This is a question I hear all the time…

“If I’m playing in A, using A minor blues, and the chord goes to D7, shouldn’t I change to D minor blues?”

The answer, as always, is to do what you like. If you like that sound, then use it.

BUT – know that you’ll be one of the first to like it 😉

However, there is one situation where that idea works really well, so I’ll show you both.

Hope you dig the video!


    16 replies to "Why You Don’t Change Keys Over A Blues"

    • Norman Blackmore

      Griff, Great lesson. I agree with you, however I actually liked the “follow the chord” riffs that you played.
      Didn’t you do a “follow the chord” lesson a few months ago?

    • Eric Levine

      Griff – But can’t you change keys with the changing chords if you stay in pentatonic MAJOR with the applicable chord (i.e., A major pentatonic, D major pentatonic & E major pentatonic?)

    • Casey Brose

      I actually liked the sound over the 7th chords.

    • Dave Delisio

      Griff, I have seen videos of other guitar players and they talk about and demonstrate following the chords when they are improvising. I understand what you are saying and demostrating in this video, but now I am confused. Can you give me some clairification?

      Really enjoy your emails and have several of your courses where I have learned so much!

    • JohnnyB

      OMG, would I love to have the tab for the lick at 1:01 in the video!

    • Ken M

      Good lesson , makes sense to my ear . My mind is working on why .

    • tony

      I believe that this is one good reason that i have deciding where to go when in a major and why it sucks . Minor example is a very good way to go. As always thank you.

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff, Yep it does not sound right…Not something I would try..

      Good lesson though.

      Stay safe and well.

      Michael-Sydney-Australia July 24,2020

    • Dennard

      Great lesson. Yiu are so right when the chord changes and you change with it, it sounds ok but doesn’t feel right. Going to try that in a minor blues. Major or should I say minor ah ha moment

    • Mike H.

      I’ve been trying to teach myself “I Put A Spell On You”. In CCR’s version, I think Fogerty stays, pretty much, in Em pentatonic boxes the whole time but this approach may be just what the doctor ordered for that tune when it goes to Am. However the 5 is B7 (not minor) so… I reckon I could chase the B7 using the B7 major pentatonic or go back to the Em pentatonic then to the Am scale and back to the Em. Kind of a mix n’ match. Is that kosher? I know, I know… ask my ears.
      There are other major chords in that song too but, I think they are just used in the fast strumming parts.
      BTW – It’s impossible to sing it like Fogerty but, it’s fun to try.

    • AlanH

      Hey Griff here’s a suggestion. It would be handy, at least for me because I suck at looper, if you included your loop at the end of the lesson so we could download it (I use 4K Video downloader) as an mp3 to continue the practice on our own.

    • Jim Rogers

      Thanks, Griff. So, why do so few great players not “chase the chord changes” when all the chords are minor? I understand the “what” but not the “why”…?

      • Eel1948

        I think you misunderstood. You can chase the chords when they are minor, am dm em. Playing blues in A for example, if you played a dm pentatonic over the D7, it wouldn’t sound right. Doing that would effectively be changing keys, and that’s why it’s weak. You’ve left your tonal center of A.

    • Interstate slim

      Thanks Griff, more insight as to getting the most out of our playing. Highly appreciated and enjoy your day.

    • Martin

      Thank you sir. Once again you take the mystery out of it. So, what I am gathering is that in minor would could chase the chords, but not absolutely necessary.

    • Jerry Persall

      Good explanation and very much appreciated. This is why I read these things every morning. Excellent learning nuggets with practical applications!

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