How To Play The Blues Guitar Scales
Regardless of whether you want to learn to play blues, jazz, rock, or any of a dozen other styles, the blues scale is an essential tool to have at your fingertips.
While these scales can be tricky to master the first time through, with practice you’ll quickly find that they are easier than they first appear, and soon you’ll be able to play through all of them effortlessly and improvise confidently across a variety of different chords and progressions.
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C Blues Scale
G Blues Scale
D Blues Scale
A Blues Scale
E Blues Scale
F# Blues Scale
Db Blues Scale
Ab Blues Scale
Eb Blues Scale
Bb Blues Scale
F Blues Scale
Minor vs. Major Blues Scale: Guitar Tricks!
Now that you’ve mastered a few of the blues scales on guitar, it’s time to figure out both the major and minor versions of the scales!
Before you freak out about learning another set of variations, though, we have a secret.
If you’ve already learned the 12 blues scales above, you already know both the major and the minor versions of the scale for each key!
Here’s why: when musicians talk about the “blues scale,” by default they usually refer to the minor version of the scale, which is the one presented for each key above.
The major version of the scale follows the exact same pattern as the minor version, but starts a minor third lower. So, if you want to play a C major blues scale, all you have to do is play the A minor blues scale, starting with the C!
In practice, it’s good to start with the root tone. For example, to play the C major blues scale, you’d play:
As you’ll notice, played this way the scale omits the minor seventh (the Bflat, if we’re in the key of C), and places more emphasis on the major third, the E, as opposed to the E-flat minor third.
When you’re playing in real life, however, it works just as well to simply think of this as the A minor blues scale, played over a C chord!
By learning all of the scales above, you’ve really already learned two variations of each, and can play across both major and minor blues progressions easily!
Check out the video below for a great session on the Bflat blues for guitar. Hope you enjoy this video and are interested in learning more guitar blues scales!