Blues Guitar Scale
Learn How To Play The Blues Guitar Scale!
In this lesson we are going to be learning one of the most common shapes for the blues scale on guitar. We are also going to be learning about how the blues scale is made. If you are a beginner, the blues scale is something that you should be really excited about learning. Playing with the blues scale will be a great way to start making up your own solos. No matter what kind of music you are playing, you can bet that you will be using the blues scale quite often. This simple scale is really one of the fundamental things that you need to know to start improvising. First, we will learn the basic scale shape and then we will see how the blues scale is made. We will do this by looking at a regular G minor scale and building a G blues scale from that G minor scale. We have provided you with the tab and basic scale diagram for this G blues scale. Learn how to read chord diagrams and guitar tabs here!
Let’s start off by learning the basic shape for the blues scale. Here is a diagram and the tab for the scale. The black notes represent the root note of the scale. Start out with your 1st finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string. Try playing the scale up and down a few times. Keep your hands relaxed and remember to use alternate picking. Great! If you have a friend who can play with you, have them play a G7 or G minor 7 chord while you try improvising using your G blues scale. Learn new guitar picking techniques here!
Now that you have the basic blues scale shape down, we should learn how the blues scale is made. To do that we are going to use a G minor scale as a reference. A diagram of the G minor scale is provided so that you can see exactly what is happening. Let’s say that you have a regular G minor scale. To make a G blues scale, all you would need to do is take two notes away from your G minor scale and then add one note. The notes that you would take away are the 2nd scale degree and the 6th scale degree. In this case we are taking away an A and an Eb. Taking these two notes away would give us a regular G minor pentatonic scale. We have provided a diagram of a regular G minor pentatonic scale for you also. If we add what we call a flat 5 note to this G minor pentatonic scale, we would end up with our G blues scale. In this case, the flat 5 note is a Db. This flat 5 note is what gives the blues scale it’s unique sound. Be aware of this and emphasize this note if you want to get a real bluesy sound.
You will find that you will be using this scale quite often in your playing. Don’t forget that this shape is movable. Start on the 5th fret and you will be playing the A blues scale. Take this scale, move it around, and experiment with it as much as you can. If you really like the sound of this scale I suggest that you check out some of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s albums.
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