The Turnaround is the bit at the end of a 12-bar Blues progression when everything seems to be reaching a musical conclusion, only to launch back in again from the beginning. Being aware of this crucial part of any Blues song or solo will definitely give your soloing an extra something. Here’s a breakdown:
Based on a simple chromatic line, following the chord tones, this uses a ‘pedal tone’ of G to strenghen the overall feel, simply by making the phrase busier.
Using a descending line, though still arriving at D, this could almost be played simultaneously with the first lick for a countermelodic effect.
High Register Lick
Using a higher register, this is reminiscent of Eric Clapton. Again, the root note D is targeted over the last bar, even though this means skipping two strings.
A repeated phrase gives a dramatic ‘finale’ effect. A repetitive idea need only consist of one or two notes but this phrase contains three.
Using a more BB King-type sound, this example also mimics his distinctive staccato phrasing and double-stop techniques, actually spelling out the D7 chord at the last bar. The last note here is C, taken from the same chord. Hopefully it resolves in time for the G chord in the next bar!
Descending through the Blues Scale, this example targets the D chord first in the last bar, then joins in for last two chords, G#9 and G9.
As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!
Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!