Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa is the accomplished blues/rock musician who uses target notes derived from the underlying dominant seventh arpeggio in his blues improvisations.
Hal Leonard produce several instructional DVD/books in the style of Joe Bonamassa. Gibson produce a pre-aged Les Paul inspired by Joe Bonamassa - shown in the photo below.

Joe Bonamassa Les Paul

  • Video 1
  • Video 2
  • Video 3
  • Video 4


Dominant seventh blues in G major using 6E4E1 chord shapes

The GP5 tab below shows the 6E4E1 (dominant seventh) chord shape being used to play a major blues in the key of G major - chord formulas and their corresponding note names are detailed in the table that follows.

Chord name
Chord formula (intervals) and note names
1
3
5
b7
G7
G
B
D
F
C7
C
E
G
Bb
D7
D
F#
A
C

Dom7 blues in G major


6Em4Em1 pentatonic minor box shape - Dominant seventh blues

Although the blues sequence above uses only dominant seventh chords - which are MAJOR in tonality - pentatonic minor based players such as Bonamassa use the corresponding MINOR PENTATONIC box shape. The table below shows the chord names and their corresponding minor pentatonic scales.

Chord name
Minor pentatonic scale formula (intervals) and note names
1
b3
4
5
b7
G7
G
Bb
C
D
F
C7
C
Eb
F
G
Bb
D7
D
F
G
A
C

The yellow highlighting on the table emphasizes the fact that the third should be MAJOR (to comply with the dominant seventh chord it is played over) however it is in fact MINOR - these notes are corrected in the improvisation by bending-up a semi-tone (half step) to the major third or a quarter-tone to the BLUES THIRD (which is neither major or minor in tonality)

A Guitar Pro 5 file is available via this link to practice the blues sequence shown in the tab that follows:-

6Em4Em1 box shape blues


6E4E1 shape dominant seventh arpeggio blues - ASCENDING

To visualize the superimposed 6E4E1 dominant seventh arpeggio box shape over the top of the 6Em4Em1 pentatonic minor scale box shape the tab below shows the arpeggios following the blues chord sequence - the Guitar Pro 5 file is available via this link.

Gdom7 blues ascending



6E4E1 shape dominant seventh arpeggio blues - DESCENDING

A pot-hole that should be avoided is to only practice the arpeggio box shape in an ascending manner - as this is the opposite of how they are likely to be used in reality - hence the tab below shows them played in a descending fashion (Get the Guitar Pro 5 file via this link).

Gdom7 blues descending


All of the dominant seventh arpeggio box shapes are detailed in the tabbed panel that follows for C7:-

C dominant seventh arpeggio box shapes

Guitar Pro 6 icon

5C2 pdf

5A3 pdf

6G3G1 pdf

6E4E1 pdf

4D2 pdf

5C2 pdf


  • 5C2
  • 5A3
  • 6G3G1
  • 6E4E1
  • 4D2
  • 5C2 at 12

5C2 - C7 box

5A3 - C7 box

6g3g1 - C7 box

6E4E1 - C7 box

4D2 - C7 box

5C2 at 12 - C7 box


Joe Bonamassa

Sinner's Prayer ....Zon Brookes

Live from nowhere in particular


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