I know how the typical I-IV-V progression works, and I know the scales (well not by heart but more or less), there's one thing that always gets me, though. How is the bridge constructed? I mean the one that you can hear in Pride and Joy at 0:28 and through the whole song. It's very common and can be heard in almost any blues standard, but instead of learning each one by tabs I'd like to understand how it's played, depending on the key in which the song is played. Is there a general rule to it?


P.S: please excuse my limited knowledge of music theory, I'm a newbie.

Ok I might have gotten the name of this riff wrong (as in it's not a bridge, but a turnaround), and I think the best I can do is just provide an example of a more standard song. Like Key to the Highway, you can hear it at 0:20 for two bars. I mean only that 2 bar long part, I really love that lick.

  • Based on Chris Barlow’s analysis, it sounds like you are talking about a blues turnaround rather than a bridge. Aug 2, 2014 at 1:50

1 Answer 1


I think maybe what the OP is referring to is the return to the V chord briefly before beginning the next 12 bar phrase. So, in this song, you have this typical phrase construction:

I-I-I-I   IV-IV-I-I   V-IV-I-X

The "X" at the end of the phrase (which happens shortly after 0:28) starts on the I chord and changes to the V (dominant) quickly, which might be throwing the OP off.

The other interesting thing happening at this time is the bass is doing a walk-up from the I (tonic) to the V (Dominant) which is typical in a lot of blues songs. In the key of C the walk would be



I still think you're talking about the "X" segment from my post above, but let me clarify a bit. The guitar on top is different between the two songs you've mentioned, but the bass line is the same. The progression of the bass (in C) goes:


But the resultant chord progression is something like this:


So, regardless of the key, you can rely upon this chord progression. A lot of performances will have a contrary motion guitar or piano that walks down to the dominant from the tonic. So while the bass plays the line above, the guitar (again in C) might play:


  • Sorry for a late reply. Yes I think this is it, but I'm still having trouble with playing the bar before and the bar after. Although I might figure that out by myself. Thanks again
    – Dunno
    Aug 3, 2014 at 10:40

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