Blues Scale Bass TAB, Patterns & Notation. Blues Scales For Bass Guitar In All Keys

Discover how to play blues scales on your bass guitar. Blues scale bass TAB, patterns and notation: play blues scales in every key.

Blues Scale Bass: Page Index

More Bass Reference Pages on Guitar Command:


About the Blues Scale

Along with the major scale and the pentatonic minor scale, the blues scale is among the first scales a rock / pop / jazz bassist should learn.

The blues scale is in fact no more than a slightly modified pentatonic minor scale. By comparing the two scales you’ll notice that the only difference between them is that the blues scale contains an additional note.

It’s this note, which goes by several names, including: flattened fifth, flat five, diminished fifth, or simply the ‘blues note’, that gives the blues scale its distinctive ‘bluesy’ sound.

Below is a comparison of an A pentatonic minor scale and an A blues scale on bass guitar. The additional ‘blue’ notes have been circled.

Blues Scale vs Pentatonic Scale Comparison TAB

By comparing the two scales the distinctive blues sound of the blues scale should be instantly apparent.

The blues scale is widely-used in blues, rock, metal and jazz. You can use it to write basslines, licks and riffs, and also to improvise bass solos.

On this page you’ll find out how to play the blues scale on bass guitar. By the end of the page you’ll be able to play a blues scale with any tonic note* all over the fretboard.

* The tonic note of a scale is the note that the scale is named after, i.e. the ‘A’ notes in an A major scale, or the ‘C’ notes in a C major scale.

This page is divided into two main sections:

Blues Scale For Bass TAB

The first section of the page shows to how to play a blues scale with a number of commonly-used tonic notes in open position.

Blues Scale Bass Patterns (& TABs)

In the second part of the page you’ll find a number of movable bass scale patterns with which you’ll be able to play blues scales all over the bass guitar neck.


Blues Scale For Bass TAB

Below you will find TAB for playing Blues scales with various common tonic notes. The Blues scales shown below are in open position (i.e. played in the first 4 frets, often incorporating open (unfingered) strings).

E Blues Scale Bass TAB – Open Position

The notes in an E blues scale are as follows: E, G, A, B flat, B, D

E Blues Scale Bass TAB


F Blues Scale Bass TAB

The notes in an F blues scale are as follows: F, A flat, B flat, C flat, C, E flat

F Blues Scale Bass TAB

The above TAB shows how Pattern 1 from the Blues Scales Bass Patterns section below can be used to play an F blues scale.


G Blues Scale Bass TAB – Open Position

The notes in a G blues scale are as follows: G, B flat, C, D flat, D, F

G Blues Scale Bass TAB


A Blues Scale Bass TAB – Open Position

The notes in an A blues scale are as follows: A, C, D, E flat, E, G

A Blues Scale Bass TAB

Note: this scale is the same pattern as that used in the E blues scale open position scale, but played on the adjacent strings.


B flat Blues Scale Bass TAB

The notes in a B flat blues scale are as follows: B flat, D flat, E flat, F flat, F, A flat

Bb Blues Scale Bass TAB

Note: this is an example of how Pattern 4 from the Blues Bass Scale Patterns section can be used to play a B flat blues scale.


C Blues Scale Bass TAB – Open Position

The notes in a C blues scale are as follows: C, E flat, F, G flat, G, B flat

C Blues Scale Bass TAB


D Blues Scale Bass TAB – Open Position

The notes in a D blues scale are as follows: D, F, G, A flat, A, C

D Blues Scale Bass TAB


Blues Scale Bass Patterns

The following movable bass scale patterns can be used to play any blues scale on bass guitar. The green notes represent the tonic notes* of the scale.

* see page introduction

Position the green notes over the correct notes on the bass fretboard to play the scale with that tonic note.

Play each note from the first green note to the second for a one octave scale. Combine shapes by moving your hand up or down the fretboard to adjacent shapes in order to play multi-octave Blues scales.

You can also use these shapes while improvising or composing. This is why additional notes outside of the octaves are provided. Using them you can extend the single-octave scales so that your lines don’t have to end on a tonic note.

Note: not all of the patterns contain two tonic notes. Although you won’t be able to use these shapes on their own to play an entire scale, you’ll still be able to use them combined with the adjacent shapes to play full scales, multi-octave scales, or while improvising.


Blues Scale Pattern 1

Blues Scale Bass Pattern 1

In the TAB below you can see how this pattern can be used to play a G blues scale:

G Bass Blues Scale


Blues Scale Pattern 2

Blues Scale Bass Pattern 2


Blues Scale Pattern 3

Blues Scale Bass Pattern 3


Blues Scale Pattern 4

Blues Scale Bass Pattern 4

In the TAB below you can see how this pattern can be used to play a C blues scale:

C Bass Blues Scale


Blues Scale Pattern 5

Blues Scale Bass Pattern 5

In the TAB below you can see how this pattern can be used to play an A blues scale:

A Bass Blues Scale


More Bass Reference Pages on Guitar Command:

Leave a Comment