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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds The Skeletal Blues in C. So, our first chord, then, is called C7 and it consists of the major triad of C, which is the root C, the major third, E, the fifth G. Added to this chord, we play the flattened seventh, which is B flat. The chord of C7. Similarly, the chord of F7 is the major triad of F, FAC, added to which we play the flattened seventh which is E flat. Similarly, G7 is G triad, GBD. And then we play the flattened seventh, which is F natural. So, if we play one chord to the beat with a tempo, say, one, two, three, four, then our skeletal blues has the following structure.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds One, two, three, four– C7, the second bar C7, third bar the same, fourth bar the same. Then, the fifth bar F7, the sixth bar F7, back to C7 for two bars. Then, ninth bar G7, 10th bar F7, 11th bar C7 and the same for the 12th bar. We often refer to C7 as the home chord because it’s a blues in C and we go home to C7 at the end. OK, a tune to play with our blues– we will use the tune I played right at the beginning, Mercer Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be,” occasionally called “Times Are A-Wasting.” So to that same tempo, one, two, three, four.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds … with a bit of ornamentation.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 seconds And so if we put the two together, the underlying chords, and the tune, we get this. One two three four.

The skeletal blues

In this video, you’ll learn about the chords C7, F7 and G7 and their use in a skeletal blues in C. You will use them to play the blues “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be”.

You can download the seventh chords and the chart for “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues

Goldsmiths, University of London