In most blues the chords are I-IV-V. I am learning Help me through the day by Freddie King. I looked at the intro of this song and the chords are B minor, E minor and F sharp 7th. What key signature would that be? And how can I understand these chords? It's not I-IV-I like in most blues. Should one really just think of chords in blues songs or are there more to consider when understanding this?
1The key is B minor; the I,IV,V isn't only for major scales– ShevliaskovicSep 18, 2015 at 8:03
1@Shevliaskovic - I've just listened to a Freddie King Cm version...– TimSep 18, 2015 at 9:02
There are minor blues as well. They will use i iv and V (or i7 iv7 and V7 for 'real' blues). As you state, I(7) IV(7) and V(7) are more usual, but the same 12 bar format is often used for a possibly more miserable blues. This is not a standard 12 bar though.
The bridge goes to the relative major of iv which is a common trick in minor blues. The V is usually dominant, but can also be found in its m7 form. To make life interesting, the dominant fifth can incorporate both the maj and min 3rd, producing what's known as the 'Hendrix chord'. Properly named 7♯9, which maybe doesn't do it justice in this situation.
The key sig. for Bm is always F♯ and C♯.
The notes sung/played are most frequently from the blues scale - and there are two of those - major and minor, funnily enough. BUT - the minor blues notes are probably featured most in both. They work well over the minor blues, as expected, but they also work well, in a tried and tested way, over the dominant 7th chords. They maybe shouldn't, in theory, but that's the blues .
@MrTheBard - why the edit? I don't mind, but the key sig. for Bm IS always F# and C#!– TimSep 18, 2015 at 18:11
I don't see any need for the Bard's edit. Your original is clearer in my opinion, so I rolled it back. Sep 20, 2015 at 19:20
1I don't mind the rollback, but the wording is odd. 'The Key signature for Bm always contains an F# and C#.' - seems like a better way to make the same statement. The key of Bm IS NOT F# and C#, but rather it contains, an F# and C#, for there are many more notes within that key. Sep 25, 2015 at 15:11
1@Tim I am very well aware of what a key signature is, and what it denotes. I was editing it for the grammar. I still stand by my statement that 'the key sig. for Bm is always F# and C#' sounds grammatically incorrect. From wikipedia: then D major (B minor) has two sharps (on F and C) and so on. I wholeheartedly agree that B minor has an F# and C#, there is no denying that, I just think the grammar could be better in the statement. Sep 25, 2015 at 19:34
1Also from wikipedia: 'D major (or the key of D) is a major scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F♯, G, A, B, and C♯. Its key signature consists of two sharps.' Its key signature consists of two sharps, not its key signature is two sharps. Sep 25, 2015 at 19:54