The blues has always played a central role in jazz music from the very beginning and is without a doubt one of the most important forms in jazz.  It’s important for every jazz musician to know a good handful of blues heads, and even variations on the typical 12 bar form.

The blues has so much to teach us about jazz harmony. In fact, I often suggest to jazz beginners to learn a blues first. Spend a lot of time on the blues and you are guaranteed to understand other jazz standards so much better.

The other great thing about the blues in a jazz context, is there are many variations of the chord progressions. There is, of course, a basic I-IV-V blues, but jazz musicians add a variety of different substitutions and additions to the progression. You’ll find that different blues heads sometimes have different changes.

There are many different blues heads that have become popular among jazz musicians over the years, but this is a great list to help you get started! I would consider each one of these to be essential to have in your repertoire.

But before you start learning, make sure you download our free eGuide “Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way” so that you can learn how to crush it on any of these 20.

30 Stepsto Better Jazz Playing

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