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This Blues guitar lesson can be applied to Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk or just about any other style you may be interested in playing. Many students are familiar with the Blues Guitar Scale, defined as a Minor Pentatonic Scale with the flatted 5th added in. I call this scale the Minor Blues Scale or the Inverted Blues Scale to differentiate it from its Relative Major counterpart, the Major Blues Scale.
Here is how both Blues Scales look when compared to a Major Scale in E.
When the Minor Blues Scale and the Major Blues Scale are combined you get an interesting sounding Super Blues Scale that can really help your soloing in many ways. The Combined Blues Scale contains: 1, 2, b3, 3, 4, b5, 5, 6, and b7.
Here is the Minor Blues Guitar Scale, the Major Blues Guitar Scale and the Combined Scale shown in one position. Take the time to create the combined scale in all other positions to see the big picture on the fretboard.
To start applying the concept lets take a look at the I and the IV chords in a Blues Progression. NOTE: The numbers for each note in the chords are relative to the key of E.
I – E7 E(1), G#(3), B(5), D(b7) Major 3rd can be found in the Major Blues Scale.
IV – A7 A(4), C#(6), E(1), G(b3) Minor 3rd can be found in the Minor Blues Scale.
Try playing the Major Blues Scale over the I chord and the Minor Blues Scale over the IV chord. Play the Combined Scale highlighting the Major Blues Scale for the I chord and the Minor Blues Scale for IV chord. The Combined Scale offers some nice Chromatic passages you can use to enhance the Blues Licks you already know. Don’t forget to play the root of the scale often as you experiment. As always, Let you ear be the judge.