.
  • There can be any number of stanzas, although three and five are common
  • Here’s a video that shows How to Write a Blues Song.

    To Conclude

    These are useful tips and techniques that you need to keep in mind, to come up with songs in this genre. This is how to write a Blues Song.

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