Beginners Blues Guitar Lessons

For Beginners Blues Guitar Lessons Learn The Blues Scale

Heres an introduction to beginners blues guitar lessons for those who are just starting out, the word blues scale identifies a number of different scales with differing amounts of pitches and related characteristics.

Hexatonic
The hexatonic, or six-note, blues scale consists of the minor pentatonic scale plus the ?5th degree. A major feature of the blues scale is the use of blue notes; however, since blue notes are considered alternative inflections, a blues scale may be considered to not fit the traditional definition of a scale. At its most basic, a single version of this “blues scale” is commonly used over all changes (or chords) in a twelve bar blues progression. Likewise, in contemporary jazz theory, its use is commonly based upon the key rather than the individual chord. The evolution of this scale may be traced back to Asia (pentatonic major) through native North America (pentatonic minor) with the addition of the flat 5 blue note (slave trade/Africa).

 

Beginners blues guitar lessons

 

Blues scale as minor pentatonic plus flat-5th/sharp-4th About this sound Play.
Greenblatt defines two blues scales, the major and the minor. The major blues scale is C, D, D?/E?, E, G, A and the minor is C, D?/E?, F, F?/G?, G, B?. The latter is the hexatonic scale (top).

Heptatonic
The heptatonic, or seven-note, conception of the “blues scale” is as a diatonic scale (a major scale) with lowered third, fifth, and seventh degrees and blues practice is derived from the “conjunction of ‘African scales’ and the diatonic western scales”. Steven Smith argues that, “to assign blue notes to a ‘blues scale’ is a momentous mistake, then, after all, unless we alter the meaning of ‘scale'”.

Blues scale as diatonic scale with lowered 3rd, 5th, and 7th degrees About this sound Play

Nonatonic
An essentially nine-note blues scale is defined by Benward and Saker as a chromatic variation of the major scale featuring a flat third and seventh degrees (in effect substitutions from Dorian mode) which, “alternating with the normal third and seventh scale degrees are used to create the blues inflection. These ‘blue notes’ represent the influence of African scales on this music.”

A different and non-formal way of playing the scale is by the use of quarter tones, added to the 3rd and 7th degrees of the minor blues scale. For example, the A minor blues scale with quarter tones is A–B–Chalf sharp–D–E–F?–Ghalf sharp, where half sharp is a half sharp. Also, the note D? can be used as an additional note. Guitar players can raise a given note by a quarter tone through bending.

Usage
In jazz, the blues scale is used by improvising musicians in a variety of harmonic contexts. It can be played for the entire duration of a twelve bar blues progression constructed off the root of the first dominant seventh chord. For example, a C hexatonic blues scale could be used to improvise a solo over a C blues chord progression. The blues scale can also be used to improvise over a minor chord. Jazz educator Jamey Aebersold describes the sound and feel of the blues scale as “funky,” “down-home,” “earthy,” or “bluesy.”

The blues scale is also used in other genres to reference the blues idiom

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More On Scales

Ascending and descending chromatic scale About this sound Play

Pattern of intervals in the C-major scale About this sound Play
In music theory, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, and a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale. Some scales contain different pitches when ascending than when descending, for example, the melodic minor scale.

Often, especially in the context of the common practice period, most or all of the melody and harmony of a musical work is built using the notes of a single scale, which can be conveniently represented on a staff with a standard key signature.

Due to the principle of octave equivalence, scales are generally considered to span a single octave, with higher or lower octaves simply repeating the pattern. A musical scale represents a division of the octave space into a certain number of scale steps, a scale step being the recognizable distance (or interval) between two successive notes of the scale.[2] However, there is no need for scale steps to be equal within any scale and, particularly as demonstrated by microtonal music, there is no limit to how many notes can be injected within any given musical interval.

A measure of the width of each scale step provides a method to classify scales. For instance, in a chromatic scale each scale step represents a semitone interval, while a major scale is defined by the interval pattern T–T–S–T–T–T–S, where T stands for whole tone (an interval spanning two semitones), and S stands for semitone. Based on their interval patterns, scales are put into categories including diatonic, chromatic, major, minor, and others.

A specific scale is defined by its characteristic interval pattern and by a special note, known as its first degree (or tonic). The tonic of a scale is the note selected as the beginning of the octave, and therefore as the beginning of the adopted interval pattern. Typically, the name of the scale specifies both its tonic and its interval pattern. For example, C major indicates a major scale with a C tonic or root note.

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Published by

Claude Corry

Being a musician from a young age I began singing at the age of five. I have been a live performer for about thirty years and have played in many bands from covers bands to original ensembles. At twenty I began to write a lot of my own songs and still do today and have written about two hundred works.