Blues Guitar Scales

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A Blues Scale:


Bb Blues Scale:


B Blues Scale:


C Blues Scale:


C# Blues Scale:


D Blues Scale:


Eb Blues Scale:


E Blues Scale:


F Blues Scale:


F# Blues Scale:


G Blues Scale:


G# Blues Scale:


About the blues scale

The blues scale is made up of six notes per octave. The hexatonic, or six note, blues scale is almost a mirror image of the minor pentatonic scale — it’s the minor pentatonic scale with one note added per octave: the sharp 4th or flat 5th degree. The additional note is shown as the red dot in the diagram above. Note that there are two red dots in each position because each position of the blues scale pictured above spans two octaves. The blues scale is great because it can be used to solo over all the chord changes in a twelve bar blues progression.

Tips and tricks

Country and bluegrass lead guitar players love to use the blues scale in their solos. Also, in many country and bluegrass songs, the “blues” note goes very well with the major pentatonic scale. In other words, try switching back and forth between the major pentatonic scale and the blues scale when you are improvising. Start by picking one position from each and switch between the two. You’ll be able to hear how the two complement each other.

Practice makes perfect

I always tell people to learn the minor pentatonic scale before the blues scale. That way, it is much easier to distinguish between the two once you add in the extra “blues” note. I think it’s always best to start by learning the first position. Master that position until you can play it in your sleep. Then learn the next.

Have fun making up different licks within that position. When I was learning the blues scale, I always found a song I liked to practice soloing over. Experiment with different ways of connecting the positions of the blues scale. For example, you can slide various notes up and down, hammer on, stretch your fingers to hit three consecutive notes on a string, or just flat out shift your hands up or down on the neck. The key is practice and repitition.

Stay tuned!

Going forward, I’ll continue to post different licks structured around various positions of the pentatonic and blues scales. We’ll start with more basic riffs and then work our way up to advanced. Eventually you should have a pretty cool collection of riffs that will help you in your journey to learning how to play lead guitar all the way up and down the neck of the guitar.


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