Now what if I told you that not only can you learn to play the blues, there is a simple, step-by-step method for playing authentic acoustic blues anytime, anywhere, without having to read a note of music, and without having to rely on jam tracks or a backup band. You can play in your office or play it on stage, you can play for a friend or for thousands of people, you can play it under a tree in a park or in a sold out stadium… An acoustic guitar is the most versatile instrument you can get. The acoustic guitar and the blues go together like beans and cornbread… With an acoustic guitar, you can go back in time to when all a person needed was a guitar and a story to play the blues. Now you might know me from one of my other blues guitar courses.
The intensity and tension build. That dramatic departure in the middle—just eight bars long—is the bridge, also known as the middle eight. The bridge creates a welcome contrast to the repeating verse-chorus sections of a song, and is a short break about two-thirds of the way through that refreshes our ears for the ending.
For songwriters, the question is: How do you create these kinds of transporting moments in your own songs? Here are seven ideas to try, with examples from the pop and rock canon. Move from the I In most songs, the verses and chorus center on and resolve to the I chord—the tonic.
A common choice in a major key is to go to the IV or V chord in the bridge—you also might try the ii, iii, or vi. For more on how this number system works, see the Acoustic Guitar multimedia guide Songwriting Basics for Guitarists at store.
As shown in Example 1, the bridge hangs on the V and IV, only resolving to the I with the return to the verse. For harmonic context, Example 2 shows the last measure of the verse progression before going into the eight-bar bridge. Reach outside the key For a more attention-getting contrast in a bridge, grab a non-diatonic chord—that is, a chord outside the key.
The song is in D major, but as shown in bar 2 of Example 3, he opens the bridge with a Dm7—a quick change in harmony that makes a big impact.
Check it out in Example 4. One good place to look for non-diatonic chords is in the parallel minor or major key, which has the same tonic root but a different set of chords.
A bridge should offer some kind of contrasting point of view to the song. Try to look at the events or emotions in the song from another angle. Change key A bolder way to set the bridge apart is by modulating to another key—when you do this, the whole section feels like it has a different home chord.
Here are a few possibilities, with examples from the Beatles songbook. One easy modulation is from a major key to its relative minor vior from a minor key to its relative major bIII.
Advertisement Another common modulation is to the parallel minor or major key. Example 6 includes the C-to-E chord sequence that sets up the key change in the bridge. Example 7 shows the progression behind this brief but stunning four-bar bridge.
Example 8 includes the turnaround chords that Harrison uses to transition into the new key for the bridge. The V of the original key is a likely choice. This change, too, is coupled with a move to the non-diatonic IImaj7 chord—in this case, Amaj7 in the key of G. Vary the phrasing To differentiate the bridge melody, you also might work with its phrasing.
Try starting or ending the main phrases on a different beat than in the rest of the song. You can enhance the contrast by changing up the rhythms and shape of the melody too.
Switch up the groove Another way to set the bridge apart is by changing its whole rhythmic feel. Then, after a quick break, the verse groove returns. Shift the lyrical perspective Along with all the musical changes, a bridge should offer some kind of contrasting point of view to the song. Make it different from the rest of the song, but still clearly connected—so it can transport the listener from one shore to another, providing a new view of the landscape along the way.
Though this form is longer, the bridge serves the same purpose—providing a break from the repetition and setting up the big finish.Free Video Guitar Lessons Teaching You Practical Skills For Playing The Guitar, Writing Songs & More. Tips, Tricks, Chords, Scales, Rhythm, Strumming, Giging, Mindset, etc.
For a songwriter, the guitar can do much more than accompany your voice and fill in the chords—it can spark ideas and help guide you throughout the process of developing them into complete songs.
Here we take a look at the best acoustic amps, amps with "wooden hearts" that faithfully reproduce minute details of your acoustic guitar sound and playing. "Layla" is a song written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon, originally released by their blues rock band Derek and the Dominos, as the thirteenth track from their only studio.
Corinne Bohjanen on Vocals, Bass Guitar, & Mandolin. Ed Horey on Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars. Jen Webster on Vocals, West African Djembe Drum. Browse our guitar chords database of over 42, guitar chord charts. Create custom printable chord sheets of your favorite chord combinations.