A 12-Bar Blues Study for Group Guitar: Frosty Ice Cream

Posted by Brian Parham on Monday, January 22, 2018

Frosty Ice Cream: A 12-Bar Blues Study

Frosty Ice Cream is a 12-bar blues written in the style of ‘Green Onions.’ It’s the perfect guitar study for kids, beginning guitarists, or guitar teachers teaching group guitar classes. In this blog post, you’ll learn the bass part. In the next installment, I’ll add the organ part, the chords, and the guitar solo.

The 12-Bar Blues Formula

If you read my previous post about the 12-bar blues, then you already know the blues is a musical genre and a musical formula. Although there are many types of blues progressions, the 12-bar blues is the most common form, and it can be found in all types of music including rock, country, surf, jazz, rockabilly, r&b, and jazz.


cheat sheet: the 12-bar blues

It’s 12 measures long.

It consists of three separate 4-bar sections: the first four, the middle four, and the last four bars.

The first four bars are: I , I , I, I.

The middle four bars are: IV, IV, I, I.

And the final four bards are: V, IV, I, I.


In the Style of Booker T. & the M.G.’S

Booker T. & the M.G.’S helped define the sound of soul in the 1960s. Inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame in 1992, Booker T. & the M.G.’S backed up legendary singers like Ottis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave as the Stax Records house band.

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Green Onions

Without a doubt, their unique blend of R&B, funk, and blues continues to be as prolific, as respected, and as imitated today as it was in the 1960s. Their signature tune, “Green Onions,” hit number three on the charts in 1962 and was later ranked the 173rd greatest song of all-time by Rolling Stones magazine.

Frosty Ice Cream: Bass Part

Frosty Ice Cream

Frosty Ice Cream: Demo Track

Frosty Ice Cream: Backing Track

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Parham is the founder of the Rock Dojo in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches hundreds of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years-old to play, perform, and compose their own original music on the guitar in after-school group guitar lessons. He’s also the author of three guitar method books including Guitar for Kids: Rock Dojo The Complete Belt System

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