Lesson 3: The 12-bar Blues

Children learn to play the chord sequence of the 12-bar Blues.

Learning objective

  • To be able to play the 12-bar Blues

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Use and understand staff and other musical notations

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Before the lesson

Classroom resources

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Can play just the first note for each chord (print off and hand out Activity: 12-bar Blues chord sequence)


Pupils working at greater depth: Should be encouraged to play quavers for the chords – so in the space of one bar they will play eight chords instead of four.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Laura Barr,  
Music specialist
In her 14 year teaching career, Laura assumed the role of Music Lead, and was Head of Music in a large secondary school. Laura has a passion for working with children with a disadvantaged background, either through deprivation or disability,…
Find out more
Lesson 2: Playing a chord Previous Lesson
Lesson 4: Blues scale Next Lesson