Fingerstyle Blues Turnaround in A

This week we’ll check out a fingerstyle blues turnaround for the key of A, or, as many of us probably think of it, “the other good blues key.”

This time, we’re using a bass line that moves every two beats over the V and IV chords, a sound that conjures up the feel of a Swing era rhythm section (measures 1 & 2 as shown below, which correspond to measures 9 & 10 of the 12-bar blues progression). Upon returning to the I chord, we get into some quicker chord changes which, particularly once we hit the bVI or F7 chord, come straight out of the East coast ragtime guitar tradition, before wrapping up with a couple of Freddie Green-style chord voicings (F7/C to E7/B in measure 4).

Over all of that, we start out with some sixths on the 1st and 3rd strings over the E chord, move to single-note blues licks over the D7-to-E7 measure, and wind up playing mostly chordal stuff over the last couple of measures.

Check out the notation, tab and audio below, and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments section below!

FSB Turnaround in A