I found many threads and YouTube videos on modulation in general, but not specific to blues.

I’m getting pretty good at the basic I-IV-V progression in blues, playing some old delta-style or BBking style pentatonics. Also experimenting with diminished licks. I’m reaching a plateau though and would love to learn something new. I’m playing the guitar by the way but I suppose theory on modulation applies to all instruments.

So i thought about modulating. How would you modulate into a new key when you’re playing blues, are there some certain types of modulations that work especially well when playing I-IV-V? And are there some good examples of songs that do it? All of the stuff I hear is just based in the same key and repeating bars if I-IV-V with a turnaround.

  • Are you asking how to use different scales for each chord, or are you asking how to modulate the entire progression into a new key?
    – Aaron
    Jul 1 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


A blues tends to stay in the same key. That's sort of what a blues IS. But you could try playing a blues sequence in E, followed by one in G. Then back to E. Do you like it? Does it suggest possibilities?

You could also investigate more complex versions of the blues sequence. Lots of examples here:



To move into a new key (in just about any style), a simple and effective way is to play the dominant of the new key in the last bar of the old sequence, bringing in the new key on the first bar (usually tonic) in time.

So, a typical 12 bar turn around could now be (in key E) B7 A7 E7 C7 then F7. Or: B7 A7 E7 C♯7 then F♯7. Etc.

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