Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

blues scales

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Howard K, Mar 12, 2003.


  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    right, a blues scale has a min 3rd in it... so why do zillions of blues tracks use dominant7 chords?

    can someone just tell me some stuff i need to know about using the blues scale here?! :D

    this is a link to daves resource page about blues scales, the basic scale has a min 3rd, while the extended blues scales have both maj/min 3rds?? what the freak is going on?! :meh:

    http://www.guitar-and-bass.com/fivestringbass/scales-blues-reference.html
     
  2. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's the minor 3rd against the dom7 that has a lot to do with the bluesyness of it. It's creates that dissonance - the minor 3rd in the melody/solo against the major 3rd in the chord.

    A trademark of blues, I would say is having both the major and minor 3rd in the scale.

    Listen to All Blues (from Kind Of Blue). You can hear that the tonality is essentially mixolydian, but in the solos, minor 3rds create a bluesy kind of sound.

    In fact, listen to the dominant chord in that sequence (i.e. bar 9 of the 12 bar sequence) - it's actually a D7#9 chord. You can think of that as a dom7 chord, with the minor 3rd added.
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's blues - not an exact science ;-)

    What immediately comes to mind when I think blues scale is:

    1 b3 4 b5 5 b7

    The flat notes are the 'blue' ones. However, you can drop in other notes as required - for example, a major third (for little licks like 1 b3 3 8).

    Wulf
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Though, some blues has essentially minor tonality - and you wouldn't drop in a major 3rd.

    Take Chameleon for example - it's essentially Dorian, I'd say (the main part of it - not the whole middle section w/ Rhodes solo etc.) - and though the solos are essentially blues scale stuff - you probably wouldn't use the major 3rd (the D natural) - except as a chromatic passing note, for example - where it's not really functioning as a major 3rd.
     
  5. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    aah, ok, i see.... so it IS that semi-tone dissonance that makes it work.. must try this out when i get home :)

    nice one... cause i always played a major pentatonic against a dom7 in blues - like in crazy little thing called love by Queen, and it sounds really.. ahem.. 'gay'... that'll be why!
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    One characterisation I've heard of blues music is 'minor melody over major chords'. I know that's a gross oversimplification but it characterises a lot of blues tunes quite well. It is about deliberate dissonance - when something sounds 'wrong' you have to make a judgement call about whether that's 'good wrong' or 'bad wrong'! :D

    Wulf
    (who almost went to a blues jam last night but decided on a curry instead)
     
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    nice irony :)
     
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    The Blues scale is a minor Pentatonic scale with an added note. You can play this over a Dom7 chord, G7 - E minor pentatonic or blues scale. You can also use a four note scale, R 3rd 5th 6th, or R b3rd 5th 6th.
     
  9. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for explaining that Moley and Wulf. I've always wonder the same exact thing.