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The ending to "One Way Out" as done by the Allman Brothers Band has an ending that is common to lots of blues songs. It follows what sounds like a descending run like a normal turnaround with the ending being two chords with a beautiful minor/flat sound. What are these chords and how do they fit into the standard blues form? Here is the song.

  • I think this should be left open. The part about the chords is not on topic, but the part about fitting into standard blues form is a valid question. – Jacob Swanson Jul 15 '15 at 4:17
  • I would say even the part about the chords is on-topic, because it's not about a specific song, but about a standard blues cliché, which is used in thousands of songs. – Matt L. Jul 15 '15 at 7:07
  • Yes, hearing this song recently just reminded me that I've wondered about that ending that sounds the same for lots of songs for a long time. Being the blues, I shouldn't have been surprised that it's a simple variation of a turnaround. – PJNoes Jul 15 '15 at 23:25
  • @MattL. Identifying chords is off topic, maybe a formula to get the sound would be more on topic. – Jacob Swanson Jul 17 '15 at 4:01
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This is indeed one variation of a standard blues cliché. The chords they play are

| A A7/C# D7 D#dim7 | A Adim7 A7 |

Note the chromatically ascending bass line in the first bar:

A C# D D#

which would often lead to an A7/E chord, i.e. the chromatic line would continue up to the E. The descending melody line you hear could be

| A G F# F# | E Eb E |

There is also a cliché melody line which would really descend chromatically from the G to the E (i.e., it would replace the second F# in the above line with an F), but it doesn't fit these chords. For that chromatic line to work you would need to replace the D#dim7 chord with a Dm7, which is one other variation of this classic progression.

This progression can be played at the end of a (blues) song, as in "One Way Out". With a slight variation it can also be played as a standard turn-around in the last two bars of a 12-bar blues. As a turn-around the progression leads back to the V7 chord (E7), which, in turn, leads back to the beginning of the next 12-bar verse/chorus:

| A A7/C# D7 D#dim7 | A F7 E7 |

  • Beautiful. Couldn't have asked for more. Thanks! – PJNoes Jul 15 '15 at 19:54
  • Can I assume from the bass line that this is a major blues song? If it were minor blues wouldn't the notes be from the natural C scale? – PJNoes Jul 15 '15 at 19:57
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    @PJNoes: It's a blues in A, this means that the root chord is A7 (which has a major third). It's not a minor blues, but normally you wouldn't call it "major blues". Note that the chords of a blues are usually not based on one single scale. – Matt L. Jul 15 '15 at 20:42

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