Blues Scale Guitar

Blues scales are very widely used in guitar improvisation. By learning the blues scale guitar players have a instant means of playing effective licks and riffs. Despite the name, blues scales are not just used by blues guitarists – most rock and jazz guitarists regularly use them too. In the blues scale guitar diagrams below, the root note of the scale is marked with a white ‘R’.

Blues Scale Guitar Diagrams

Blues Scale Guitar

Blues Scale Diagrams

Blues Scale Guitar Diagrams With Blues Notes Marked

Below are the same blues scale guitar diagrams, but with the blues notes (the flattened 5th notes) marked with a white circle.

Blues Scale Guitar With Blues Notes Marked

Blues Scale Guitar With ‘Blues’ Notes Marked.

Guitar Music Theory

Blues Scale Guitar Theory

Blues scales are basically the same as pentatonic minor scales but an additional note: the flat five. For example, adding an Eb to an A pentatonic minor scale will change it into an A  blues scale.

A Pentatonic Minor Notes: A, C, D, E, G

A Blues Scale Notes: A, C, D, Eb, E, G

Try and memorise where the blues notes are in each shape. When improvising, you can slide up or down into or from them, string bend into them, play them subtly or stress the blues notes, emphasising their bluesy sound.

Scale Spellings

Blues Scale Spelling: 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, b7

For a guitar lesson on using blues scales, with an example guitar solo and a backing track for you to play your own blues solo over, see this page: How To Use Blues Scales. You can practice improvising using blues scales with our blues guitar backing tracks.

To see how a master uses blues scales, check out B. B. King!

Related Pages

Blues Backing Tracks

How To Use Blues Scales

Pentatonic Scale Guitar

Guitar Scales Chart

blues backing tracks

Blues Backing Tracks by Guitar Scales

guitar scales chart

Guitar Scales Chart

Posted in Scales For Lead Guitar | Tagged , |


4 Comments


4 Responses to Blues Scale Guitar

  1. Jim Frets says:

    I gotta say I love this site – really helpful and no-nonsense. Thanks.

  2. John Guitar Teacher says:

    Thanks for the site – I tell my students to visit! The backing tracks are particularly useful. John (www.guitarteacher.me)

  3. Brian says:

    Good site for beginners. Thanks from New Zealand!

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