Blues Guitar

Learn the fundamentals in learning Blues Guitar (Chords, Scales, Progressions, Song, Licks)

Here is the A Blues Scale on guitar showing all 6 fingering positions.The A Blues Scale is the Minor Pentatonic Scale with a passing tone (b5 or diminish 5th) note added to it. The A Blues Scale usually works with every position where you would play the pentatonic scale. The added (b5) note gives the sound a very interesting flavor while playing blues solos.

It never hurts to practice the scale and learn all the all fingering positions. This way you know the A Blues Scale all over the guitar fret board and are not just playing one fingering position all the time. Try playing the A Blues Scale at the fifth fret shown in the first scale fingerings below. The next octave scale fingering position is the same as the first one at fret (17) and starts over again after the last fingering.

Next try it in the key of E starting at the open string scale fingering position fret (0) instead of fret (5) and play all the scale fingering positions up & down. Find a blues song in the same key and experiment jamming along in all the these scale fingering positions to get a feel for it. Try it with a slow blues song to make it easier. The song by Stevie Ray Vaughan – Leave My Little Girl Alone is in A and it’s a good one to start with. As an exercise try bending notes with the Interval (5) one note below interval (b5) note up a half step to the (b5) note. The more you master playing the A Blues in all the fingering positions the better you will know your way around the guitar fret board and not get lost hitting a dissonant off note.

          A-Blues021  A Blues Position 2 A Blues Position 3 A Blues Position 4 A Blues Position 5 A Blues Position 6

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The most used blues and rock scales are the Minor Pentatonic Scale  and the Major Pentatonic Scale. The Minor Pentatonic Scale contains the root, flattened third, fourth, fifth and flattened seventh (1, b3, 4,5,b7). The major pentatonic scale has five notes – the root note, the second note, the third, fifth and sixth (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 ). In the key of C the minor pentatonic scale is C Eb F G Bb  and the major pentatonic scale is C D E G A.

The Major Pentatonic Scale is commonly more commonly used to solo in blues and rock solos. To start learning to master soloing using the Minor Pentatonic Scale. We are going to learn to how to play solos over major, minor and dominant chords.

Let’s take a common blues chord progression using the root, fourth and fifth notes of the scale (I, IV, V).  If we are playing a song in the key of C major, the chords are C, F and G major. The minor Pentatonic scales resolves or feels like your playing the right notes, the major pentatonic does not resolve or feel as comfortable until your playing over the V chord G major.

                                                           A Minor Pentatonic Fingers C Major Pentatonic Fingers

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