The 12 Bar Blues

12 bar blues

Richard Shields
[email protected]
Kwajalein School System

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



High School




Internet access, home computer, band instrument, Stage Band book


15 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students must know how to install free software on their home computer, and understand the concept of the 12 bar blues changes.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding


Scale helper worksheet, and Stage Band book


At the conclusion of the home drill, the student will be able to enter I, IV, and ii7 chords in Notepad, play them back, and play along with them on the student’s band instrument.


In band rehearsal, take fifteen minutes to walk students through Notepad download, entry of chords in the notation software, adjustment of volume and tempo, save to a folder, and playback while playing their instrument. Throughout the school year, students will enter chord changes from the stage band charts, verifying accuracy, save them to a single folder, e-mail to the director, to be used for practicing improvisation at home.


Completed chord folder will be evaluated for note accuracy and set-up. Improvised solos, especially by less experienced players, will be compared to previous years when Notepad was not being used.

Follow Up:

Encourage students to use Notepad technique and other software for practicing difficult performance literature and to write their own music.

Items to Purchase:


When budget should be submitted:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top