Blues Scale

Learn how to play the Blues scale

Practice in all five shapes

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Am Blues scale shapes


How to best learn all five shapes of the Blues Scale

The Blues scale is the second most common scale guitar players use when they improvise. To build it, all you do is add the b5 to the Minor Pentatonic.

If you have been calling out the intervals as you practiced your Minor Pentatonic, you will know where all your 4th and 5th are in each shape. To build the Blues scale, simply add the b5 in between!

Knowing where the intervals are within the scale is the key to being able to just add a note like this to the shapes.

Later on, when you learn the minor modes, you will do this again, just with other intervals.


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Connect Blues scale shapes


This exercise connects all five shapes of the Blues scale.

Don’t expect to nail this on your first go, just take it slowly, in time you’ll get it.

Once you’re cool with playing this in Am as I do in the video, crack on with Dm, Gm etc, all the way around the cycle of 4th.

Triplets are used in this connect shapes exercise. As well as triplets, why not play this exercise using 16th notes?

The more ways you can find to vary the rhythm of an exercise, the quicker you’ll complete it.


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Cycle of 4th


Your final Blues scale exercise move to the nearest shape possible as we go through your favourite cycle, the cycle of 4th!

Just like when you practiced the Minor Pentatonic, the movement of this exercise flows like this:

Em shape – Am shape – Dm shape – Gm shape – Cm shape.

When you played through five shapes, start on the root of Bb and continue up the fretboard.

When you can play this exercise at a high BPM, stop practicing the Blues scale shapes!


Related Pages


Course

Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

To see all lessons in the intermediate course, go to Intermediate Guitar Course


Exercises

All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

You’ll map out the entire fretboard at this stage. Chord progressions become easier to see once played as barre chords and little licks will start appearing in your playing.

Preview the exercises from the course here: Intermediate Guitar Lessons


Tunes

Learn how to play famous intermediate songs.

‘1234’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. ‘American Pie’, ‘Angie’, ‘Babylon’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, ‘Empire State Of Mind’, ‘Fast Car’, ‘Hey There Delilah’, ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, ‘I’m Yours’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Last Request’, ‘Mad World’, ‘Red’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Starman’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’, and ‘Whistle For The Choir’.

To preview each song, go to Intermediate Acoustic Songs


Sign Up Now

A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

To sign up now, go to Monthly Subscription