Learn How To Play The Blues Guitar Scale
Blues guitar is one of the most intriguing and interesting genres that is out there. It has a rich history, interesting people and a way of expressing emotion unlike any other style of music. Sooner or later however you’re going to have to learn the blues scale to really master this style of guitar playing.
This scale is based on the “pentatonic”, because it contains only 5 (penta = 5) different notes. Tab diagram below shows the minor pentatonic scale in E which is a nice ‘open position in which to play this scale.
Diagram 1 – In the key of E, which means the scale begins with E:
E minor pentatonic scale, first pattern
You start with the open E-string; that’s (of course) E. When you reach the 2nd fret of the D-string, it’s also E (play both at the same time, you will hear it). And finally the other open E string is also E. So you’ve stepped through 2 octaves. The notes are E – G – A – B – D.
Next step: in order to get the typical ‘Bluesy’ sound, you’ll need to a special note: the diminished fifth. The diminished third and the diminished seventh are often referred to as “Blue notes”, or in general notes played at a lower pitch than those of the major scale.
So now the scale looks a bit more interesting and when played sounds like the real deal:
E minor Blues scale
This new note is a great starting point for string bending, in Blues music a note is often bended into a Blue note. Another note to bend into is for example a note from the major scale while playing in a minor scale. By the way – you can play this scale also 12 frets higher using the same fingering pattern, it’s still in E:
E minor Blues scale played at the 12th fret
Thats all for now but try playing this position at the 5th fret for an A minor blues and we’ll add some more blues guitar tutorials soon.