Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from The Minor Pentatonic

Now we have the minor pentatonic understood, the next step is to learn the blues scale. This cool new scale is the minor pentatonic with an additional note. It has a unique sound and is commonly used across all genres, not just blues!

Summary: The Blues Scale

The blues scale is essentially just the minor pentatonic scale with the addition of a flattened 5th note. This extra note is considered a passing note, which means that it is not wise to hang about too long on this note. Try to consider the function of this extra note as a bit of tension that resolves to the notes either side (the 4th or 5th). This tension gives the scale a bluesy feel, hence the name of the scale! This scale is used across all genres, not just blues as the name suggests. The formula for the blues scale is 1st, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th & b7th, as shown below:

In Practice: Blues Scale Shape

To help you put this into practice, here is a common shape for the blues scale in the key of C minor (as per the example above). Notice the notes on the neck as you go through it, trying to say the degrees of the scale (i.e. 1st, b3rd, 5th etc...).

Ready to move on – remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Scale Test!

Time to put your new knowledge to the test with a quick test! In this video, Dan will ask you to work out a variety of pentatonic and blues scales. So, get a pen and paper ready and have some fun!