Very Different Sound For Just Adding One Note

Pentatonic and blues scales for guitar are an essential part of any players guitar riff tool set. If you have a good knowledge of your blues scales, you’ll develop an understanding of how existing songs and solos run. It’s great fun to learn a lick, riff or solo from someone like Eric Clapton or BB King and actually realise how they wrote that particular piece. It’s almost like learning how to think like they do as songwriters and blues guitar players.

Now, if you’re interested in playing the blues, the best place to start is with the pentatonic scale. By adding just one note, you can convert that scale into the full fledged blues scale. So, here is your first pattern. Starting with the low E String, the numbers correspond to which fret you should place your fingers on. You play two notes for each string.

Pentatonic Vs Blues Scale

Pentatonic Scale in A : 5 8 – 5 7 – 5 7 – 5 7 – 5 8 – 5 8

Pentatonic scale

Now to convert this into the blues scale, we just have to add one single note, known appropriately enough, as the ‘blue’ note or flat 5.

Blues Scale in A: 5 8 – 5 6 7 – 5 7 – 5 7 8 – 5 8 – 5 8


A Minor Blues Scale

If you practice these scales back to back over the top of a backing track you’ll notice that one note adds a whole different flavor to the tone colour. You should expend a little time practising these two scales over a few different blues backing tracks or if your lucky enough to have a friend that will play rhythm while you practice GREAT! That route you’ll actually get a feel for how they sound in the context of a full band. Why don’t you get started right away?

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