Blues Chromatic Scale
The E Blues Chromatic Scale Guitar Open String Position
The E Blues Chromatic Scale open string position is a hybrid scale made up of three scales. E Minor Pentatonic, E Blues and E Major 3rd Pentatonic Hybrid Scale. It is Minor Pentatonic Scale with the Major 3rd and Diminished 5th notes added to it. The five chromatic notes with the four half steps make a unique combination of passing tones. A lot of famous country guitar players utilities this scale.
When playing the E Blues Chromatic Scale the Minor Pentatonic and Blues Scale will be the familiar scales to most guitar players. The Major 3rd is the dissonant note that makes it feel off, especially if it’s resolving to a Minor Chord. Outside chromatic notes work best to the V Chord or in turnarounds in Blues.
Having five chromatic notes also makes an awkward feel when phrasing. The common way to play through them is to not play them in a straight sequence but to traverse with whole steps and whole half steps and then pull off or hammer to the extra half step.
Phrasing passing tone notes in straight chromatic sequence can be done tastefully gliding across the notes fast. The real unique thing with this open fingering position is you have all four fingers lined up to a straight four finger per fret alignment. Having them all backed to a open note position making it easy to play fast alternate open note hammer on and pull offs. This opens up the exploration to many unique guitar open note lick possibilities.
All the above guitar scale diagrams were created with Guitar Analyzer Publisher Edition Software
Here are some Hybrid scale examples that you can explore with the Guitar Analyzer Software. These scales can created by adding notes or moving notes to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. I’ll start with the adding note scale examples. The first Blues Scale example is a very common scale used in Blues and Rock, the A Blues Scales. This scale is from adding a Passing Tone b5 (Diminished 5th) note to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. The passing tone is the note not related to the notes of the Major Scale Key. Usually passing tones sound a little off when you play them but with this particular scale it has a great sound in most soloing situations were you would be using the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
The next Hybrid Blues Scale is the Blues Chromatic Scale that is created by adding two notes Minor Pentatonic Scale. It not only has the diminished 5th added but also the Major 3rd which is not always a passing tone. The unnatural thing about this scale it has four chromatic half steps in a row. A lot of country style guitar players use this scale and they apply a lot of unique chromatic lick variation to these half step notes in their solos.
The next hybrid blues scale is created by moving instead of adding notes by moving the Minor 3rd of the Minor Pentatonic scale up half step to the Major 3rd Interval. This gives a little bit of a Middle Eastern or Gothic sound. The scale relationship of this scales relates to the Mixolydian Mode the fifth degree of the Major Scale and the Phrygian Major Mode fifth degree of the Harmonic Minor Scale. This scale is used in solos by some Rock and Metal Guitar Players Kirk Hammett, George Lynch and Neal Schon, .
The last hybrid blues scale shown is also another scale from moving a note . This scale is is called the Major 6 Pentatonic Scale created by moving the Minor 7th of the Minor Pentatonic Scale down a half step to the Major 6th. The scale relationship of this scale relates to the Dorian Mode the second Degree of the Major Scale. This scale is used by some jazz and jazz fusion guitar players by artists like Allen Holdsworth, Robin Ford and Frank Gambale.
All the diagrams below can easily be explored in much greater depth within the Guitar Analyzer Software.