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Over what chords can i play the blues scale?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Suckbird, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    It must be over minor scales i guess? Since it's just a minor pentatonic scale with a added note...

    My friend(guitarist) usually plays this blues shuffle:



    I tried to solo over it, first i was playing the blues scale in the key of E(2nd octave) but it didn't sound right so i thought it was because minor scales does'nt sound good over major so then i tried to play it in C# because Cmajor and Aminor are related to each other i thought Emajor and Cminor should be related to aswell but it didn't sound right...

    can someone tell me how/when to use this scale...
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    E blues scale should work perfect on that.

    Just checking, you're playing this, right?

  3. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Try playing over the A chord: A - C - E - F# - G, which translates to I-bIII-V-VI-bVII. You could throw in the 4th (D) or the 2nd (B) as passing tones as well. The E- scale given below indicates the shared tones of E - G, and A. The passing tones of B and D mentioned previsouly are in the E blues. A shuffle is a perfect time for you to play chromatically and not get too hung up on which notes you hit as long as you don't hang on one outside the feel of the song.

    Listen to "Pride and Joy", "Texas Flood", "Couldn't Stand the Weather", "Rude Mood", "Scuttle Buttin'", or any of Tommy Shannon's other classic shuffles. A quick listen to the recorded versions and the live versions will show you some of the fun things that you can do within groovy blues lines. TS is one of my fav bassists. Check out SRV Live at Montreux at your local cd store.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I hate to say this but really you CAN use the blues scale ANYWHERE. It doesn't fit harmonically with ANY chords perfectly because it has the 4, the #4 and the 5...at least one of those notes is going to clash if you sit on it long enough. You use the blues scale when you want to sound bluesy, basically...the whole point is making creative use of the dissonances.

    While it's not the answer to everything, for beginning soloists a good grasp of using the blues scale will take you a long ways.
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    The #4/b5 is used as a passing tone.


    Try this with your guitarist

    When your guitarist is playing the E riff, try playing the E blues scale concentrating on the notes in bold...


    When he's playing the A riff, concentrate on these...


    Use all the other notes to move between the bold ones
  6. I say you get out another guitar and do this:


    over and over again until someone unplugs you.

    Seriously though if you're playing a bass you might get alot out of trying the G major scale over it. And by G major scale I mean of course E minor :) But, if you know your G major patterns it works great and would be a good exercise in learning how a different scale works over a different chord.
  7. Corwin


    May 8, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    No. G Lydian, maybe. Or more properly, E Dorian. The C natural in G Ionian is not going to sound good over the E chord.

    But as far as soloing with the blues scale, make sure you bend that G up a quarter tone whenever you get the opportunity, and maybe throw in a C# every now and again. Actually, go ahead bend everything except the root and the five a quarter tone or so. Blues is supposed to slurry and dissonant.