Blues Scale

major scales - minor scales

chromatic scales - blues scale - pentatonic scale

The Blues Scale is a seven note scale that is primarily used in jazz, blues and rock. This scale has notes that are called "blue" notes. They are played (or sung) lower, or flat. These notes ore the 3rd and the 7th.

The seven scale notes are:

  • root
  • flat 3rd
  • 4th
  • flat 5th (or sharp 4th - enharmonically the same)
  • 5th
  • flatted 7th
  • root octave

In the key of C this would be C-Eb-F-Gb (or F#)-G-Bb-C.

Here it is ascending and descending:

This scale is commonly used when playing over a 12 bar blues chord progression.

It's best to practice small, several note "snippets" over and over again to get them under your fingers. In most keys they are pretty comfortable (and eventually easy) to play.

Here's an example of an "improvisation" using "snippets", or patterns from a blues scale. This is the key of C.

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These scales can be built on any note or in any key. Here they are in the keys of F-G-E-A.

Note that sometimes the flat 5th is used and sometimes it's the sharp 4th. These are enharmonically the same pitch - which ever one is easier to read is the one that is used.

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For a more complete presentation, click the icon to open the PDF file in a new browser window... you can then save a copy or print a hard copy of the included sheets.

Click here to GO BACK TO SCALES.

Sheet Music Plus Jazz Music

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