The blues scale plays a big part in rock in pop music,
both in the solos of guitarists, and often within the songs themselves.
In lesson three, we learned the basics of the
. Now, we'll review the scale, and explore it a little
If you're having trouble remembering exactly how to play the blues scale,
have a look at the diagram on the left. Truthfully, it's one of the easier
scales you'll learn.. probably because your first finger starts on the
same fret of each string. Play the scale forwards and backwards several
What fret you start this scale at depends on which scale you'd like to
play.. like the B minor chord we learned in this lesson, the blues scale
is "movable". What type of blues scale you're playing depends on which
fret you start at. If you start the scale with your first finger on the
fifth fret of the sixth string (the note A), you're playing an "A blues
scale". If you start the scale with your first finger on the eighth fret
of the sixth string, you're playing a "C blues scale".
of Blues Scale
If you're interested in learning to play guitar solos, you'll want to
spend a whole lot of time with the blues scale. Many pop, rock, and blues
guitarists use the blues scale almost exclusively in their solos. The
basic premise is this: a guitarist will play a series of notes from the
blues scale, which sound good together. Learning to do this well takes
experimentation and practice, but it gets easier.
Many songwriters use parts of the blues scale as the foundation for their
songs. Led Zeppelin did this often: in the song Heartbreaker
for example, the blues scale is used extensively in the main "guitar riff".
Eric Clapton used the blues scale too, for the riff in Cream's Sunshine
of Your Love.
the scale forwards and backwards. Try starting in the middle of
the scale, and finishing it, going forwards, and backwards. In
short... memorize it well!
with playing various notes from the A blues scale along with this
week's blues shuffle (click
to hear audio)
you have an interest in learning more about soloing, study the
older archived lesson Learning to Improvise.
around with the notes in the blues scale, and see if you can't
come up with a cool "guitar riff" that could be the basis of a
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